Whether you consider yourself a bonafide shopaholic, or simply want to save money wherever you can, clothing is often a primary culprit. The clothes-buying bug does not bite everyone, but those are susceptible will often find no better shopping high than adding to their wardrobe.
Given the prominence of clothes shopping among the habit profiles of those that tend to spend to excess, we felt it deserved its own feature on 10 Tips. Below, you’ll find our top 10 ways to cut back your spending on clothes, including advice on avoiding the compulsion in the first place and ensuring that you get fantastic value for money when you do decide to splurge.
1. Find an Alternative if Clothes Shopping gives You a High
We may as well get those that suffer the most out of the way first. If you think you really are a clothing shopaholic to the point that you’re bordering on addiction, we’d simply suggest finding something else to fill that space. Like any addictive habit, it can be difficult but is possible, and it is possible to achieve the same high from something more productive – it is much more beneficial to be addicted to exercise and fitness than trudging around shops!
2. Don’t be Driven by Self-Esteem
People generally want to look good, and no matter what you eat and how you exercise, your clothes are an important part of that. We fully admit that there is a great buzz to be had from a new item of clothing but, following on from the first tip, it is important to maintain perspective before splashing out. Remember that any buzz will only last for the first time you wear something, so try to adopt an approach where you consider the cost of a new item based on if you were only to wear it once.
3. Plan Out a Wardrobe for You and your Family
Rarely does a 10 Tips feature that involves saving money go by where we do not mention planning at some point. Budgeting and planning can underpin any effort to save money, just as they are crucial in any efforts to make money, and there is nothing to say that you cannot apply the strategy to your wardrobe. If you have something in mind, you’ll get into the habit of only buying something new when something old needs replacing. Similarly, you’ll avoid impulse buys where you pay first and try to form an outfit later, and this can only be good for your purse or wallet.
4. Take Care of the Clothes You Already Have
If you can get into the habit of only purchasing new clothes when older items need replacing, you can save even more by going all out to make them last longer. Something as simple as wearing something that does not get dirty or smelly easily twice without washing it will make it last longer. Try to avoid wear and tear in general, and the saving will add up.
5. Become a Dab Hand in Clothing Repairs
Things do happen to clothes, often unexpectedly, but if you are happy to wear them when they’ve been a little patched up, it makes sense to learn how to do it. Sewing kits are inexpensive and generally have everything you need for basic repairs, and you can patch up holes, replace buttons or carry out any other minor works to keep them fresh.
6. Keep Wardrobes Fresh with Accessories
We cannot speak for all tastes, but a new accessory that doesn’t break the bank is often cheaper than a new outfit. Indeed, the addition of a single new accessory to your wardrobe can often make an outfit feel brand new, or at least different enough to when you last wore it.
7. Avoid the Tumble Dryer Wherever Possible
We mentioned keeping wear and tear at a minimum to make clothes last longer, so it makes sense to avoid anything that can artificially make things worse. Tumble dryers are handy in a pinch, but if you have the option and weather to hang clothes out to dry, you should do so. Not only will they often smell fresher, but they’ll avoid being bashed around in any more spin cycles than necessary.
8. Time Your Purchases
If cutting back on clothes spending altogether sounds difficult, consider timing your spending to get the most possible value for money. Clothing retailers only have so much space to store clothes, and prestigious, luxury brands are often unlikely to accept returns. Any sale is preferable to dumping the old stock, and so prices get slashed at the end of the season. Have the money you’ve saved throughout the weeks and months with the tips above ready to get more bang for your buck.
9. Try Charity Shops – Even if You Only Buy New
Charity shops can be a goldmine of clothing deals, even if the idea of wearing what someone else has worn before does not exactly appeal. With a bit of practice, you can develop an eagle eye for items that still have the tag on, simply because someone else did not read these tips and bought something without ever getting around to wearing it. The people that set the prices are not blind to the fact that something is new, so you can expect to pay a little more than for used pieces, but that is still far less than what you’d pay brand new in a regular clothing store.
10. Look Further Afield
If you love a bargain, the chances are that much of your clothes shopping has moved from the high street to the online space. You might still shop with the same retailers, but if brands do not matter too much, it can be worth looking further afield. International retailers may well be cheaper than what you’re used to, and even with delivery charges and taxes, you can buy similar items for far less overall.