My dream closet is a whole room: 1 giant wall filled with rows of shoes. I would have everything coordinated by colors and seasons. There would be a giant vintage mirror and a lovely chandelier. My budget would be…..
Ok, I have to stop there.
I’m a graduate student who is saving for tuition. I don’t even own that many clothes. But hey, a girl can dream. One day that closet will be mine. But until I get to that point, it’s probably best to actually save on clothing. Why does it have to be so expensive, right? I mean – should a pair of shoes really cost me 1 credit hour?
I’m all for looking at the Joneses nice clothes but keeping up with them should not be in the picture. And as a style blogger I’d be lying if I said I didn’t covet the latest Chanel bag or a pair of Loubs. I’m a lady, I like pretty things. But I know I have to be realistic with my budget and I really don’t need to be spending my hard earned money on expensive clothes.
So what’s a gal like me to do? Save on clothes of course! And today I’m sharing 8 Ways I save!
1. Don’t Buy Unless You Need To
Unless you’ve got absolutely no clothes to begin with or you are replacing. I’ve done this several times (especially while losing or gaining weight, becoming taller, etc). I replace shoes, pants, coats, and intimates. These seem to be the ones that “go first” so to say. Shoes get worn out, jeans size changes, coats get ripped. And it’s really important you’re wearing the right size for intimates – as your size may change! The other items stick around for a few years.
Check out a piece I wrote about Modern Consumerism in 2016 to get a feel for the way our generation shops.
2. Shop Thrift
A lot of people don’t feel comfortable with this tip because of the stigma associated with buying second hand, but I believe it’s important to include. The amounts you can save by just buying gently used clothes is off the roof. You can also find some amazing luxury brands at these stores too. Someone’s old Chanel bag for under $100? Sold.
3. Buy Out of Season
The best tip, hands down, is buying when it’s the opposite of the current season. I’ve stocked up on all my winter gear in the summer and all my summer things in the winter. Gotta love the last season sales. Find out when those sales are taking place ahead of time and get ready to save your money! And remember, think about replacing your items – not adding to the collection. Of course, if you wish to expand your wardrobe this is a perfect time to do so.
4. Avoid Dry Clean Only Items
Why? Because you’ll likely end up paying up to $50 just to get it cleaned professionally all the time. If you are going to buy dry clean items make sure you DIY some of this stuff. A steamer usually does the trick for apparel that can be quickly steamed and worn. But if you are hitting up those sales and finding dry clean only items, think twice about how awesome it feels to save your money by not having it taken to a cleaner.
5. Hit Up Sale Notifications & Save
I’ve you have a bit of money but want a bang for your buck then hit up those sale notification opt ins. Sign up for your favorite store newsletters (check out mine), emails, etc. You’ll save money by knowing ahead of time on special deals.
Are you signed up for Like to Know it and my newsletter? I’m always sharing the best weekly sales here on the blog. And I never share a sale I don’t believe won’t be beneficial to my readers. I’m budget friendly and you can snag a few fabulous finds right from my instagram account! You’ll get post details right in your inbox when you like the picture. I also send those sale notifications via email in my bi- monthly newsletter!
Let me do the research – you just enjoy those money saving details coming your way. Check out this page and sign up.
6. Take Care Of Your Clothes
Follow the instructions. When it says “cold wash only” it means cold wash only. You don’t want to damage your clothes and end up paying more money to get it fixed or replaced. When you take care of your clothes they’ll take care of you.
7. Avoid Trends
Trends are expensive because they’re trends. Those gorgeous clothes you’re seeing everywhere? Check their prices and take a step back as you contemplate why they are expensive.
Here is how trends steal your money:
- Trends are runway reflections – usually one or two fashion houses rocking the shows
- Which means smaller fashion brands go crazy for them
- Which means they’ll be creating and selling at premium prices and giving them away to celebs.
- So famous people start wearing them
- Which makes it trendy and next thing you know you’re eyeing a $$$ clothing item you wouldn’t normally wear.
- You take out your credit card and buy it because darn it, you just saw someone wearing that. Now it has to be yours
- You go home, try it on, wear it once, and then you don’t see it again because you’ve just passed 20 people wearing the same thing. Hey, copy cats! I don’t feel original anymore..
- And womp womp, new trend comes along. The cycle starts all over again.
Put down the magazines, get off the internet, and just remember your budget.
8. Special Occasion? Rent or Borrow
If you’re only going to be wearing something once why bother investing in it? You know I’m all about rewiring items (check out my capsule wardrobe article here). So if it’s a one time deal – maybe you put the expensive dress down and check out someone else’s closet. I’m always borrowing things from my mom. She has the best accessories and I let her borrow my items too. There’s another great resource called Rent The Runway, where you can literally rent a nice outfit for a night.
So I hope this post is inspiring you to be a bit more mindful with your budget. Look, I totally get it – I use what I have and save up for basic needs every week. My closet is updated frequently but I always try to spend less than $200 a month on clothing. Some months I don’t buy anything. Take advantage of sales, borrowing, and being informed on how to keep your clothes in tip top shape.
One day you’ll let me know your dream closet is real and that by saving first you were able to build it.
What was your favorite money saving tip? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to sign up for the Bijou Newsletter!