We all need to wear clothing, of course, which means we all need to buy clothing. However, clothes can get really expensive when you add it all up and sometimes we need to find ways to save money on clothing.
Thankfully, you don’t need to buy super expensive clothes all of the time and there are ways to learn how to save money on clothes.
1. Shop Online Thrift Stores
One of the easiest ways to save money is to shop at thrift stores since the prices can be up to 90% less than regular retail prices. However, it can be really time consuming to go to a regular thrift store and find good stuff that you actually want.
Thankfully, there are online thrift stores these days! You can shop on websites like ThredUp and Poshmark where you can save on really high quality items that will be shipped right to you without having to search through racks and racks.
2. Use Online Coupon Codes
When you shop online, you should use coupon codes whenever possible. However, sometimes it can be really hard to find them. Thankfully, Honey exists!
Honey is a free browser extension that finds coupon codes for you for all of your favorite websites without you even having to lift a finger.
3. Sell What You Never Wear
When you end up with a ton of clothes in your closet that you never wear, you’ll find it really hard to get dressed every day and spend time shopping a ton to try and fix this.
Thankfully, you can sell your old lightly worn clothes on Poshmark and spend that money on new clothes, instead of spending your paycheck! You can even turn selling clothing from thrift stores into a part time job if you want.
4. Get Money Back
Sometimes when you go shopping online you can buy something you absolutely love and two days later that item goes on sale, this is obviously really annoying and there’s not much you can do about it.
However, you can use Paribus to give you the difference. They connect to your email account and will check out your receipts and see what prices drop in the next few weeks. They will then get you the difference! Try it out for free.
5. Get Cash Back
If you’re planning on doing most of your shopping online, you need to sign up for Rakuten (formerly ebates) so you can get cash back from your favorite clothing stores.
You can get 1-10% cash back on purchases made online and get paid quarterly with real money, not just giftcards. Sign up for Rakuten for FREE!
6. Buy Out of Season
A really awesome way to shop is to plan really far ahead. You can get really inexpensive winter coats if you purchase them in the spring when stores are trying to clear out those items. Or, if you’re into holiday sweaters the best time to buy them is in the summer.
Buying clothes out of season is an awesome way to get items usually around half price so you can plan ahead for next season’s wardrobe.
7. Shop Clearance
Sometimes you can find really great items in the clearance sections of your favorite stores, items that you would’ve bought either way. When I walk into my favorite stores I always start with the clearance sections to see if I can find what I need, and sometimes it works!
Just try your best to not buy an item that you aren’t going to wear or something that you don’t like just because it’s on sale.
8. Re-purpose Old Clothing
When our clothes get to a point of no repair, most people will just throw them away and they will end up in landfills and not break down for decades. This is no good, especially when you can turn old cotton t-shirts and sweaters into rags to use to clean your home.
This video from Youtube has a person who made a DIY door mat out of their old clothing that they no longer wanted, a really creative way to DIY some clothing and not waste money on a new mat!
9. Do a Friend Swap
If you have a friend who has a similar body type and size to you, you can try out a friend swap. This is where you all bring every item of clothing from your wardrobe that you no longer love, and your friends will do the same.
Then you can all shop each other’s closets and get new clothes entirely for free that you may not have tried if you didn’t have access to them like this. It’s a great way to benefit everyone in your friend group all at once!
10. Buy Inexpensive Basics
It’s always a great idea to buy more expensive clothing items so that they last longer, but you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on things like undershirts, pjs and related items.
You can get inexpensive basics at places like Forever 21 that will last a decent amount of time and won’t be seen outwardly by other people so you can choose to skimp on these items.
11. Don’t Buy Just Because It’s on Sale
A lot of the time we can fall into a trap of buying things at the mall just because they’re on sale. It can be something that we don’t actually want or need but it looks a lot more attractive with that 50% off sticker.
Take the time to think about outfits you could pair this item with before buying so it doesn’t just end up in the depths of your closet to never be seen again.
12. Avoid Dry Clean Only
When you purchase an item that is dry clean only you should take a few seconds to factor that in to the price of the item. Dry cleaning can get really expensive and make it hard for you to upkeep the clothing item for years to come.
