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