How to Shop on a Clothing Budget

You’re on a clothing budget, but you don’t want to look like a bag lady. How can you shop for awesome clothes at a stellar price?

#1: Discount Stores!
There’s absolutely zero shame in shopping at discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross Dress for Less. (If you’re in New York/New Jersey, shop at Century 21. Best store ever!) You can find designer clothes at a fraction of the price that they’d sell for at the local shopping mall.

Personally I prefer these stores over, say, Target, simply because the designer deals with last (they’re well-crafted!), while Target clothes tend to fall apart after several washes. Which leads to my next point …

#2: Invest in Quality
Know the difference between something that commands a high price tag just because it has a coveted designer brand name behind it, versus something that has a high price tag because the material, the stiching, and the innate quality — the craftsmanship — is superior.

Simply stated, would you rather pay $30 for a jacket that’ll fall apart after one season, or $100 for a jacket that will last for ten years?

Of course, I’ll add an important disclaimer: ONLY pay extra for craftsmenship IF you are confident that you know how to discern that craftsmenship. Don’t assume that higher prices equal higher quality. Don’t buy into the myth that you get what you pay for. Sometimes you pay for quality; sometimes you pay for reputation.

Also, if you’re buying something that’s in-the-moment fashion … a fleeting fad (like coral jeans) … you may want to only buy a cheap pair that lasts one or two seasons. Chances are, it’ll be out of style soon enough.

#3: Secondhand Boutiques
There are smelly thrift shops with terrible clothes, and then there are secondhand boutiques, where the employees take the trouble to hand-inspect each item as it comes in to make sure it meets their lofty requirements. If it’s stylish and not too worn, they’ll accept it.

These secondhand boutiques are more expensive than normal thrift stores (duh) but cheaper than buying clothes firsthand/new.

Not sure where to find one? Just Google “secondhand boutique” and the name of your city/town.

Feel guilty about not supporting charity? Make a donation to a worthy cause with all the money you saved. Bonus: YOU get to pick the charity, which means you can send money to an animal clinic or a cancer research fund … whatever cause is closest to your heart.

About the author

Kennedi Rose

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