Ways to Save Money On Clothing

Shopping Information is delighted to welcome guest author Callie Martin. Callie spends her free time writing about fashion, recycling & Buy.com Weekly Deals.

In these frugal times, nearly every contentious consumer has slashed the clothing budget. Designer duds have become a symbol of frivolous spending; wearing an ostentatious brand name is a sign of irresponsibility, while “shopping from the closet” is a mark of responsibility. Sometimes, an updated wardrobe is a necessity. Weight gain or loss, pregnancy, a job hunt or a promotion can necessitate a scramble to find a new look. Even the best-made clothes wear out over time. Fortunately, buying a new outfit need not break the bank. Here are a few ways to save money on clothing.

Don’t Skimp on Quality

The idea of a new dress or a bag as an “investment piece” is patently absurd. With a few unpredictable exceptions, most items of clothing depreciate in value the moment they leave a store. With that said, some items of clothing are better investments over the long run. A well-made piece of clothing that will last for years is a better choice than a poorly made alternative that will wear out quickly. Consider this math problem: There are two shirts on sale. One retails for five dollars and wears out after five washings. The other retails for 30 dollars but holds up after 100 rounds in the washing machine. For the first shirt, one day’s worth of wear ends up costing one dollar. For the second shirt, each day of wear only costs 30 cents. That’s less than a third of the price per wear of the cheaper shirt. However, a more expensive purchase does not always translate into a higher quality piece of clothing. A budget-conscious shopper should pay for quality, not for a brand name. Look for durable materials that won’t pill or fray, double linings and well-made stitching that will not unravel with frequent use.

Buy Gently Used Clothing

Being thrifty doesn’t have to mean purchasing shirts from Goodwill. Consignment shops and high end used clothing stores both offer excellent items in perfect condition. Many of these used clothing shops contain trendy vintage styles. Most of these stores will not accept items of clothing with rips, stains, shrinkage or faded colors. Frequently, the inventory available at these stores is new with tags or gently worn. Used clothing stores are a great way to find items for special events; prom dresses, business suits, Halloween costumes and cocktail dresses can all be found for steep discounts at a vintage, consignment or recycled clothing store. In many cases, these stores will let consumers trade in lightly used articles of clothing for cash or store credit. This trade in system is the perfect way to get an entirely new wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Recycle Old Outfits

It’s far more economical to get an expensive article of clothing tailored than to buy an entirely new outfit. In some cases, a new or gently used suit can be bought on sale for a song and tailored for a more precise fit. This is far cheaper than asking a tailor to construct a fitted suit from scratch. Much-loved vintage dresses can get a fresh update with shortened hemlines, fresh dye or alterations to sleeves, waists and necklines.

After weight loss, a tailor can rework a favorite dress or jacket for a better fit. Some tailors may be able to use elastic or cloth panels to compensate for weight gain. Cobblers can re-sole beloved shoes, while tailors can mend ripped seams, fraying hems and torn fabric.

Guest post from Callie Martin who spends her free time writing about fashion, recycling & Buy.com Weekly Deals.