How to Save Money on Clothes

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Who doesn't love a fresh new outfit that keeps your confidence brimming throughout the day? Something magical happens when you slide into those new jeans or cut the tags off of that shirt you have been eyeing for weeks. The issue arises when we bust our budget to get this feeling.

No matter what your budget for clothing is, there are a lot of ways to minimize the cost of clothing. You may have children that are consistently growing out of seemingly endless supplies of garments. Or you may just be that fashionista that demands couture at a great price.

The key to getting clothes for less money is an overall effort to reduce costs everywhere you can. Walking through the mall and buying the first thing that catches your eye will bust your budget every time. Here are some ways to reduce your clothing expense and still build a wardrobe.

The Clearance Rack

All of the stores you shop at have a clearance section that most people avoid. This rack usually contains older styles or styles that were overstocked and were quickly discounted. What if you were able to find hidden gems within the unwanted garb?

That is the fun of shopping these sections, finding that perfect ensemble for up to 75% off just because it was last season's style. Treat the hunt for inexpensive items as an adventure and it will help bring the fun of shopping back. Don't be afraid to scour the sale and clearance sections to keep a closet full of hidden gems.

Buy Used

Used clothing may seem counterintuitive to having a fresh new outfit, but it is all part of saving money on things you need versus what you want. There are always going to be clothes that have to buy that you otherwise probably didn't want. Think snow pants for a child or sports equipment and clothing.

You should always give the resale or secondhand stores a look before rushing off to buy new things. Not only could you find good lightly used items for ridiculously cheap, but you may find items you didn't know you were looking for. These stores are chock-full of clothes, shoes, and accessories that someone just did not want anymore.

Other sources for used clothing is Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, where you can make a deal with someone posting an ad. While it takes a little more effort to arrange a meeting and do the deal, it may just be worth it when you get your clothing for pennies on the dollar.

Repurpose Clothing

Hand me downs are not anyone's favorite thing, but we are trying to save our hard earned cash. Within your own family, you may be able to reuse and repurpose clothing for your children or for yourself. Think about how you can use different pieces in more meaningful ways. Take an old shirt from your husband or wife and use it for another task like a sleep shirt or cleaning outfit.

If you are transferring clothing between children, have the recipient pick what they like best to smooth that transition. Sometimes if children look up to their older siblings, they might have had their eye on those clothes anyway.

Reward Yourself

Open your wallet and pull out that rewards credit card you've got hiding in there. It may be there for emergencies or have a balance on it, but it's time to put it to good use. Find out how to maximize the rewards on this card, or find a new card, and use those rewards to get great deals on the clothes of your dreams.

Rewards points or cash back is the credit card company paying you to use their card. These incentives can be saved up and used towards the wants that you may have been salivating after. Use this system to your advantage to get clothes and shoes for almost nothing.

A good example of this is to use your rewards card for everyday purchases that you have to make. Pay your utilities, groceries, or other household items with that card to build a reward balance that you could be proud of. Pay off the card monthly just like you were paying those normal bills, and then reap the rewards and enjoy much cheaper clothing.

Outlet Deals

Outlet stores have been popping up nationwide to give manufacturers and some retail chains a place to sell their older or clearance items for less. Instead of a section of an existing retail store, companies like Nike, Coach, or others will have a retail presence in an outlet mall. The great part about these places is that they have a clearance section to hunt through too.

While they may run sales and have relatively inexpensive items, not all of the outlets are giving you a great deal. You have to be careful that you aren't paying close to retail in the manufacturer's own store. Try to shop sales and clearance racks to truly find great deals on the clothing you desire.

Another great thing about outlets is the very specific nature of shopping a brand directly. You can narrow down your search to a few brands and then get in there and get out with the garments you need.

Offseason Buys

This is similar to clearance rack shopping, but this takes a committed effort to plan ahead and buy things as they go out of season. Buy that swimsuit that you always wanted in October instead of in April. Not only will you get a great deal, but you'll have the item well in advance of needing it, saving you a rushed trip later on.

Offseason clothing buys have to always be forward thinking because you are buying items that are not particularly useful at the time of purchase. This works even better when shopping for children, especially if you are able to get that perfect winter coat in April. A savvy clothing shopper can stock up and not have to worry about the coming season 6 months away.

Strip Your Closet

Remember all those wonderful secondhand stores or the Facebook Marketplace you used earlier? Why are you not taking advantage of selling your old, lightly used garments? Get in that closet and start yanking out the stuff you don't use anymore.

Don't hold back and get everything out that you are sure cannot be reused or repurposed. Stack them up and get them ready to sell. Anything that has holes or is rejected by the stores can be donated.

You may not make a heap of cash on these old items, but any money gained can instantly be applied to new purchases. This saves you a ton on your newer clothes and keeps your closet free of build up. You may not think your shirt from the '70s is cool anymore, but someone out there does.

Ask For Help

If you truly have a tiny budget for clothing or a lot of bodies to clothe, don't neglect to ask for help from family and friends. We know you are looking for less expensive ways to acquire clothing, but don't overlook your support groups. These folks may be able to help you, and even asking them to provide clothing at birthdays and holidays could be a huge help.

A lot of people will let their pride get in the way, but clothing does get expensive, even with all of our tips. Don't be afraid to ask and hopefully receive the help with clothing you may need. This option easily gets overlooked, but we encourage you to at least consider it.

Make The Most Of Your Budget

You have reached the pinnacle of clothing shopping and can now look down at the peasants that still pay full price for their clothing. In all seriousness, by following our tips, your clothing costs should drop dramatically and give you a financial edge for the future.

If we cut back on the hippest, trendiest styles and find the items that work well and fit our budget, we will always be ahead of the financial curve. Don't let clothing shopping put you in the poorhouse.

Clothing is an essential part of lives, and finding that perfect outfit can be exhilarating. Make shopping for inexpensive clothes fun by creating an adventure to acquire the best combinations for the least amount of money.