If you don’t want to go to the dry cleaners every few weeks for this item, don’t buy it, and think about how much money you’ll spend on dry cleaning before buying something.
13. Take Care of Your Clothes
The simplest way to spend less money on clothes is just to make sure that your clothes last as long as they possibly can. You should keep your clothing off the floor and make sure your closets and dressers are free of pieces of wood or other items that may snag the clothing.
You should also learn how to wash the clothing properly and not just throw all fabrics and colors into one load at once.
14. Learn How to Sew
No matter how well you take care of your clothes, sometimes things are going to rip or a seam is going to start to fray. This isn’t a sign that you should give up on your clothing and donate or throw it away.
If you learn some basic sewing techniques you can repair your clothing instead of replacing it which will save you tons of money over a few years. Sewing isn’t super complicated and you can learn most of the techniques on youtube.
15. Avoid Fast Fashion
Fashion trends change every single year and it can be really easy to fall into fast fashion and buy inexpensive items that are in style now but won’t be for long. Fast fashion is a bad industry for the environment and tons of these clothes end up in land fills after only a single season.
You should focus on purchasing higher quality pieces that are more classic and will be able to be worn often and for at least a few years.
16. Buy Classic Style Swim Suits
Swim suits are an item that change style every single year and it can be tempting to spend tons of money on them so you can have the latest ones. However, you shouldn’t throw money away on new swimwear every year.
You’ll save a ton of money in the long run if you buy one high quality swim suit in a more classic, long term style so that you can wear it for 5-10 years since it’s not an item you wear every single day.
17. Buy Clothes That Fit TODAY
When we aren’t happy with how our bodies look we can often get stuck in a trap of buying clothes that are a size or two smaller so we can wear them when we lose 5 pounds.
Doing this will give you a negative mindset towards your clothes and toward your body, which will make you buy more clothes you don’t need to try and perk yourself up and you’ll still have nothing to wear.
18. Subscribe to Store Emails
Stores really want to get you on their email list so they can send you all sorts of emails with offers and new clothing collections that they release.
As an incentive to doing this a lot of stores will offer a coupon code when you initially sign up for their emails which can allow you to save 10-20% on your first purchase.
You can sign up, get the discount for your online order, and immediately unsubscribe so you don’t have to deal with the annoyance of daily emails.
19. Buy Accessories at Nice Kid’s Stores
The accessories that you’re going to buy at nice adult clothing stores are going to be extremely expensive and sometimes not even be the best quality.
You can find really cute things like scrunchies, headbands, bracelets, and more at nicer quality children’s stores that will be half the price but look just as good on you!
20. Try One Item In, One Item Out
A really awesome rule for purchasing clothing that you can try is the one item in, one item out rule. This is where if you buy a new shirt, you have to donate something from your wardrobe.
This makes you really think about what you already own when you’re out shopping because you’ll need to give up something for the item you just bought. Doing this extra step of donating something makes you really think about how much you love the thing you’re about to buy, making it so you only get things that you love.
21. Use the 30 Day Rule
If you’re looking to buy an article of clothing that is more than $20 you should try out the 30 day rule. This is where you wait a few weeks before actually pulling the trigger.
Most of the time you’re going to completely forget about the item of clothing by the end of the 30 days which will completely stop you from spending that money on something that you aren’t totally obsessed with.
22. Don’t Settle If You Don’t Love It
A lot of the time if we’re shopping for a specific item (perhaps a denim jacket) and we find one that is just okay, but isn’t perfect, we’ll buy it just because that is what we were looking for.
If you really want to save money on clothes in the long run, you should avoid settling for clothes that you don’t love just because you feel like you need something. Stay on the hunt and keep looking for something that you’ll absolutely love and wear all of the time.
23. Avoid Outlet Malls
In theory, an outlet mall sounds like a really awesome place to save money on clothing. However, most of the stuff you’re going to buy at an outlet mall will be last seasons designs and a lot of the time some of the items will be of lesser quality than the non-outlet stores.
Most clothing that you buy at an outlet mall is going to be something you won’t wear for long and will probably fall apart, so don’t buy at these malls unless it’s something you actually love.
24. Upcycle Thrift Finds
If you find something for cheap at a thrift store that is close to what you want but not quite perfect you can definitely upcycle it and make it something even better for you.
