In today’s culture of fast fashion, we want new clothes fast and on a regular basis. With the insurgence of social media ads and purchasing at the tip of our fingers, it’s easy to get caught up in buying clothes without much thought.
However, it’s then easy to find hard-earned income dwindling on clothing purchases, that aren’t even good quality. In this article, we dive into how impulse buying is burning a hole in your pocket, how to save money when buying clothes, finding quality garments on a budget, and my top picks for places to buy cheap clothes without compromising on quality.
Buying the wrong clothes is costing you more
In 2022, most of us have access to smartphones, which make online shopping easier than ever before. Within a matter of minutes, we can see a picture of a cute top, put it in a virtual basket, and have it paid for and at our doorstep the very next day.
While no one can deny the convenience this presents, it also means we aren’t putting huge amounts of thought into the clothes we buy. Especially whether they are of good quality and will stand the test of time, compared with the price paid for them.
Think about it, how many times have you ordered something online and never even ended up wearing it because the quality turned out to be poor? Or it just wasn’t really to your taste when it arrived? We’ve all been there, with items tucked safely away at the back of our closets, never to be seen again. For the odd purchase, this isn’t the end of the world, but when you’re consistently buying the wrong clothes, costs mount up pretty steeply.
So what’s the trick to saving money on quality clothes?
How to save money on clothes
Living within such a fast-paced worldwide shopping culture, it can be tricky to take a step back and figure out how to save money on clothes. In short, it comes down to being considerate with money and buying only what you truly need. Find a few tips below for how to can save money on your next shopping mission:
Only buy what you really need:
Digital marketing has risen to prominence alongside the boom of social media. This marketing typically comes in the form of emails and adverts telling us to buy, buy, buy. The aim is to constantly draw customers in with the promise of massive discounts and sales they won’t ever find again. This persuasive marketing is incredibly effective at convincing us to buy clothes we don’t really need.
To combat this, take a second to think the next time before making a purchase. Is it really necessary? Do you already have a similar item already? Are you just buying it because you can get a small discount? Asking yourself these questions can help to avoid spending money on clothes you won’t ever wear in the long run. A good trick is to hold fire when you feel drawn to buy a piece of clothing. If you still want it in a week, then go ahead and buy it.
Have a sort through your closet and remind yourself of all the clothes you have. Chances are you’ve likely forgotten some pieces, and this avoids duplicate buying. Make a list of clothes the closet is lacking, and look to invest in those in the future.
Invest in staple pieces:
The classic image of an overflowing closet filled with hundreds of clothes and accessories is the dream of every fashionista, but what if less was more when it came to clothing? It’s so important to be smart when looking to save money shopping. This includes being conscious of the quality of the clothes you’re splurging your money on.
For example, someone may feel like spending $70 on a pair of jeans is too expensive, and in turn, just buy a cheaper pair. This less-expensive pair is likely of poorer quality and will need replacing shortly after purchasing. In the end, the cost of replacing the jeans ends up matching the price of the original expensive jeans, which were better quality anyway.
The moral of the story is that it’s often better to splurge on a few investment pieces, to save money spent constantly replacing poor-quality garments. Think of a few staple items in your closet, for example, a warm winter coat or evening dress. Draw up a list and research into high-quality staple pieces that will last you in the years to come. While they may cost more initially, you’re likely to save money in the long run.
Create a capsule wardrobe:
A capsule wardrobe is perfect for those looking to make the most out of the clothes they have and also save money. Creating a capsule involves sourcing a number of garments that go together easily to create numerous outfit options. This means multiple style opportunities are possible with a limited number of items.
Capsule wardrobes are great because they constantly present ideas for outfits, and don’t leave you tempted to waste money ordering new clothes. Go through your closet and pick out some items that you can use to put together stylish outfits for a later date.
Go one step further and use a rail to display your selection of different outfits for all occasions. Capsule wardrobes can be created seasonally, so you have set outfits for summer, winter, and everything in-between. This process allows you to make the most of what you already have, without reaching for that credit card.
Swap clothes with friends:
Everyone goes through style changes in life, where there feels the need to completely throw out your closet and start from scratch. This can feel liberating, but also potentially become very expensive. A great way to source new clothes without spending a penny is by swapping clothes with friends and family.
If you have a loved one that you’re a similar size, reach out to them to ask if they would want to swap any of their clothes for yours. Not only is this completely free, but it’s also mutually beneficial. It gives you access to a whole new selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories and an environmentally conscious way to get rid of your old clothing.
