Shopping on a budget can be a challenge. Finding good quality garments at an affordable price isn’t impossible if you know how to look. Here are some suggestions to get that wardrobe you want without breaking the bank.
1. Buy next year’s attire now
To save loads of money on your clothing purchases, go shopping towards the end of the selling season. For instance, buy your spring and summer duds in July or August rather than in March, when prices are highest.
This will mean some planning and forethought — you’re going to get most of the wear out of these new clothes next summer. But the payoff is enormous. There are two major selling seasons that apply both to men’s and women’s clothing:
- Spring/summer: March through the end of August.
- Fall/winter: August through February.
However, women’s clothing also has “transitional seasons,” which are influenced by weather:
- Summer into fall: August through October (dark clothing with short sleeves).
- Winter into spring: March through April (long sleeves and bright colours).
2. Invest in one great garment
- From those slick magazine ads, you might get the idea that you have to spend a mortgage payment on a single outfit if you want to look stylish. Not so.
- The key to controlling your clothing costs is to buy one key piece of high-quality clothing that you will dry clean and fuss over.
- This garment should last you for years. For a man this item could be a jacket, a good sweater or a sport coat.
- For a woman, it could be a great blouse, a jacket or a nice cardigan sweater. Mix and match your high-quality garment with inexpensive, washable clothing that you replace every couple of seasons.
- With this approach, you will be investing only in one exquisite, showcase piece of clothing — but it will lend its class and style to anything else you wear.
3. Avoid “one size fits all” clothing
- The idea of “one size fits all” clothing sure sounds attractive: Buy it, and you know it will fit. Actually, most manufacturers who label their clothing this way are pulling the wool over your eyes.
- You will usually find this designation on lower-priced clothing, mostly on tops for teenagers.
- It’s easier, and therefore cheaper, for manufacturer’s to mass-produce a garment when it’s all in one size. But the only garments that are truly “one size fits all” are some socks, which are made of fabric that adapts to a broad range of foot sizes.
- Otherwise, when you see “one size fits all” on a garment, keep shopping. Look for higher-quality clothing that will last a long time.
4. Buy online to get deep designer discounts
- The clothing market is swamped with garments that vendors need to unload. This is good news for you, because it means you can buy almost any designer clothing online at a big discount.
- When you shop at a brick-and-mortar retailer, you are footing the bill for the store’s rent, employees’ salaries, cushy carpet and fancy display racks.
- Online vendors are no-nonsense, product-shipping businesses that do not have all of the overhead and decorative trimmings.
- If the garment you are looking for has been in the stores for just two or three months, you will be able to buy it online for 50 to 75 per cent off the retail price.
The deals are out there but being savvy enough to find them takes practice and a little hard work.