I love buying clothes. Doesn’t it make you feel fantastic to be wearing something you truly love and feel amazing in? For me the answer is yes! Since becoming a work-at-home-mom, I haven’t really invested in clothes that make me feel awesome. Instead, I usually choose items that are more practical, this way when I get paint, glitter or glue all over them I don’t freak out. It’s not that I wear sweats or yoga pants all the time — I’m actually more of a jeans girl. Now that the boys are getting older and we are way past the spit up stage, I think it’s semi-safe for me to wear things that are comfortable but perhaps a bit more fashionable than what I have been wearing over the past 4 years. This means that I want to invest a little more money into my wardrobe but of course I don’t want to spend a fortune doing it either.
In the past (before kids of course) I would have headed to the mall and shopped my little heart out without considering what I was buying, how much I was spending or considering that I might be able to find the same item – or something similar – for less. But alas, those days are over. Actually, even if I wanted to be that frivolous, we can’t afford it — plus, I have learned so much about saving money since having the boys that even if money wasn’t an issue, I couldn’t do it without thinking about how silly I was being just throwing money away. So I have come up with some simple and painless ways to expand my wardrobe without busting our budget or adding credit card debt.
1. Shop Secondhand
I have learned a few things about shopping secondhand over the past few years. It’s easy and it can save you so much money!!! My secondhand stores of choice are consignment shops. I have taken the boys’ gently used clothing and toys to one of my favorite children’s consignment store in our area and have gotten some amazing deals! Depending on how much money I have earned from the sale of the boys’ previously worn items, I can get a bag full of “new” clothes for next to nothing. Even if I don’t have any credits I can still get great name brand clothing that looks new for an amazing price. There are women’s and men’s consignment shops too. At these stores you can purchase designer clothes for exceptional prices. Many times the items in these shops are not consigned because they aren’t stylish, often it’s because someone has either lost or gained weight — or they just like to clear their closets so they can buy more clothes. Go ahead, give secondhand shopping a try.
2. Visit Discount Stores
There are many stores such as Ross Dress for Less, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, and others who benefit from overstocks or store clearance. I have purchased some beautiful items for amazing deals. These stores are also great for purchasing fashion accessories, shoes, handbags and even home decor at super low prices.
3. Surf the Web
You can get some great deals by shopping online. Amazon, Ebay, Esty, etc. are ideal for finding good deals on clothing and accessories. Even shopping from some of your favorite department stores online can save you money. Many stores offer better deals online than they do in store because they don’t have the overhead of a brick and mortar store. Many stores offer free shipping if you pick the item up at a store near you. Be sure to check for coupon codes before you checkout; this will also help to save you money. Make sure you know the return/exchange policies before you buy. Most stores make returns and exchanges easy as long as you have the receipt. Shopping online also gives to the ability to quickly price check to find the best deals.
4. Shop Clearance
End of season clearance is the BEST time to buy new clothing. You can save 50%, 60% or even 80% when stores are clearing out thir inventory to make room for the new season’s fashion. I just picked up a Simply Vera (Vera Wang) purse for $25 it was regularly $125. I almost bought it when it was 1/2 off but decided not to since Christmas was just around the corner. Boy am I glad I waited. It certainly paid off! Often times you will still get a lot of wear out of an item before the season actually ends. It’s January and I’ve already seen bikinis and other summer fashions proudly displayed (at regular price) in stores. I bought a swimming suit last year for 75% off because it was September. I don’t have to worry about getting one now, I just have to worry about getting in shape so I’ll look good in it.
5. Make the Old New Again
Take inventory of what is already in your closet and find new and exciting ways to wear them. Mix different pieces, patterns and colors together. Just take some time out to play around with the clothes you already have. Put things together you may not have thought of before; you might be very surprised how how good certain things look together. You can also buy new (or new to you) clothing pieces like sweaters, jackets, scarves, hats, etc. to jazz up these well-loved ensembles and make them feel fresh and updated.
6. Host a Clothing Swap
Get some of your favorite girls together and even some of their friends and host a clothing swap. These ladies can bring in things that they are tired of, don’t fit in or wonder “Now why did I buy this? This is so not my color.” Make a fun girl’s night event out of it. If you want to bring along kids clothes to swap to, that can be double the fun. Get creative and enjoy!!!
I hope I have been able to give you some great ideas.
Do you have any other tips on how to save money on your clothing budget? I’d love to hear them!