I know a lot of people who spend more than half of their salary on clothing. This is one of the reasons why I have decided to write about some tips and tricks on how you could save money on clothes without sacrificing style and function.
Clothing is an essential part of our existence in this modern world. All of us need professional clothes to wear at work. We need quality clothes to wear in our business meetings and special family gatherings. A lot of us basically dress to express ourselves and to command the respect that we want in our respective professional environments. And we sometimes lose track of how much we are spending on clothes due to our consistent need to dress up.
What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.- Miuccia Prada Click To Tweet
Here are some 12 tips on how to save money on clothes and still look amazing:
Understand Your Style
Sometimes we buy on impulse whenever we are at the mall or whenever we log on to any online shopping sites in the Philippines. We sometimes wear these clothing items once and then they’re left in our closets to collect dust. One of the main reasons why this happens is that the item that we just purchased is not really our style. It’s just an impulse buy due to our consistent exposure to advertisements both offline and online for this particular item.
If you truly understand your style, you will be able to control your splurges. You could also save money on clothes and focus on very high-quality pieces that reflect your personal style.Fashions fade, style is eternal.- Yves Saint Laurent Click To Tweet
Buy Affordable Quality Basics
Regardless of your style, there are some basics that we all buy. This includes a crisp white t-shirt and soft cotton handkerchiefs and blue denim jeans. These clothing pieces do not need to be bought from designer shops. There are lots of high-quality brands that sell them for a very affordable price.
Buy Out of Season Clothing Items
Try to observe the mall a week or two before a season ends. You will notice that almost every shops are on sale and they seem to be in a hurry to dispose of the current items. They do this to give way to the next season’s clothing items. This is the best time to shop. You could save a lot of money on clothes because they are being sold during these times for a significantly lower price.
Do Not Follow Trends
Trends do not last that long that’s why they’re called ‘trends.’ If you keep on following the trends, you will end up with a closet full of unwearable clothes. Again, the key is knowing your style.
Sometimes, we really want to get that trendy piece, right? I highly suggest that you get a trendy piece that will complement your existing wardrobe. And before you buy that trendy item, think about the places where you could wear it.
- Is it appropriate to wear at work?
- Can it be worn with your other clothing pieces?
- Can you still wear it after a year or two?
If your answer is yes, then perhaps you could get that piece since you know that it will be worn multiple times.Don't be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.- Gianni Versace Click To Tweet
Avoid Delicate or High-Maintenance Clothing Items
Before you buy that silk dress, think about its maintenance cost. Silk garments are indeed very beautiful and very luxurious. However, you cannot just throw them in the washing machine after wearing them. Silk garments need to be dry-cleaned. There are clothing pieces that cost a lot to maintain such as silk, suede, genuine leather, etc. Before you buy an item, check the care label to see if that particular piece will cost you a fortune to keep.
Personally, I love suede shoes because of how it looks and its beautiful texture. I bought a pair of beige suede shoes once. After wearing them for a couple of weeks, I could not wear them anymore. Suede easily accumulates grime and dirt. Regardless of how thoroughly I tried to clean it, it did not look the same anymore. I brought it to a leather specialty store but to have it restored will just cost me more money. And from then on, I only buy low-maintenance dark-colored leather shoes.
Mix and Match
Whenever you are buying a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes, think about how well it will complement your existing wardrobe. You could save tons of money on clothes if you could mix and match your new purchases with a lot of your existing pieces. It means that it will be worn a lot of times. And you will be able to maximize the cost per wear or the hard-earned money you spent on it.
Invest in Real Gold Accessories
Accessories have become very cheap due to mass-production (same with clothes). You can now easily buy a gold-tone metal necklace for less than P100 ($2). It has become so cheap that people don’t give second-thoughts on buying lots of these items on a regular basis. However, when you add all those up, you’ll be surprised by how much you spent on those accessories.
Since these items are produced cheaply, you will notice deterioration in quality just after a few use. And these items often end up in the garbage bin. I’m sure that you wouldn’t bother yourself anymore to clean it if you have tons of similar items in your closet.
Instead of buying these kinds of cheap accessories, I highly suggest that you save up, practice delayed gratification, and then buy real gold jewelry instead. Gold appreciates in value and real gold jewelry can be pawned. They might come in handy in case of financial emergencies.No other commodity enjoys as much universal acceptability and marketability as gold.- Hans F. Sennholz Click To Tweet
If you are planning to buy gold jewelry, buy them from pawnshops. The price is definitely much lower. And also before you go to any pawnshops, go online to check the market price of gold. This is to make sure that you are aware of how much gold really costs. Knowing the market price of gold will help you to bargain more effectively.
