How to Clothes Shop on a Budget

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Clothes are the one thing that I both love and dread having to shop for. I love shopping for them simply because it means that I get to wear something new and different. On the other hand I dread it because clothes can be so expensive! Shirts can cost upwards of $30 these days, and for me that’s a lot of money! If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, it’s shopping on a budget. Considering I just went to this mall this past weekend and managed to get a bunch of things for less than $150, I’d be more than happy to share my tips with you.

The first thing you need to do is actually create a budget for yourself and keep it in your mind. Another great thing that I did is write out exactly what you need for your wardrobe. If you’re not quite sure, try to write out the things that you might want. Just writing it down creates categories in your mind and forces you to look at specific things in the store, rather than browse aimlessly and pick up items you don’t need. The biggest thing here is to stick to the budget you’ve give yourself, no matter how hard that might seem.

Now, once you get to the mall, bypass all the stuff you see in the front of the store. Many stores put their most expensive items in front so that you see them and instantly want to come inside (I work retail so I know this pretty well). Everything that’s full price or more expensive will always be folded neatly and put away cleanly, so that your eye catches it and is pleased. The clearance rack is always a bit of a mess because it doesn’t need to be taken care of as well, and typically, it doesn’t want to be seen. That’s where you need to go though! The clearance rack sometimes has the same items that are hanging in the store, the difference is that someone returned it or ordered it online. Also, they tend to have fashion from the past season (typically the one that we are still in) and they are dirt cheap. I went ot Maurices and got 2 beautiful tank tops for $12 (full price there were about $50!)

Secondly, shop during the times that sales happen. H&M loves to have sales around holidays and special occasions. Many of their shirts and dresses go for $15 or less during these times. Try to snatch up as much as possible during these times. It helps save you a ton of money in the long run. If you can’t shop during those peak sale times, make sure you sign up for the newsletter (make a separate email strictly for store emails, as there are a lot you get a week) and find the coupons for each store. You can always download the store app on your phone, as those typically have the same coupons.

Finally, make sure that what you are getting is both affordable and well made for the price. Sure, a dress at Forever 21 might only be $5, but if the seams are starting to come apart, and the dress is completely see through or incredibly thin, it’s probably not well made. You want your clothes to be both inexpensive and well made. Your clothes should last much longer than a few months. When I shop I plan on wearing my clothes for at least a year. Try to get universal pieces that you can wear in more than 1 season.

Clothes shopping can be tons of fun, but you’re always prone to overspending. Make sure that you create a budget and figure out what you really need, versus what looks nice in the store. Go straight to the clearance racks first, if you don’t find anything then you can browse around the other sections, but be mindful of the price tags. Try to be a coupon clipper, or at least shop during sale periods in the stores. Always, always, always make sure that you clothes will last you a long time while still being affordable. Hopefully this helps you out as much as it has for me the past few months. Happy shopping girls!!

TXTgirl :: Orange County
Photo Source | Shutterstock

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