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Money saving

Five tips to save money on clothes

Posted 13 August 2016

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With a little thought you can really save a bundle on your clothes shopping. Here are our top five tips.

Every now and then, we all find ourselves needing to buy something new to wear. Maybe you’ve got a wedding coming up soon. Or maybe you need a new skirt for your work ensemble. 

People often forget to factor in the cost of clothes when they think about their monthly spend, which means that when you do need to get something new, it can push you over budget. But never fear, there are ways you can seriously cut down on this essential cost – here are our top tips. 

1. Get clothes altered and repaired

It’s so frustrating when something you love doesn’t fit quite right or has a tear. Well, instead of throwing it away and having to buy a new version that you might not like as much, why not get it altered or fixed? A good way to save money is to make sure that you make good use out of anything you’ve already got, and clothes and shoes are no exception.

There are lots of clothes shops that offer alterations and repairs, as well as independent seamstresses and tailors. This idea works even better if you have an expensive item you don’t want to get rid of. You’ll probably find getting it altered or fixed is far cheaper than replacing it altogether. 

2. Look out for major sales

Sounds like obvious advice, but it’s all too easy to forget the huge savings you can make if you plan your clothes shopping to coincide with the big sales. 

F&F, Tesco’s clothing brand, is offering 50% off womenswear, menswear and kids clothes at the moment. And if you click here, you can find the nearest Next clearance store to you. 

You’ll also find that you save money when you shop ‘out of season,’ or in other words don’t buy anything just after it appears in the shops. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy your winter things in summer and vice versa – the shops are normally ahead of the actual seasons anyway. 

One tip that will stand you in good stead when it comes to sale shopping is to make a list of what you really need and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get carried away when the prices around you are slashed, but if you end up buying something you didn’t need in the first place you haven’t made a saving at all. 

3. Shop online more

It can sometimes be easier to find a great bargain shopping online rather than hitting the shops. It’s certainly a lot easier to compare prices and see what different stores have to offer. 

If you’re looking for something in particular, make sure you check out eBay – if you’re lucky you can sometimes pick up designer items at a fraction of the original price. 

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4. Go swishing

Have you heard of swishing? It’s basically a community of clothes swappers and it’s a sure-fire way to save money if you’re after something new but you’re watching the pennies. Someone out there might have something you’ll absolutely love – and it won’t cost you a thing!

Swishing is a great way to save money on clothes as well as turn shopping into a social event. Not to mention it’s far more eco-friendly than just throwing unwanted items in the bin. 

So why not have a dig around in the back of your wardrobe and see whether there’s something in good condition and bring it along to one of these events? You can find out where your nearest swish is here

5. Try a capsule wardrobe

One way to save money on clothes is to commit to buying fewer items and making the most of what you’ve already got. Now, if you’re a fashionista, this might sound a bit boring – but stay with us – a minimalist/capsule wardrobe is all the rage and for good reason. 

This approach is all about creating a wardrobe with a few core pieces of clothing and shoes that you then mix and match and accessorise around. To create a really successful capsule wardrobe, you should pick pieces that are good quality and very versatile. It’s also a good idea to stick to a certain colour palette to make mixing and matching easier. 

Once you’ve created your wardrobe, you should find that you don’t need to shop as often as you already love your core pieces, and they provide lots of variation as they all go together. 

When it’s done right, a capsule wardrobe can really take the stress out of choosing what to wear and you should definitely find you make a saving. Need more inspiration? Have a look at Project 333 – it’s very helpful if you think minimalist fashion might be for you. 

The next time you need something new for your wardrobe, be sure to keep our top tips in mind. Keep an eye on our money saving section to find out how to cut the cost on all areas of life. 

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.