And also be aware that pawnshops go on sale too! So to keep yourself updated on these dates, follow their social media accounts.
Borrow from Family and Friends
Another common way to save money on clothes is to borrow from your family and friends. There are certain clothes that we will only wear once or twice. Instead of buying these items, I suggest that you just borrow them from your family and friends. An example of this is ‘Barong Tagalog’ which is often worn in very formal Filipino events. Just be sure to have it dry cleaned before you return it to whomever you borrowed it from.
Visit your Local Thrift Stores
You’ll be surprised by what you can find at local thrift stores. I’m a thrifter and most of my clothes are bought from thrift stores. A lot of people do not thrift because of the negative perception of thrift stores. If they only know how much money they could save on clothes by going to thrift shops, they would probably shop in thrift stores frequently. Although it still rings true for some of these shops, a lot of the thrift stores in the city have increased their prices.
There are many thrift stores now that are clean and have air-conditioning units to make their shops more comfortable for their customers. The downside of this improvement is that the prices of their merchandise have increased. However, don’t be disheartened as thrift shops always have grail items to be found (if you’re patient enough to go through all their racks).
1. Wear comfortable clothing
2. If you’re on the hunt for grail items such as designer clothes, better visit thrift shops on their ‘New Arrival’ day.
3. If you want to further save money on clothes that you buy from thrift shops, be sure to visit them during their sale period. Usually, it’s a week before they sell their newly arrived items.
4. You should also give them your phone numbers so they could contact you when they have ‘New Arrival.’
5. Bargain politely. Even though these items are already being sold very cheaply, they still give discounts to their customers.
Buy Secondhand Clothing Online
Most people do not have the time to go to thrift shops, the second-best alternative is to buy clothing online. If you’re from the US, you have tons of options such as eBay, Grailed, Poshmark, etc. For those living in the Philippines, you’re in luck because we also have eBay here and as well as Carousell. If you want to buy internationally, you can also visit international sites such as Grailed (menswear only).
Most people that I know who buy online are on the hunt for designer pieces for a fraction of the retail price. If you are one of those people like me, I suggest that you follow these basic tips and you might a score a vintage designer piece for a fraction of the retail price:
Patience is the Key
eBay has a ‘Watch’ functionality while Carousell and Grailed both use the heart symbol as their mechanism for liking an item. If you click on ‘Watch’, it means that this item will be on your watchlist. You’ll be notified if there are any updates such as price changes. The functionality of the heart symbol with Grailed is basically the same. With Carousell (as of the time of writing), you will not be notified via email for price changes.
I suggest that you use these mechanisms to monitor the items that you intend to purchase. I then buy these items once I have the budget to do so or once they go on sale.
Know Your Stuff
There are tons of fake items online. And it’s getting harder and harder to sift through the fakes as days go by. However, do not be disheartened! So many original items are still available online if you really know what you’re looking for. I will write a separate post about this one as this is a very broad topic to tackle.
Most sellers provide the maximum number of pictures (12 for eBay and 10 for Carousell) thus giving the prospective buyer enough visuals to decide. Some sellers also provide details on the description such as measurements, flaws (if there are any), etc. Before you buy anything, make sure to check out all the provided pictures and to read the whole post written by the seller. If you want to buy the item but you are still unsure about some details, do not hesitate to ask the seller.
Even though the price is already way lower than the usual mall price, you can still bargain with the seller.
Confirm the Additional Cost and Ask for Cheaper Option
The cost of items for eBay and Carousell does not include the shipping fee. Do not hesitate to ask the seller for a cheaper or faster option. For example, if the seller is located in your city, ask if having it delivered via Lalamove or Grab Express would be cheaper. If it is, then go for this option instead.
Sell or Donate your Clothes
We have a lot of clothes that we already have outgrown both in size and in style. Our body size and our sense of style changes as time goes by. Do not hold on to these clothing pieces as they eat up valuable storage space in your home. I highly suggest that you sell them offline or online (whichever is easier for you) or better yet, donate them to those in need.
If you have a very closet full of clothing items that you do not use, they might cause the deterioration of your favorite pieces. Clothes do need ample space to breathe too to avoid developing that weird closet smell.
Confidence is the Key
At the end of the day, do not let your clothes wear you. Let your clothes be just an accent to your already existing confidence. Clothes are made to keep us comfortable and it has evolved to become a symbol of ourselves. Only wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and clothes that speaks volume about your personality and sense of style.12 Tips on How to Save Money on Clothes Click To Tweet
Do you have additional tips on how to save on clothes? Feel free to share your tips on the comment section below.