Whether you’re a fashionista who likes to have the latest trends or a mom who is just trying to keep her family clothed without breaking the bank, there are loads of ways to save money on clothes for both adults and children. Here are some tips to follow if you want to dress well for less.
27 Ways to Save Money on Clothes
Shop thrift stores
Yes, it seems obvious but shopping at thrift stores is one of the best ways to save money on clothes. They usually have loads of clothing, shoes, and accessories for very low prices. Stores in or near more affluent neighborhoods often have the best quality clothing but you’ll still pay pennies on the dollar for what you would spend on new items.
Combine sales and coupons
Don’t be afraid to look for all of the ways to save that you possibly can, and this includes combining sales with coupons. One of the absolute best places to do this is at Kohl’s. They almost always have huge sales AND awesome coupons available. Plus, you can almost always collect and/or spend Kohl’s Cash, too!
Host a clothing swap
Ask your friends to bring their unwanted clothing to a clothing swap! Everyone leaves with what they can use and then you can donate whatever is unclaimed at the end of the night! This is a win-win for everyone!
Learn to sew
If you can hem, stitch, and sew on a button, you can repair your own clothes instead of needing to buy a new garment or paying someone else to fix it.
Invest where it counts
When it comes to staple pieces that last for years, invest in quality items that you really love. This doesn’t mean you have to pay full price, but it might mean taking more time to hunt down a bargain. Buying what you really love for outerwear and shoes, however, prevents future impulse buys.
Shop local Facebook groups
If there are buy/sell groups on Facebook for your area, you may find other people selling their unused clothing. Since moving out to the ‘burbs I have become obsessed with Facebook selling groups. I stalk the ones in my area for things like house goods and toys for my children.
As much fun as baby clothes are to buy, I actually purchased very little for my son. We were lucky enough to have a couple of friends who were willing to give us their hand-me-downs and I gladly accepted them! I was happy to reuse the clothing and I saved some big bucks! If you accept hand-me-downs, be sure to return the favor when your kids outgrow the items! My 12-week-old daughter is already wearing six-month clothing, so I actually just posted a free ad in one of our local Facebook groups. Since much of her clothing has also been hand-me-downs, giving it away on Facebook was an easy way to pay it forward.
Shop with your phone
There are SO MANY APPS that you can use to save money on clothes! Just about every store has an app – and many release special coupons only on their apps like Target’s Cartwheel App – but you can also download apps like the Retailmenot App, which could save you big bucks at stores and restaurants.
Establish a family closet
Keeping your family’s clothing together and organizing it by size makes it easier to share clothing among children as they grow and see what you have all in one place to make shopping easier. It’s not for every family, but may work for you!
Build upon basics
Keeping basics like solid colored tops and jeans stocked makes your wardrobe more versatile. Also, the great thing about basics is that you can usually pick them up fairly inexpensively. My favorite stores for basics are Target and Old Navy. I live in the rib knit tanks from Old Navy all summer long. I probably have a collection of at least 20 that I’ve built up over the years. I usually stock up when I find them on sale for $5 or less.
Make your clothing last longer by washing it gently and using a drying rack to air dry delicate items. The longer your clothing lasts, the less you have to spend money to replace items!
Sell and buy at online consignment stores
Thrift stores will usually accept any and all donations, so shopping at a thrift store is similar to going on a treasure hunt. You never know what you will find! Consignment stores, however, are pickier. They have buyers on staff who will only accept certain items, so you know that when you buy something it is actually quality. Two online consignment stores that are worth checking out are ThredUP for clothing and accessories for the entire family, and The RealReal for designer items.
Outerwear always goes on sale in the spring. The best time to buy boots is in March. The best time to buy a swimsuit is in September. You can save a lot of money by buying what you need at the tail end of a season or, conversely, a few seasons ahead of time.
Store your clothing correctly
If you want to keep your clothes looking like new, be sure to do things like hang your dress shirts, roll your t-shirts, and fold your sweaters and put the on a shelf. Get rid of those terrible metal hangers and invest in velvet hangers that will not only make sure that your items don’t slip off the hanger and onto the floor, but will also help your items retain their shape. Storing things appropriately helps them keep their shape and last longer, so you spend less on new clothes.
Shop garage sales
Garage sales are an excellent place to get great quality clothing for incredibly low prices! Don’t be afraid to haggle – chances are the owner is motivated to get rid of as much as possible.
Wait for back-to-school sales
Do you remember the joy you had of shopping for your new school wardrobe each summer? Back-to-school shopping day was easily one of my favorite days of the year, but little did I realize back then that my parents were buying me a new wardrobe for practically nothing. While back-to-school sales in August are a great time to get clothing for kids, clothing for the entire family is typically on sale so you can get a few items for the fall and winter for everyone on your list.
Keep your style simple
Keeping your style simple and timeless means less money spent keeping up with the latest trends. To update a look, invest in fun shoes and accessories.
Rent one-time wear
If you need a specific outfit for one occasion, consider renting instead of buying! Two of the best online clothing rental sites are Rent the Runway for formal clothing and Le Tote for more casual apparel. Gwynnie Bee is also an awesome plus size clothing rental site.
Make a shopping list
Just like making a shopping list helps you save money at the grocery store, it can do the same as you shop for clothing. Plan ahead and hit the racks with your mind focused on what you came to get. Don’t make impulse purchases!
Buy only what fits well
If it doesn’t fit well, it won’t make you feel good, even if it’s the perfect color. If it doesn’t fit, leave it behind.
Shop second-hand clothing sites
Many people sell their quality unwanted clothing on eBay, so it’s a great place to look for bargains, but it’s far from the only player in the game these days. Other popular online resell sites include Poshmark and Tradesy. All of these sites are great options if you’re looking for ways to save money on clothes!
Find designer brands for less at flash sale sites
While flash sale sites, or online sample sale sites, are not as popular as they once were, there are a few that are still chugging along! For kids clothing, you have to add Zulily to your list of sites to peruse. If you’re shopping for yourself, check out Gilt, Rue La La, and HauteLook.
Invest in a good tailor
If you want to spend less money on clothing, then you need to ensure that the items you currently own fit you properly. A good tailor can do everything from taking in dresses and blazers to hemming your pants.
Shop Off-Price Stores
I love that you can now shop many off-price stores right from your couch! Stores like T.J. Maxx have always been some of my favorites, but the fact that I can now find the same great deals without ever leaving my house? Color me smitten! Some of my favorite off-price stores with websites are T.J. Maxx (of course), Nordstrom Rack, and, believe it or not, Saks off Fifth, where I always find great deals.
Register for email lists
If you’re shopping and you need a quick discount, one of the best ways to save money on clothes is to register for a store’s email list. You’ll almost always get a coupon in exchange for registering. I almost always do this when shopping online.
Use cash back shopping sites
If you’re shopping online and you want to save, then you MUST use a cash back shopping site. Sites like Ebates and Mr. Rebates will give you money back when you shop online. Finding a cash back site that you love and using it whenever you shop online is a no-brainer!
Shop over a three-day holiday weekend
If you need to do some shopping, I’d advise you to wait if there’s a three-day holiday weekend on the horizon. You can almost always save big bucks by shopping on Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends, and, of course, there’s also the days following Thanksgiving, including Black Friday!
While you may not follow all of these tips for ways to save money on clothes, even incorporating a few of them into your shopping plan will add up to money saved.