8 Ways to Cut Your Clothing Costs

by Ron Haynes

Ah, summer is almost here and I will be pulling out the short sleeved shirts, shorts, and lightweight summer clothing. Did you ever think that clothing carries a storage cost? It takes time to clean, fold, pack, and carry to the attic all those clothes, time I could spend doing something else.

Clothing also carries maintenance and repair costs that I could easily overlook. Maintenance includes dry cleaning, regular washing, ironing, and sewing on buttons and sending it out for repairs if it’s worth it.

Quick side story: There was a place back home called Alabama Reweavers. They could take any article of clothing and actually re-weave the clothing fibers to hide any tear or rip. You literally could not find it anymore. Their motto: We Reweave Rips. Just try saying it three times really fast.

Heres some tips on reducing your clothing costs:

1. Focus on quality, not quantity. Define your own personal style with the classics and select articles of clothing that match your life, personality, and body type. Plan any new purchases to fit within your current wardrobe, and avoid fads or buying items that will quickly fall into disuse. Don’t be so brand focused. Most people think of store brands in association with grocery stores, but there are store brands of clothing that are decent quality as well.

2. Know the difference between a sale and a deal. A “markdown” in a store or outlet mall isn’t necessarily a deal. A sales item only saves you money when it’s something that you need and will actually wear. Beware of percent off sales because the retailer probably marked the item up too much in the first place.

3. Make friends with anyone who is a buyer for a department store. I have known several buyers for major retail department store chains. They were able to feed me information on when items would be going on sale and whether the sale was a good sale or not. This alone has saved me quite a lot of money.

4. Give yourself the opportunity to think. Avoid impulse buying! Sometimes what looks great in the store under perfect lighting loses its appeal after you bring it home. Make sure you know the store’s return policies and keep receipts in your wallet or in a specific file/envelope so that you can bring the item back if you change your mind about wearing it. Always avoid stores that charge restocking fees or refuse exchanges.

5. Check out the Internet. Use online price-comparison tools to find the best prices on particular clothing items. Online retailers such as www.bluefly.com and www.overstock.com can also stretch your clothing budget. Make sure you account for shipping and handling costs as well as any potential sales taxes. I’ve avoided buying from Lands’ End because they charge me sales tax as well as shipping charges. I just go to Sears and buy their stuff there instead.

6. Find out if a local department store has an outlet shop nearby. Dillard’s has a discount store near me that features all the clothing that didn’t move fast enough in their regular store. The discounts are steep and the clothing is new!

7. Consider buying used clothing. Thrift stores, consignment stores, and secondhand shops can be treasure troves if you’re patient and don’t mind sifting through racks of clothing. Consignment shops are particularly useful for expecting moms because these stores often feature gently worn maternity clothes that cost mega-bucks in the department stores. Considering that you’ll only wear it a few months and used clothing makes a lot of sense. I have bought used coats for the kids, used sports jackets for me, and all sorts of bargains. Most items were 75% to 95% cheaper than retail.

8. Use rewards programs to get free or discounted stuff. Kacie at Sense to Save got a free swimsuit by using My Points. Check it out! What have you got to lose?

Cutting your clothing costs doesn’t mean you wear ratty old clothes that are faded and make you look like a bum. You can cut your costs using these tips and still look great!

What tips do YOU have?

We reweave rips. We reweave rips. We reweave rips. It’s even hard to type it! :lol:

[tags]clothes, clothing, costs, sales, sales, store, stores, tips, wear[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 988 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.



{ 4 comments }

ericabiz

Hey Ron,

All good tips. Here’s an additional one I use:

Whenever I buy a shirt, pair of pants, or any other item of clothing, I give away (donate) one of the same type. If I buy a new pair of shoes, for instance, one old pair has to go. This has stopped me from buying new things because every time I do, I have to seriously consider what to replace. Now I only buy new clothes I know I’ll really love — or to replace ones that have worn out. It’s cut my clothing costs by over $1000 since I started doing this 7 months ago.

-Erica

Ron

Thanks Erica,

That’s a neat idea. The donation is tax deductible of course so that offsets the cost further. I like it.

Mark D

“Cutting your clothing costs doesn’t mean you wear ratty old clothes that are faded and make you look like a bum.”

Haha, very, very well said indeed.

I will be keeping this in mind as often as I can. Thanks.

Johnno

I would reinforce the idea of exploring thrift shops (we call them Opportunity Shops here in Australia). Most of my favorite clothes were found at Op Shops and I love them all. They are already pre-loved/faded/lived in.

I would also add: learn the difference between fashion and classic dress sense.
Fashion is transitory ego-gilding. Avoid it.
Fashion is a lion leading lambs. Don’t be some lion’s lunch.
Classic is forever. Embrace it. The guidelines are out there. Search and find. Explore and experiment.

Make brilliant “mistakes”.

You don’t need the logos – you already have a face. Your smile is more attractive, more sexy and more admirable than a pair of $200 jeans.

Wear $20 jeans and a big fat grin.

Go to the op shops and look for the classics. They’re there.

Dig deeper.
Explore.
Persist.
Lurk moar. (sorry, I love that phrase… :lol: )

We we-weave wips…. love it!

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