Why not recruit a group of your friends to do a larger clothes swap? This way you get even more clothes and accessories to choose from. It could even become an annual tradition for the friend group, where everyone gets to try out new styles and fashions.
Buy second hand:
One of the easiest ways to save money when buying clothes is to source them second-hand. Historically, this has been done through physical second-hand stores, but in the digital age, pre-loved fashion is accessible across the world. Online market places like Depop see thousands of listings per day for second-hand clothes, accessories, and shoes for severely discounted prices.
Many of these second-hand items have only been worn once or twice and are in near-perfect condition. The next time you see a piece of clothing you want to buy, see if you can find anything similar preloved first. It’s likely you’ll find an almost identical item somewhere for much cheaper than it would cost direct from a manufacturer.
Preloved marketplaces are also great for securing vintage and designer fashion without the hefty price tag. Just make sure that any designer items purchased are legitimate, and do research into investment pieces before committing to purchase.
Scour the sales:
When looking to save money on an average clothes shop, sales and discounts are always a good way to go. Conducting some careful research into different sales companies are offering can help save a lot of money, rather than just buying items at their full price.
One of the best ways to always find out when your favorite cheap clothing brand will be holding sales or exclusive discounts is to sign up to their email sender list. This means you will always receive a notification direct to your email inbox whenever sales are being held and may be eligible for loyalty discounts. Brands often give you a unique discount code just for signing up to these mailing lists.
Also, consider when buying an item whether it’s available cheaper at another store or online site. For example, another retailer may be offering a sale or discount on the garment. All of these little conscious steps help to take a bigger movement towards saving money and investing in quality clothes.
Places to find cheap clothes (that are still good quality)
Finding cheap clothes (dresses, skirts, shirts, tees, tops, denim, sweatshirts, and more) on a budget that are good quality can feel like a challenge. However, there are many retailers that offer great clothes and accessories, that are also suitable for those on a budget. Find below my top picks for sourcing quality fashion that doesn’t cost the earth.
Amazon is used by millions across the world for its convenience and budget-friendly items. Many people may not consider it somewhere you can find decent clothes, but the online store actually has a range of quality fashions within an affordable price range. The great thing about shopping with Amazon is the wealth of reviews on each item. This allows you to buy with confidence in the quality of the garment, and also gives you insight into sizing. Plus you’ll get free shipping with Prime.
Target is an excellent and affordable place to source fashion that remains on-trend. You’ll find trending fashion pieces, activewear, and affordable clothing. Within this retailer, you can source clothes for a range of occasions, from casual days out to dependable work attire. Target is also a great place to find regular sales and discounts, as well as fashion for young children and newborns. This retailer provides a flexible option of shopping in-store or online, which as makes different methods of return much easier.
Poshmark is an excellent example of an online marketplace to secure preloved fashion items at a significant discount. You’ll find the staple items but also the latest fashion in blazers, belts, cardigans, maxi dresses, bodysuits, and more. Buy and sell with traders across the world to find unique fashion pieces at prices greatly reduced from the cost of buying from a retailer. Buying second-hand also helps to reduce the effects of fast fashion and helps limit the amount of fashion waste, a dangerous by-product of today’s fashion world.
4. TJ MAXX
TJ MAXX has a range of nationwide stores, as well as an online site to secure some of the biggest fashion bargains around. For those who are designer conscious, TJ MAXX offers a vast selection of designer clothes, wedges, jumpsuits, and accessories from previous seasons. This means you can land designer quality at discounted prices. The retailer also has a simple and straightforward return policy, so you don’t need to worry about hassle when changing your mind about an order.
ASOS is the perfect online retailer for all fashion lovers. This modern yet affordable online store offers buyers a range of different styles and fashions, including lines inclusive of all body types and shapes, for example, ASOS plus size and ASOS tall. ASOS also regularly holds online sales and discount events to snag up your favorite items for less. A simple order and return policy makes ASOS a hit for all, with easy freedom to change your mind or order different sizes.
So as we have covered in this article, there are countless ways to source cheap, quality clothing and shop while being budget-friendly. All it takes is a little consideration of purchases made and refrain from buying out of impulse. By doing this, you can create a closet full of timeless and classic items, that survive countless seasons. If you take anything away from this article, it’s to always value quality over quantity!
Savvy shoppers buy online and shop around to find cheap quality clothing. You can still have the latest trends without the price tag. Don’t buy more than you need and look for free shipping to help save money. There are plenty of bargains to be found.