10 Tips to Save on Buying Clothing


Living in Chicago, we deal with changing seasons, which means changing wardrobes. I love being able to change up the style to fit with the temperature, but with six people in the house, it can get quite costly. I also have children that continue to grow, so at times, it seems like I constantly need to get new clothes for them just to keep up with their growth spurts! How do I do that without going broke? I do the following:

1) Look at what you have in your closet. Could you change up a look just by pairing up your clothes differently? Could you use a top with a different pair of bottoms? Could you add some jewelry, accessories, or shoes to vary the style? You’d be surprised how quickly you can change up the same outfit from a daytime work look to an evening dinner look just by adding an accessory. If it’s in your closet, then you haven’t spent an extra dime.

2) Trade clothes with a friend or neighbor. I do this a lot with family, especially for children’s clothes. When the kids outgrow their clothes, I pass it along to a friend or family member who has a child in that size. In turn, I have friends who pass along their children’s clothes to us. My kids enjoy it because to them it is a new set of clothes.

3) Go to a resale store. You can find some really great hidden gems in resale stores. The best part is the price is usually at least 1/2 off of the original price. You can even find some clothes with the original tags still on them. At certain places, you may even get store credit or additional savings by donating your old clothes. It’s a great way to clean out your closet and fill it up with clothes that are new to you. Check if your resale store has a rewards program and sign up for it if they do because you could earn additional discounts or rewards from your purchases.

4) Shop consignment sales. Many schools or non-profit organizations hold consignment sales. Like resale stores, you can find some great deals at these sales. For these types of sales, you will want to come early to get the best selection. Donating your old clothes or volunteering can sometimes get you early access into the sale, giving you an opportunity to shop before the general public. An added benefit is that you’ll be helping a school or non-profit with their fundraising goals.

5) Before shopping online, look for coupon codes. Look at sites like Savings.com to see if there is a coupon code before checking out. In addition, check if where you are shopping has a rewards program. You could earn rewards and discounts to use on your future purchases.

6) Shop at the outlet stores. In most outlet stores, you could save 50-90% off the original price. They usually have a good selection of new clothing that may just be from a prior season or styles that have been phased out of their regular stores. Sears Outlet typically has a coupon available on Tuesdays where you can get a free piece of apparel or a discount on apparel. I was able to find a DKNY dress for my daughter for free using one of these coupons.

Sears Outlet DKNY

7) Create your clothing. One of my favorite things to do is to let my children decorate their own clothing. At places like Michaels and Jo-Ann’s, t-shirts go on sale for as low as $1.50. I will buy them for my kids in different colors. They use fabric paint or fabric markers to decorate their shirts. I also have a Bedazzler-type gadget that lets them add a bit of sparkle to it. The kids love it because they can use their creativity to come up with their own, unique designs.

8) Explore daily deal sites. Daily deal sites offer clothing deals for short periods of time at a great savings. You can find designer clothes at a fraction of the price. The key to using a daily deal site is to make sure to add in the shipping cost to determine if it is truly a good deal. Also make sure you know the return policy in case the clothing does not fit properly. Many daily deal sites will offer free return shipping. Also check if they have a rewards program. Some daily deal sites will reward you for sharing the deal by giving your order for free if a certain number of your friends also buy the deal.

9) Shop with a multiple purpose in mind. When you are choosing clothes, imagine wearing it in at least 2-3 different looks or styles. Can you layer it with something? Is it a color that goes with some things in your closet? Can it be worn with more than one top or one bottom? Is it something that can be worn throughout the year or just during a specific season? The more ways it can be used, the less you will have to spend on buying additional clothing and the less space you’ll need in your closet. It also becomes easier for you to bring it with you on trips allowing you to need less suitcase space because you can use it for multiple outfits.

10) Shop with multiple seasons in mind. In Chicago, we need some type of outer layer for 7-9 months out of the year. It can get costly if you buy a jacket for each season, so I look for outerwear that can serve multiple seasons. For my kids, I have found 4-in-1 jackets that can take them through spring, fall, and winter. When all the pieces are attached, it is a winter jacket. The inside layer can be detached to be used as a fall jacket. The inside layer alone is perfect as a spring jacket. Overall, the investment in that one piece may cost a little more than the other winter jackets, but it will last throughout the year. For adults, look if the jacket can be layered with a sweater to give you more warmth. Adding accessories, such as scarves, hats, and gloves can also make it perfect for multiple seasons. Also find a simple design and color that can go well with many outfits. The less jackets you purchase, the more closet space you have.

Make sure to join in on the 30 Day Budget Challenge and let us know how you’re saving money on clothing!

What are some tips you have for saving money when you buy clothing?

Check out my coupon database before heading out to the store:

Coupon Database

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