Successful Dressing for Less
The start of a new school year is the time when many purchase new clothes for their children. Whether you’re buying clothes for yourself or for your children, how can you get the best quality without costing a small fortune? Here are some ideas to get you started.
1. If you have younger children shopping at yard sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops is a great way to get clothes at discount prices. You may even be able to find great deals online.
2. Sign up for stores’ mailing lists to receive advance notice of sales. Stores often email coupons or special discounts to their email list. By combining these coupons with sales, you can often get excellent deals on clothing. Stein Mart will send out emails with “take an additional 40% red-dot clearance” coupons, and Hamrick’s sends out discount coupons that you can use on their clearance items. Some stores send coupons on your birthday or on the anniversary of when you signed up for their shopper’s card.
3. Stores tend to clear out winter apparel in February and summer items in August. Sometimes they may have additional holiday sales or even special one-day or weekend sales.
4. Consider hosting a clothing swap. You can do this in your home, church, or perhaps school cafeteria. Our church has a clothing swap twice a year—in the fall and spring. People bring clothing to the Christian school cafeteria on a Friday night. To make it easier on those setting up the tables and clothing, we ask those bringing clothes to bag items according to gender and size, either marking the bag with a marker or putting paper inside with the size. The clothing is then placed on tables according to gender and size. On Saturday anyone can shop for free. Leftover clothes are bagged and donated to a mission. It’s a great way to get rid of clothing while finding new treasures.
5. Here are some additional wardrobe tips and ideas.
a. When choosing your wardrobe, it’s often better to pay a little more for better quality that can last you longer than cheaper clothes you will buy more often. Check the material. Will it wrinkle easily or lose shape? Observe the stitching. Is any loose or missing? Do you see puckering anywhere? It’s worth taking a little extra time to ensure the quality of the garment you’re purchasing. If you do notice a minor defect that you can mend yourself or that won’t bother you, then ask if the store will give a discount. They usually do.
b. Check labels before purchasing. Does the garment need to be dry-cleaned, hand-washed, or hung to dry? Dry cleaning will add extra cost to the item you’re purchasing. Sometimes you can safely hand wash an item or wash on a gentle cycle; but you don’t want to ruin an item that you’ve spent money on, nor do you want to purchase something that needs to be hand washed if you don’t like to or don’t have the time to hand wash.
c. Avoid trendy styles that only last a season. Instead choose classic colors and basic patterns and styles that can be worn season-to-season and year-to-year. In addition, you will be able to combine pieces more easily.
d. Purchase separates over one-piece outfits. You can take a few simple pieces and combine them to expand your wardrobe.
e. Scarves, jewelry, belts, and even sweaters or jackets can change the look of an outfit. In addition, scarves can be worn so many different ways. You can find books and websites to show you how to use accessories. Experiment to see which you like best. Check out this video
on Youtube of 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf for some great ideas.
(Please report video link to editor
if no longer working.)
f. Take care of your clothes. The better you care for your clothes, the longer they will last. Always repair holes or loose buttons right away before the tear becomes worse or you lose a button. Even if you can put the item in the dryer, you might want to avoid doing so or using the lowest setting as the high heat can fade clothing and reduce the life of your garment.
By following these suggestions, not only can you stretch your clothing allowance further, but you will prolong the life of the clothing you have.
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© 2012 by Rachel Keller. All rights reserved.
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