Maybe you have lost weight over the past few years, or maybe you got a new job that requires you to dress up on the daily. Whatever the reason, it’s time to invest in a new wardrobe. While shopping for clothes can be fun, it can also make a major dent in your budget. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to purchase a new wardrobe without breaking the bank. Before hitting the mall, try these five tips.
1. Shop the Clearance Racks
Buying clothing out of season can save you big bucks, according to Lifehacker.org. While it can be tough to get in the mindset of purchasing sweaters and boots when you are dreaming of a weekend at the beach, the fact is that buying clothes off season offers the best deals. When you are packing away your summer or winter clothes, take an inventory of what you’ll need for next year, then haunt the clearance racks of your favorite stores.
2. Look for Quality
Spending more money on quality clothing when you’re trying to save money might seem counter intuitive, but the goal here is longevity. Rather than buying cheap pieces that will only last a season, search for well made staples from trusted brands that you truly love. According to U.S. News and World Report, timeless classics never go out of style. Then, for a fresh look, supplement these key pieces with inexpensive, trendier items each season.
3. Know What Suits You
Avoid buying items of clothing that you don’t completely love, or that don’t quite fit right. You’ll find that they get pushed to the back of your closet while you wear the outfits you truly love, making them a waste of both money and space. Be honest with yourself about the cuts, colors, and styles that flatter you, and stick with them. The exception to the fit rule is clothes that just need a small nip or tuck to look amazing on you; for those items, get to know a good tailor.
4. Avoid the Outlets
Think you are saving big at the outlets? Think again. Rather than real deals, retail outlets generally consist of lower quality items that were manufactured specifically to be sold at a discount, making the advertised savings misleading. You’ll also find pieces that didn’t sell well at the regular store and those with imperfections.
5. Shop Consignment
The advent of the Internet makes it easy to find good quality used clothing in excellent condition from designer brands without spending all day sorting through the racks. Sites like thredup.com are meticulous about the brands and condition they accept, and allow you to easily search by item, size, and manufacturer. These online retailers can often save you up to 75 percent on great pieces.