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18 Ways to Save Money on Clothes

It’s very easy to spend large amounts of money on clothes without even realizing it, in the same vein there a very simple ways to save money on clothes without feeling like you are missing out on anything. Spend 50 dollars here, another 70 there, and soon enough you’ve spent hundred or thousands of dollars on clothes for you and your family.

We’ve put together our best ideas on ways on to save money on clothes to help you get started:

Quality Can Pay in the Long Run

Sometimes it makes sense to pay a little more for a quality garment. For example, if you buy a winter jacket that you can wear year after year instead of for just one or two seasons, you actually pay less in the long run. A simple equation for determining the “true cost” of a piece of clothing is: the price of the garment divided by how many times you wear it.

Private Label Pricing

Private Label clothing is clothing lines made for a specific retailer, such as JC Penney or K-Mart. It may not be Ralph Lauren, but it is usually decent quality, because the store is putting its reputation behind it. Private labels are usually sold at two-and-a-half to five times their wholesale price, which means that retailers can drastically discount it and still make a profit. Because of this, you should wait until it is reduced to 50%-70% off if you want to get it for the lowest price.

Clothing to Dye For

If you have an item of clothing that is starting to fade, but is otherwise in great shape, dye it. Fabric dyes (like RIT) generally work best with natural fibers, and can extend the life of a garment that has lost its original color.

Wash and Wear Saves

When shopping for clothes, try to avoid “Dry Clean Only” items. With suits and jackets its often hard to avoid, but given the choice between a pair of slacks that you can throw in the wash vs. a pair that can only be dry cleaned at $4.50 a pop, the wash and wear is going to be cheaper in the long run.

Turning Collars

If you have a dress shirt that is fraying at the collar or cuff, you can take it to a dry cleaner that does alterations. For about $10 in most cases, you can have the collar and cuffs reversed so the shirt will look good as new again. Compared to the cost of a new dress shirt, this is a bargain and can make the shirt last twice as long.

Stock up on Stockings

One of the simplest ways to save money on clothes is to stock up. There are certain items of clothing that your family are always going to need, so if you see a sale, stock up. Things like underwear, T-shirts, socks, athletic shoes, sports wear, and blue jeans are all staples in most wardrobes so take advantage of good prices.

Shop for Clothes on EBay

Don’t forget EBay when you’re looking for a bargain on clothes (even brand new ones). Most sellers include a photo, and you can search by size, brand name or description.

Save Circulars, to Save Big

If you like a particular store’s fashions, save their sales circulars and catalogs. Since they usually follow the same pattern year after year, you can plan to shop when they are scheduled to have sales, particularly the sales where they tend to offer the biggest discounts. You can also call the store and ask the manager for a promotional schedule or calendar.

Re-Sole Shoes

If you have a decent pair of shoes that is only worn at the soles, you can have them re-soled and save on the cost of a new pair.

Repair Frayed Collars

Men’s facial hair can cause dress shirts to pill and fray where they rub against the neck whiskers. Rather than toss a pilled shirt, take an old electric razor and shave away the pills. You’ll find that the shirt is much more presentable and that you can probably get many more months wear out of it.

Men’s Shoes for Less

To save on men’s shoes, check out the boy’s department. Some boy’s sizes go up to 15, and you’ll pay a lot less than in the men’s department for essentially the same shoe.

Learn to Return

If you buy a piece of clothing and decide after getting home that it just doesn’t go with anything, return it! Don’t just hang it in the closet thinking you’ll wear it someday, or that maybe you’ll buy something else to go with it. If you aren’t happy with a purchase, return it promptly before you forget, or lose the receipt. Otherwise, you are wasting your hard earned money.

Learn to Alter Like a Pro

Kids often outgrow clothes long before they have a chance to outwear them. Buy pants with elastic waistbands, and turn too short long pants into shorts when your child gets taller. The same can be done with long sleeve shirts. Cut the sleeves and hem them and convert them into short sleeve shirts.

Don’t pay for Alterations

Even though sizes may be standard in the clothing industry, every manufacturer cuts fabric differently. If a particular brand of clothes fits your body type well, keep buying from that company. It’s almost like having your clothes tailor made for off-the-rack prices.

Don’t Clothes Shop at the Beginning of the Season

The first sales of the season usually occur one month after clothing season starts. For example, winter coats may go on sale in January, and bathing suits in June. If you buy at the beginning of the season, you’ll end up paying full price for the same clothes you can get at 25 - 30% off four weeks later.

Clothing Bargains

If you have a favorite clothing store, get to know the manager. Ask what they do with returned merchandise that can’t be restocked. Sometimes you can pick up this clothing for pennies on the dollar.

Classic Clothing Stays in Style

Consider buying classic clothing in basic colors, instead of the latest fashions that you may only be able to wear for one season. As long as you take proper care of a good quality navy blue blazer, it could last for years. On the other hand, if you bought this year’s trendy pastel plaid line from the Johnny Come Lately collection, you’ll probably be donating it to charity for a tax deduction next season.

Bag Big Bargains

At the end of each season, most retailers have clearance sales to make room for clothes for the next season. Plan ahead and you can save big bucks for next year. If you are buying for children, be sure to account for a year’s growth.

As you can see we are not suggesting any extreme ways to save money on clothes, just simple things you can incorporate as slowly or quickly as you want into your routine and watch the savings stack up.

Shopping for clothes may not even be an option for you if you are struggling with debt. Managing debt on your own can be stressful and frustrating. The debt relief providers at CareOne can help you with customized plans to help you successfully deal with all you debt. Learn how our debt consolidation services can help you achieve your dream of living debt free.

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