Bijou Budgeting: 8 Ways To Save on Clothing

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!

8 Ways To Save On Clothes | The Petite Bijou


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.


8 Ways To Save On Clothes | The Petite Bijou


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 researchyou 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:

  1. Trends are runway reflections – usually one or two fashion houses rocking the shows
  2. Which means smaller fashion brands go crazy for them
  3. Which means they’ll be creating and selling at premium prices and giving them away to celebs.
  4. So famous people start wearing them
  5. Which makes it trendy and next thing you know you’re eyeing a $$$ clothing item you wouldn’t normally wear.
  6. You take out your credit card and buy it because darn it, you just saw someone wearing that. Now it has to be yours
  7. 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..
  8. 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! 

xo Mariam


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Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who also runs The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Jo wrote:

    Thanks for these tips! I use rent the runway for special occasions as well. It’s saved so much money as opposed to buying a new item each time there’s an event.

    Posted 4.22.16 Reply
  2. Edita wrote:

    Amen to all of these! SO agree with your paragraph on trends!

    Posted 4.22.16 Reply
  3. Wow, this is so cool, love your ideas here!

    Posted 4.22.16 Reply
  4. Constance Stokes wrote:

    Thanks for your tips,and nice post

    Constance Stokes MissyDresshop

    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  5. Angelle Marix wrote:

    GREAT TIPS!!! My husband and I do the Dave Ramsey type of budget with cash. It makes me be a smarter shopper. So, I totally get these suggestions and actually implement a lot of them. Way to be disciplined my friend!!


    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hello Angela,

      I do the Dave Ramsey system too! He’s really opened my eyes on budgeting and being a “work smarter not harder” person. Thanks for stopping by and checking out the post!

      xo Mariam

      Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  6. Gail wrote:

    These are all great tips. I recently got into thrift shopping and it’s like my eyes have been opened. I try not to buy into trends too much especially if it’s not within my own style. But I do love to shop! I think we all could use a little extra cash sometimes – I will definitely take everything you’ve written here to heart. Great post! Xoxo

    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hey Gail!

      Thanks for stopping by. I love to shop too and I think I do more window shopping than anything else. However, I love saving up for more important things- like vacations, emergency funds, etc. So that’s where i think thrift shopping comes in and saves my pocket money!

      Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  7. Ruthie wrote:

    I have trouble paying full price for anything!! That is just how I was raised! I thrift and clearance shop almost always!! Great post love!!

    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hello Ruthie, Thank you so much for shopping by. That’s how I was raised too – and we always always always bought items out of season. Why not, right?

      Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  8. Great tips! Thanks for sharing with us

    Take Care Doll! Kisses,
    BLOG | Taislany

    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  9. Kylen wrote:

    Great tips! I really want to try Rent the Runway, but I have to get so many things altered. being petite and all.. 🙁 And I always, always buy my swimsuits off season!

    xoxo Kylen |

    Posted 4.21.16 Reply
  10. Filipa Jackson wrote:

    Great tips you have here, thanks for sharing

    Filipa xxx | Instagram

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  11. Laura wrote:

    I loved all your tips! I’ve found when I want something trendy I’ll buy it on a discount site and then I don’t feel so bad when I only wear it a few times!! ☺️

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  12. Anna wrote:

    Excellent post!!! I’m all about a good bargain and good style on the cheap.
    xo ~Anna

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  13. These tips are great- thanks for sharing, girl!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Boston Chic Party

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  14. I AM OBSESSED with this store called Crossroads in California I literally bring in all of my old clothes and they give me credit, I browse through the store and get new clothes! Last visit Kate Spade $45.00 a dress that was worn once, a Helmut Lang Dress $35.00 and still had a tag on it! I need to not do the trendy things, thanks for the tip! xo C

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Courtney, that sounds so awesome! What incredible steals! Glad you enjoyed this post!

      Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  15. Esther wrote:

    I need to use these tips for sure!

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  16. Love these tips! I personally always buy things out of season. It’s the best! Hugs, Kait

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Thanks Kait! It’s seriously the best time to buy. I just scored some winter apparel today! So happy with my super sale purchase!

      Posted 4.20.16 Reply
  17. Great budget tips!

    x Sandra

    Posted 4.20.16 Reply