I love fashion, but as a thrifty mom and wife, I have to find ways to get my fashion fix while maintaining our frugal lifestyle. If you’re the same as me, you will want to read my tips for buying fashion on a budget. I’ve also included ways to prolong the life of your clothes, which will amount to even more savings!
Buy Stuff on Sale
This one is pretty obvious. But to take your thrifty shopping habits to the next level, try figuring out the yearly sales schedules of the clothing shops you visit regularly. Most of them will have sales around Black Friday, or around the holidays. Others will also have sales right before a new collection arrives. These are great times to load up on new clothes.
Get Basics or Staples
When you do buy clothes, try to focus on timeless basics. This will ensure that your clothes will stay stylish for a long time. Plus, basics can be matched with more clothes, giving you even more options. Remember, “basics” doesn’t have to mean boring. When I use the term basic, I’m referring to timeless pieces that will always look cool no matter what the current fashion is.
You’ll be surprised by the amount of great stuff you can find in vintage or thrift stores! These places are prime hunting grounds for people in the know. I’ve found designer items selling for a fraction of what they go for in regular shops. But do know that when you buy vintage, you need to have the patience to dig through mounds of chaff to find that one gem of a piece. Also, you need to be selective with what you buy, so you don’t end up with damaged pieces.
Buy Socks, Underwear, and Undershirts in Bulk
Socks, underwear, and undershirts are usually available in packs of three and up. The same goes for handkerchiefs. You can buy these items per piece, but you’ll end up spending more. So try to get packs of three or more – you’ll end up saving money in the long run. Buying in bulk is one of the best ways to save money on clothes.
Don’t Buy Too Many Accessories
I have a friend who loves jewelry and watches. She buys clothes to match her jewelry collection. Since she has lots of accessories, she ends up buying lots of clothes as well. One of the ways to save money on clothes is to limit your selection of accessories to a few classics. That way, you don’t need to get too many clothes to match.
Don’t Hang Clothes in Musty Areas
This used to be my mom’s pet peeve. As I became a mom, I understood why. This causes clothes to have a really nasty, musty smell that was tough to get rid off. This meant clothes had to be washed again, and that in turn meant more wear and tear on the clothes. So hang your clothing in a room with ample ventilation.
Avoid Hanging Knitted Items
Properly cared for, knitted items like sweaters, cardigans, and beanies can last a long, long time. But make sure you avoid hanging them, especially when wet. When you hang them, there’s a chance they will lose their shape – and a shapeless sweater may be ultra-comfy, but you wouldn’t want to be seen outside the house wearing one.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When trying to save money on clothing, it can be tempting to buy the cheapest items available. But cheap clothes will end up costing you more money, since cheap clothes tend to get frayed or torn more easily. If you can afford it, try to get more high-quality items. Look at it as an investment, instead of a luxury, since you’ll be saving money on future repairs.
Invest in High-Quality Detergent
I wear a lot of black clothing, and I used to get frustrated because they never lasted. After a few washes, the colors would bleed, and the fabric would start to fray. That meant I had to keep buying replacements, and that got pricey, fast. I learned I was using the wrong detergent. Since I’ve switched to a better-quality detergent, my clothes have lasted longer, and that amounted to some pretty considerable savings.
Have Clothes Mended Professionally
You can get the highest-quality items and take the best care of them, but every piece of clothing will eventually require repair. When the inevitable happens, make sure you bring your clothes to a reputable tailor or seamstress.
Avoid Buying Cheap Shoes
Shoes are another item you shouldn’t cheap out on. This is doubly true when it comes to sneakers and athletic shoes. The reason for this is simple: sneakers have replaced boots as our rugged shoes of choice. You may not notice it, but our sneakers are subject to lots of abuse. They get stepped on, get splattered with mud, get bent, get creased, make contact with the hot pavement, get drenched in the rain, chewed on by the dog – and that’s just some of the things sneakers are put through. Sneakers from big brands are usually more durable, meaning you’ll be getting more use out of the money you’ve spent.
Don’t Try to Keep Up with Trends and Fashion
My husband used to be a sneaker collector. He says being a sneaker collector was like being on a hamster wheel that never stopped turning. As soon as he “copped” a new pair of sneakers, a new one dropped, and he had to get that pair, too. Rinse and repeat countless times. Luckily, he’s kicked his sneakerhead ways. But trying to say updated on the latest trends – whether that’s for sneakers or other fashion items – can get costly pretty fast. My suggestion is to stick with basics, like I’ve mentioned at the start of this article.
Address Stains Right Away
The longer a stain stays on a piece of clothing, that harder it will be to clean it off. So try to remove stains as soon as you spot them!
Use Color-Friendly Deodorant
This one may seem surprising to some of us. But some deodorants can seriously ruin clothes, especially dark-colored ones. I mentioned that I liked to wear lots of dark clothes. Well, my clothes eventually developed these unsightly stains due to the old deodorant brand I wore. I eventually switched to one that was appropriate to dark clothing.