You can spend $5 or $500 on a T-shirt, but the best way to get value for your clothing lies somewhere in the middle. Here are our favourite ways to save money and still have great clothes.
Perhaps you're thinking "just don't buy any more clothes!" Clothing, unfortunately, becomes worn out or outdated, and work and other special occasions will require us to invest in our wardrobes. Gaining weight, losing weight, and/or trying to clothe children who grow like weeds are also challenges. We can, however, make our clothing budget count more by making the clothes we love last longer and also spending less on new clothing.
10. Buy Better Quality Clothing
Wait, spend more money on clothes? Yes, in general, you'll get more value (or cost per wear) out of decent clothes that actually fit you and will last you longer rather than doing the "fast food" approach to new clothing every year. Feel free to disregard this advice for kids, though.
9. Buy Clothes At The Right Time
Time your clothing purchases right and you'll save hundreds on your clothing expenses. Clothes are cheapest during end-of-season sales — useful as long as you can plan, less helpful if you're buying for children. In general, buying off season usually gets you better deals than buying what's hot and trendy right now, price-wise.
8. Buy Second-Hand
Heading to a charity shop doesn't have quite the appeal it used to — when you can buy a brand-new T-shirt for $4, why go second-hand? But you can still do much better on many items, and feel good about the fact that you're supporting those less fortunate than you.
7. Don't Wash Clothes As Often
This sounds bad. And smelly. But washing your clothes less often will help them last longer (and save you time and utility costs), which means you won't have to replace them as oftem. Sturdier clothes, like jeans and sweaters, can be reworn a few times or simply aired out before needing to be washed.
6. Take Care Of Your Clothes Better
It's sad when you take your favourite jumper or shirt out of storage only to find it has been attacked by moths and now looks like Swiss cheese. Protect the clothes you love and have bought with vacuum storage bags or canvas storage containers and mothballs or cedar blocks. Also, know how to properly clean your "hand wash only clothes," and wash your "dry clean" clothes at home. Preserve your favourite clothes nearly forever by knowing how to wash and fold them properly.
5. Make Your Jeans Last Longer
Perhaps no piece of clothing gets more care and attention than jeans. We convert bootcut jeans into skinny jeans, revive faded old jeans with $US5 dye, wash jeans with vinegar to increase their lifespan, and even freeze them.
4. Know Whether You Should Buy An Item Of Clothing
It happens to the best of us. You see a piece of clothing in the store and it's tempting. Before you make that impulse buy, consider whether that piece would work as part of at least three other outfits in your existing wardrobe. Otherwise, it's probably not worth it. Also remember the "meat and potatoes" rule: 70 per cent of the clothes you own should be the everyday clothes, the essentials you need from day to day. If your wardrobe is veering too far from the rule, you should probably put it back on the hanger.
3. Get Creative With Your Current Wardrobe
Even with a minimalist wardrobe, you can mix up your look every day. One scarf can be tied 25 ways and a tie can be tied over 100 ways. If you check out fashion inspiration to make the most of the clothing you already have, you could probably stretch your clothing budget farther.
2. Tailor Clothes To Fit You
Finding clothes that fit you perfectly and look best for your body shape is the ideal, but even if an item is too long or too wide or just doesn't fit quite right, it can still be of use. Instead of buying new, take it to a tailor. (If you find a great item on the clearance rack just a size up or down, it could also fit you after tailoring, depending on the garment.) It's cheaper than buying new and will look better on you than the default size. In a similar vein, you can get a quality pair of secondhand shoes repaired for cheaper than buying new.
1. Buy The Clothes That Suit You Best
Buying clothes that fit you and look good on you will ultimately end up saving you the most money because you won't need to buy clothes to replace the crappy clothes that don't work for you. That sounds obvious, but with so many clothing options, it's easy to accumulate a mismatched wardrobe of clothing that you don't end up wearing. One of the best strategies to keep your clothing spending on track while also buying new clothes occasionally is to keep your closet full of clothes that match, and when you find a piece of clothing that you love and looks good on you, buy multiples of it. You can create a work-friendly wardrobe on a budget or any other kind of wardrobe by focusing on the essentials.