Plan Your Shopping . . . Shop Your Plan
Twelve shopping rules that can help you save money on clothing:
- Inspect clothing carefully before you buy.
- Check what is in your closet and work with what you have.
- Accessorize the clothes you have to spruce up you wardrobe without spending a lot of money.
- Buy clothing at the end of a season.
- Look for clothing made of all-season, medium-weight fabric.
- Stick with classic designs – something that will not go out of style in a year.
- Check the care label. Buy machine - washable clothing.
- Buy dark-colored coats, jackets and outerwear, which will not need cleaning as often as lighter garments.
- When possible, buy quality, not quantity. But, remember you will be wearing the garment, not the price tag.
- Shop around and compare prices.
- Plan your shopping and shop your plan!
- Good places to shop for bargains:
Common Shopping Mistakes
- Buying an item just because it is on sale.
- Buying at the last minute.
- Buying an item that doesn’t work with your wardrobe.
- Paying too much for an item you won’t wear very often.
- Do I really want this item?
- Will it fit with the rest of the clothing in my wardrobe?
- Can I use accessories to update what I have?
- Can I rebuild my wardrobe using separates?
- Does the garment have the features I want?
- Are there hidden costs of buying this item?
- Can I buy it somewhere else cheaper?
- Is it fashion or fad?
By Ellen Burton, Extension Educator. University of Illinois Extension: "Be the Best You Can Be"
Tips for Buying Secondhand Clothing
There are many places to get clothing for a lot less than buying them new. Your local directory can serve as a guide. Places to get clothes for less:
- Second-hand or thrift shops
- Garage sales or rummage sales
- Churches or social service agencies.
When shopping second-hand, these guidelines can be helpful:
- Look for quality fabrics that are not worn. Does the garment have fuzzy balls or is the color faded?
- Does the clothing need repair? Look for rips, holes, and worn spots. If garments need repair, can you do it? If having it done professionally, will the cost of repair make it worthwhile to fix. For example, replacing a zipper could cost pennies, to have someone else do it could be quite expensive.
- Is the clothing clean? Look for spots and stains. Will the stains come out – be cautious here, the stains are most likely permanent.
- Is the item in fashion? Is the style and color suitable for wearing? Avoid wearing very dated clothing to a job interview.
- Does the item fit? Try it on if possible. Many items do not have tagged sizing. Know your measurements and take a tape measure with you and measure clothing where it needs to fit your body.