Upgrading your wardrobe doesn’t always mean spending a fortune. Likewise, new clothes don’t really have to cost a big part of your paycheck. With just the right combination of wisdom, patience, and decisiveness, shopping smart can help you land quality fashion finds without spending much. Check out these tips and make sure to remember them the next time you shop.
- Go for the basics first
Trends have lifetimes. A piece that seems good to look at and wear now might not be good to look at and wear as early as next week. Think elephant pants, oversized checkered polos, and platform shoes—these were “in” for months, but never managed to get the hype back. This is the reason why it is safer to go with the basics, especially when in doubt. The basics are the pieces that would never go out of style. These include plain black or white tops, colored polo shirts, chino shorts, and of course, classic denims. It saves you a lot of money; the same money that you would have used to buy quirky pieces that can turn out to be seldom used.
- Buy with the end in mind
Having an occasion or purpose in mind definitely helps avoid spending your entire paycheck when shopping for clothes. It also saves your time and energy, as it shortens the “looking around” and the “decision” time at the mall. Remember that lesser time spent looking for the right piece is lesser chance to spend money on the wrong one. Be it for a photo shoot, a themed family reunion, or a wedding, clothes bought for a purpose are clothes almost worn.
- Wait for the big sale
It always pays off to ask for discounts or to wait for clothes to go on sale. Nothing feels worse than buying an item now and knowing that it went on sale the week after. Sale at malls is a perfect time for you to look around the mall and take advantage of buy-one-take-one’s and the crazy discounts.
Sales are favorable, but it requires a lot of wisdom and decisiveness. Keep in mind that a piece of clothing on sale is a devil tempting you to spend your money. Just because the price of a pretty t-shirt is cut in half doesn’t mean that you need to buy it. When rummaging for clothes during sale season, resist the temptation to buy pieces that you don’t need and won’t wear.
- Wait for the right time
There’s a time for anything and everything. If you don’t need new polo shirts in the next few weeks, why buy now? While spending regularly on clothes isn’t exactly a bad thing, spending regularly on clothes you don’t need is. Who knows, that comfy pullover might go on sale 2 weeks from now. Remember though that prices of season-specific clothes may shot up during their respective seasons. However, stores might also get them on sale during the same time to attract more customers and earn bigger profits, so be wise enough to know how to spend your money.
- It’s not always the brand
In reality, a lot of people who’d see you wear whatever you bought can’t and won’t ask about the brand you’re wearing. Oftentimes, it’s style-over-brand and the brand is only good for social media sharing. A nice pair of generic sneakers can look good with your pants as a 3-striped or swooshed pair would. This also means that thrift shops are friends. Your P1500 can be worth a single polo at a fashion boutique or 3 tops, 2 jeans, and even a bag at a thrift shop. Spend extra time and patience looking around and you might just land an awesome ensemble at a bargain price.
- Go local
You can also check out garage sales in your neighborhood. Some private village associations also organize village-wide rummage sales that are open to visitors. There you can score different kinds of clothing, including branded skirts, tops, pants, accessories, and even shoes. Never mind the “pre-loved” and “slightly used” labels, fashion is fashion.
- Find your fit
Of course it is important to buy something that fits you now. Buying shorts with waistlines that are a few inches bigger than yours can lead to it being unusable only within a year. Not only is it a waste of money, but also a risk when worn. Remember that a pair of running shoes that doesn’t fit properly can cause accidents when used.
- Try shopping online
The internet provides a lot of opportunities for customers to look for and find pieces of clothing. And since vouchers and coupons are the thing nowadays, there are a lot of e-commerce websites that offer branded and generic garments at lower prices. A lot of brands also sell their items online at prices cheaper than those at department stores. Some even use discount codes that you can input upon checkout to cut your bill. Customers are advised though to be wary of counterfeit products and scams. It’s easier to promise authenticity and claim great discounts online, so it’s even easier to fool people. Be wary also of suspicious payment processes and unprofessional courier services. As a customer, you have an active role in reporting such cases and in promoting trusted websites.
- Work on a budget
Lastly, shop with only the cash you are willing to spend. Spending too much on clothes can easily be avoided by allocating the money beforehand. Unlike when using credit cards, having only the cash you want to spend makes you think twice about spending it. This allows you to look for more options, think about your choices, and spend your money wisely.
So, the next time you shop, promise yourself to work with a certain budget, on a certain time, and with certain pieces of clothing in mind. It requires a lot of discipline to do so, but you’ll be amazed at how you are able to save more by shopping smart.