You can check out this awesome video from Carrie Dayton on youtube where she upcycles really inexpensive thrift store finds!
25. Be Nice to Sales People
It’s just a common fact of life that when you’re nice to sales people they are going to give you better service and tell you about deals that aren’t obvious in signage around the store.
If you start a friendly conversation with someone who works at your favorite store they may even let you know when sales are coming up, especially if you’re buying something a few days before it will be 50% off.
26. Try Everything On
The people I know that complain most about how expensive buying clothes can be are also the same people who never try clothing on before buying.
If you actually go into the store and try your clothing on before purchasing, you’ll be able to see if it fits you properly to make sure it’s something that you’ll actually wear.
If you don’t like shopping in stores, you can also buy clothing online, try it on at home and return all of the things that don’t fit you perfectly. Don’t settle!
27. Shop With Cash
This one is one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you have a specific budget to get an item of clothing, you should go to the store with cash.
Doing this is going to stop you from buying a more expensive item just because it’s cute, even if it is way out of your budget. Shopping with cash works great for groceries too!
28. Wash in Cold Water
When you wash your clothes in warm or hot water you’re going to see the colors bleed more quickly and the quality of the clothes will decrease way faster than if you wash in cold.
All washing machines have an option to switch from hot water to cold water and you just need to get cold water compatible laundry detergent (try this one on amazon) to get your clothes extra clean.
29. Try a Capsule Wardrobe
Trying out a capsule wardrobe is a really awesome way to spend less money on clothes because you only have a limited number of items in your closet. All the items are neutral and can be worn with different items that will also match with everything!
This makes you keep only things that can be worn often and mix and matched with other items making it less expensive to have a great outfit.
30. Invest in Quality Shoes
Out of everything in your wardrobe, shoes are the thing that you should invest in the most. They are going to get beat up the most since you’ll be walking on them (duh) and they need to support your feet in a nice way.
We don’t want foot pain because of cheap shoes or sandals that aren’t designed with your foot’s arch in mind. You can cause serious pain in the future with cheap shoes.
And of course, investing in quality shoes will save you money because they will last longer so you don’t have to buy and throw away as many pairs of shoes in your lifetime. When buying a quality, expensive shoe, try and get something in a brown or black so they can be worn often with tons of outfits.
31. Skip Expensive Workout Gear
Workout clothes are a necessity for a lot of people, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg on workout clothes. Name brand clothes that you only wear for an hour or two seem pretty pointless to me.
My favorite inexpensive place to buy workout clothes is Old Navy, they last forever and are comparable to more expensive places like Fabletics.
32. Avoid Window Shopping
If we go to the mall with friends or family members as a way to socialize, you’re going to end up spending way more money on things you’d never buy otherwise.
If you really want to save money on clothes, you need to not buy things unless you actually need them and actually love them, so avoiding window shopping is a great way to stop those impulse buys before they happen.
33. Use Fun Accessories With Basics
One of the simplest ways to save money on a really nice looking wardrobe is to stick to a lot of basic patterns and prints with neutral colors because these items are less expensive and can be worn more often.
However, for a lot of people this can be extremely boring. A great way to save money and make your basics look more interesting is to buy fun accessories that you can mix and match with different basics to make entirely different outfits.
34. Wait for Annual Sales
A lot of your favorite stores will have an annual or semi-annual blow out sale where they heavily discount all of their items to make way for the new season’s clothes. This is a great time to get some more expensive pieces for next year (i.e., buying nice sweaters in the spring to wear next fall).
These sales are usually around the same time each year, so you can plan your purchases around these times. However, make sure you aren’t buying things you wouldn’t buy normally just because they’re on sale!
35. Take Receipt Surveys
Companies really want to know how you feel about their service and their products, so they are always willing to entice people to do their surveys. Tons of companies will put a link to their survey at the bottom of their receipts with an incentive like a chance to win a $500 gift card.
These surveys take less than 5 minutes (most of the time) and you can get a ton of money to spend on clothes you love for doing this short survey at the bottom of your receipt. That’s a pretty sweet way to not have to spend your own money.
Buying clothing shouldn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and shouldn’t be one of the most expensive things you purchase every year. Use these 35 tips to start saving money on clothing so you never have to throw money away again!