It’s tempting to buy all of your clothes new, at full-price from your favorite stores, but there is a better way to do it. If you want to get a new back-to-school wardrobe on a budget, here are a few tips for places to visit to get the most for your money.
Good Will and Salvation Army are the original cheap clothing stores and have always been reliable standbys when you need to get some new clothes for less money. However, there are other options out there. As those racks tend to be combed clean of any recognizable name brands, try searching in your area for other vintage stores. Popular chains around the country that offer this include Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange.
Trade Your Clothes
If you’re looking to donate clothes and get some extra cash, both of these cheap clothing stores also pay you for your clothes. If you bring your clothes in they will be examined for wear and tear and you will be offered a percentage of the cash the store plans to sell the items for. Some places offer you slightly more in store credit, so you can trade in your clothes and be motivated to spend the money at their store instead of taking the cash.
Outlet stores are the designer end of cheap clothing stores. If you have your heart set on certain name brands (or you can’t bring yourself to wear second-hand clothing), outlet stores are a cheap alternative to going to the mall. This is because the clothing sold there is either out of season, or it was created with cheaper fabrics or less detail.
A lot of money can be saved by shopping off of the clearance rack. Oftentimes there is nothing wrong with anything on the rack, it is just the last one in its size, or it was returned after a few days. Nordstrom is one of the few department stores that has its own clearance store, called Nordstrom Rack.
Everyone’s wardrobes are constantly in flux. Find friends of yours who are the same size and compare clothes that you want to get rid of. You may find something you love in your friend’s closet that he or she was about to donate.
Cheap Clothing Websites
Shopping online can be risky, as you’re not entirely sure what will fit and what won’t. However, if you take your measurements and compare with what is online, you’re much more likely to get something that fits. There are deals to be found every day – and if something you buy doesn’t fit and you can’t return it, you can always try selling it at a local exchange store.
Back to school shopping can be daunting, and in the end it is probably going to be expensive – but not as expensive as it has to be. You can get more for your money by trying the tips above rather than going straight to the mall and buying clothes off the rack. Keep track of how much money you’ve spent and how many items of clothing you got and compare it to your friends’ lists. You’ll be surprised how much you saved.