In my last post, I shared that I bought almost $700 worth of new clothes for just over $220. And as promised, I will share my secrets to scoring these huge savings! Get ready. It’s amazing. Jk. but hopefully you will read something worthwhile.
1. Shop at outlet malls. There are various articles as to why outlet malls are scams (I’ll let you google those for yourself), but I personally have had great success shopping at outlets. I love getting really cute, brand name clothes for literally a fraction of what I would pay in store. The trick is knowing retail prices beforehand, and making sure you are paying less. Because these stores are some of my favorites to shop at, I know what a pair of jeans, a dress, or knit top run at the retail stores (regardless of what the tag says, as some items are made specifically for the outlet stores). I made sure that I got a bargain based on what the regular stores would sell the items for.
2. Vow to never pay retail price. Regardless of where you shop, make the decision to never pay the full retail price. In my opinion, the non-sale price is usually wayyy overpriced anyway. Anytime I walk into a store, I head straight to the clearance section. I don’t even look at the stuff that’s not on sale, because eventually it will be, and I will get a deal on it then if I still need to buy something. I literally can’t remember the last time I paid full price for anything.
3. Know your personal price point. I already mentioned to know what retail stores charge for apparel. But it’s also important to know exactly how much you personally are willing to pay for an item. For me, I will never pay more than $30 for a pair of jeans. I determined this price based on what I have been able to find in stores, accounting for the fact that I have to purchase petites, and those are harder to find, especially on sale. If I can find a pair of jeans at $30 or less, you can guarantee I will buy them! *The ones pictured above were $25 each.
4. When you find a good deal, stock up! If you look at the picture above, you will notice I bought multiple colors/patterns of the same items. For example, the two dresses (identical style, different pattern) retail for $50. They were on sale for $24, plus an additional 50% off, so I paid $12 each. I’m pretty sure I can’t get a dress at WALMART for $12, so I bought one in each pattern available. Same goes for the jeans, cardigans, tshirts, and sweaters–soooo… everything I bought. I literally got one of everything in the colors that I liked that were still available in my size.
5. Buy neutral, casual clothes that you can spruce up. Ok, I don’t have any scientific data to back me up here. But in my experience, neutral, casual items tend to be less expensive than the super slinky, ruffly, fancy-designs clothes. I always buy clothes with a simple pattern and usually in a tshirt material. They are easy to make look fancier by adding the right accessories or dress slacks/skirts, but can also be worn for day-to-day activities. An added bonus: since the items are neutral, they can be worn lots of different ways, so your wardrobe options grow a lot!
Bonus!! Don’t buy at the first store you walk into. This was a great tip from my husband! While shopping, compare prices at similar stores, and then go back to make a purchase, after you feel confident you are getting the best deal. When we were shopping, we walked into Ann Taylor first. I knew going in that Ann Taylor was a little on the pricey side, but I do love their clothes, so we decided to go anyway. I found 3 shirts there for a total of $40 on sale. That was slightly more than I care to pay in general for knit tops ($13 including tax), but I thought they were really nice and bought them. The very next store we walked into (New York & Co.) had similar clothes that were equally beautiful for about $7 apiece. Had I waited to check out the comparable items at other stores, I probably wouldn’t have bought the Ann Taylor shirts. I even asked my husband if I could go return the shirts from Ann Taylor, but he said I should keep them anyway, so I did 🙂
So using all of these tips (except for the bonus one that we learned afterward), I was able to find my new wardrobe for less than 1/3 of the retail price. Hopefully if you need to shop soon, this list will help you do the same!
What are some of your tips to save money while shopping for clothes? Comment below 🙂