Clothes Shopping On A Budget

Stick to a clothing budget by shopping sales racks, wholesale retailers, and second hand clothing stores and learn to live with only what you need to avoid debt.

Clothes shopping on a budget doesn’t have to be the end of the world. With some prior planning and changes in your shopping habits, saving money on clothes and eliminating debt from spontaneous buys will become routine. A balance of name brand retailers and department store sales, wholesale retailers, and shopping second hand clothes sources offer much variety and the thrill of a chase for clothing bargain hunters.

Prior Planning

Wardrobe building on a budget takes time and intentionality. Choosing key pieces and accessorizing around them provides a solid foundation. For example, a black suit is a key piece that can be accessorized with various shirts, jewelry, shoes, and even other tops and bottoms.

Planning purchases before hand saves money on clothes, as it reduces impulse buying and the resulting risk of debt. Keep a list of clothing needs handy for shopping, and purchase key pieces when you find a quality deal that works with your budget. Avoid emergency shopping- buying a funeral dress the night before the funeral- as those purchases add up over time.

Shop Name-Brand Stores with Care

Name-brand retailers and department stores offer the latest trends and name brands. Their selection can also come with hefty price tags. Browsing these racks offers an idea of what is in fashion and what could spice up a certain outfit. Purchases should only be made if the item is necessary or the money is available, however. Ask yourself, before purchasing any item full price, the following questions:

	Do I need this?
	Do I love myself in this?
	Can I afford this?

Name Brand stores’ sale racks offer a welcome break in price. Check your favorite stores regularly over time, and get in the habit of browsing the regular displays, but purchasing from the sales rack. Carefully examine all sales rack items before purchasing clothing, however, to check for holes, stains, and lost pieces. Also check the store’s return policy, just in case you are uncertain about an item.

Frequent Wholesale Retailers

Familiarize yourself with wholesale retailers in your area. Wholesale retailers such as TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning sell discontinued or overstocked clothing from department stores at discounted prices. The items available in these stores vary, but includes many name brand items. Use the same caution here as you would in any store. Inspect clothing for holes, tears, and stains, and familiarize yourself with the return policy.

Buying Second Hand Clothes

Second-hand clothing retailers, such as Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other consignment stores, offer used items that others have donated. Shopping for second hand clothes can be hit or miss. Sometimes, a name brand piece in excellent condition will be a real bargain. Other times, the rows of unorganized clothes on hangers seem like a nightmare.

It’s important to approach buying second-hand clothing with a grain of salt. Real bargains exist for those who scour the racks. A quick tip for quickly covering a wide area of clothing racks- run a hand along the fabric, and if the fabric feels soft and attractive, it is likely cotton, cashmere, or another quality blend.

Shopping second hand works well if one is open to the possibilities, but can be frustrating when seeking a particular piece. Give yourself plenty of time, and be open to the possibilities. Many vintage pieces, available few other places, are waiting in consignment stores for someone to notice them. Carefully inspect second hand items for holes, tears, and stains, as you would any clothing before purchase.

By shopping sales, wholesale, and second hand, clothes shopping on a budget can be both affordable and fun.