How to Shop for Clothes on a Budget

How to Shop for Clothes on a Budget. When you're strapped for cash but still want to look fashionable at school, work or social events, discover ways to stick to your budget and still have a variety of looks to choose from. Use these tips to shop effectively, save money and maximize the pieces you've got.

Buy pieces that coordinate with clothes you already own. For example, if you find one new shirt that you can wear with a pair of jeans, as a "jacket" over a tank top or with a dress skirt or pair of slacks, you've just created four new outfits with a single purchase.

Go shopping at factory outlets or discount stores to find designer clothes and accessories at lower prices. They'll either stock "irregulars" (that have manufacturing flaws invisible to the untrained eye) or pieces that just went out of season.

Determine how much you'll spend on an item based on how long you can wear it. Spend more on pieces like coats or jeans that will last for several years without going out of style. Look for deep discounts or head to discount stores for trendy clothing and accessories that will only last one season.

Look for timeless, vintage clothes at consignment or second-hand stores. If you find a piece you love that's a size too big or too small, you may still save money by buying it and having it altered.

Make a list of items you need before you head to the mall so you won't be tempted to buy something just because it's on sale. When you see something you like, decide if you can mix and match it with at least three other pieces in your wardrobe. Even a dirt-cheap item won't benefit your budget if you don't wear it.


  • If you have your eye on a large purchase like a designer handbag or expensive jacket, save for it by cutting your budget back in other areas. Forego your morning mocha, lunch with friends or the dessert items on your grocery list to squirrel away a handful of cash each week.

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