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How to spend less money on clothes: 6 tips that helped me save $$$

If you want to know how to spend less money on clothes, then you are on the right track. You might have realized you have a spending problem. Or you noticed you have way too many clothes in your closet and remembered you just bought 2 pairs of jeans and 3 tops….in the last week.

Either way, learning how to save money, and especially how to spend it in a smart way, is always a great idea. Your bank account will love you for it, and so will your closet. 

I had similar problems a couple of years back. I realized I hoarded clothes, and that something had to change. So I first had to declutter my wardrobe. Then I wrote down the items I was missing and were in need of replacement. Then I set myself the rule that I couldn’t buy anything for three months, except for what was on that list. That changed everything.

I had to limit myself to specific items, so there was a specific number of clothes I could buy. That helped me focus on the important and work on my resistance to impulse buy. 

Guess what? I aced my little experiment. Ever since then, I manage my clothing budget much better and I know what I actually need and want.

That’s why I’m here to help you achieve the same things. I’ve compiled a list of 6 tips & tricks on how to spend less money on clothes, based on my experiences, but also other peoples’.

I really hope they will help you, too. So here is how to spend less money on clothes:  

1. Plan your purchases. 

This is the most important part of how to spend less money on clothes, but probably the hardest one to do for most people. 

You need to actually plan what to buy. What I mean by that is to assess your current wardrobe and see what is missing or what desperately needs a replacement. Go through your closet, maybe do a wardrobe declutter, and write down what you think you are missing or in need of.

Do you currently have only 1 summer dress? Maybe you need another one, so you can rotate them this summer. 

Is your leather jacket worn out? Plan to get another one.

Planning your fashion purchases will definitely save you money on the long run and it will make you spend less money on clothes. Why? Because there will be no impulse buying. You won’t buy that cute skirt you saw 5 minutes ago on Amazon, because you will check your plan and see that you don’t actually need a skirt. Or if you do need one, it’s not the pencil one on Amazon, it’s the denim one, so you can’t buy the initial one.

Be smart about your money and plan your purchases. More info on How to spend your money wisely here

2. Consider having a capsule wardrobe.

This is a fairly new concept, but it will definitely save you money….and closet space.

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of items designed to be worn together which harmonize in color and line (per Wikipedia page). Basically, you select 30-40 items per season and you only wear those items. The idea is to use what you already have and to find new ways of wearing your clothes. It’s an ideal situation, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not ready for this step. Let’s try something else! 

3. Set rules for yourself.

If you’re the type that needs structure and rules to follow a plan, or accomplish a goal, then you definitely need to set rules for yourself when it comes to buying clothes. 

How to spend less money on clothes? Choose 1 or more rules from the following list:

  • Only buy 1 fashion item per month.
  • Your monthly budget for clothes is $50.
  • Check off 1 fashion item per month from your Needs list (see point 1).
  • Buy one, sell one. (on Poshmark, for example).
  • You only get $100 for each big sales event (after Christmas, Summer Sales, Black Friday, etc.)
  • You’re only allowed to buy 11 fashion items for the whole year.*

*This is actually a challenge a local influencer is doing right now. She decided that in 2021 she would only buy 11 fashion items (I think she only meant clothes). The price or the brand is irrelevant, the important thing is to buy only 11 items. Don’t go over. That meant she is now meticulously planning all her 11 purchases and considering each one. Which is great, because that means she will choose wisely and only things she definitely wants. 

4. Avoid Full-Price items. Shop Sales & Outlets.

This might be a no brainer for most people, but….shop Sales & Outlets. You’re guaranteed to find discounted items, so no full-price for you. You might have to shop out of season or from previous collections, but it will be worth it in the end. 

Be on the lookout for end of season sales, like the one after Christmas, and especially for the  Black Friday sales, that’s when most stores will offer discounts to free up inventory. You will get the best prices. 

5. Avoid buying designer clothes….or only buy specific items.

When it comes to how to spend less money on clothes, one simple way of doing it is to avoid buying designer clothing, from brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and the likes. Why? Well, obviously because they cost A LOT of money. 

Now, I understand that people like the design of luxury brands. Or the fact they are better quality than most fast fashion ones. I even understand the need to attract attention and be unique & special. And if you have the money for it and you want to spend it on designer clothes, go for it. You probably won’t miss the money. 

But if you’re tight on budget, or don’t lead a luxurious lifestyle, you can’t really afford it. You can’t and you really shouldn’t spend $700 on a skirt. That money could get you so many other wonderful things, or better said, that $700 can be used on things you need more than a skirt. Like paying your rent, or your utilities, or saving up for a vacation.

I never did and I probably never will buy designer clothes. Definitely not t-shirts or blouses or skirts. Maybe I would buy a fancy dress if I have an extremely important event coming up (like being invited to the Oscars, for example, although that will probably never happen). 

What I will consider buying (and am considering buying, when I have the budget for it) are fashion items that can be used for longer periods of time, therefore are worth the investment. Like (some) designer bags, or a Burberry trench, or a good leather jacket. 

These are classic items that people tend to wear all the time, so they have to be of good quality and last the test of time. I also consider the idea of passing the item to my possible future daughter / son, or other family members, so it’s almost like a legacy item. 

If you want to know how to spend less money on clothes, definitely skip designer items, most of them are not worth the investment, in my opinion.

6. If you really want to buy designer items, try

Vestiaire Collective is the best place to go for pre-owned fashion items. They are previously worn designer items, but in great condition (they are curated by the website team). 

The influencers I follow are always buying amazing clothes from the website, at half the price. So definitely check it out if you’re thinking of buying Chanel, Gucci or Totem. 

So here we are, 6 tips & tricks later. That is how to spend less money on clothes. I hope this was helpful for you. If you have any other ideas, let us know in the comments!

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  • Reply
    May 5, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    These are great suggestions! I’ve recently tried a capsule wardrobe and definitely has helped!

    • Reply
      May 6, 2021 at 6:29 am

      I’m so glad it helped! great job on the capsule wardrobe, I’ve been thinking about it for months, but I haven’t bitten the bullet yet!

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