Last Updated on June 8, 2021
Flashy discounts, products that at first glance seem to be a bargain, and the desire to express ourselves, make us clog the closet month after month.
We buy a staggering amount of clothing, and most of it ends up not being worn at all or even thrown away almost every season.
We spend a good amount of our hard-earned money on clothing.
The average millennial spends more than 5% of his or her monthly income on clothing. If your annual salary is around $45,000 that means you spend around $2,200 on clothing per year.
I don’t know about you and your spending habits, but for me, that’s a lot of money.
This is why in this post I will show you 6 practical ways you can save money on clothes.
🛠️ Repair them
Don’t throw away a piece of clothing. Do your best to repair it instead.
This is a good time for you to learn how to sew or repair a broken zipper.
If, unfortunately, you cannot repair the damage by yourself, turn to a friend or a family member. Maybe they can help you out and you won’t have to pay for a new item.
If neither your friends nor family couldn’t manage to repair it, turn to a professional. You will have to spend some money, but no way will the repair cost more than the initial product.
Repairing the damaged piece of clothing not only saves you money in the long run but also time. Think about how much time you spent searching for that lovely T-shirt or pair of winter boots. Or even more so, how hard was it for you to find such a high-quality product on the market.
If you think that repairing the clothes is still not a good idea, at least think about our environment. Every piece of clothing means pollution.
The fashion industry emits more carbon dioxide than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
A lot of this clothing ends up burned or dumped in a landfill every second.
👕 Buy basic clothes
I used to go to the mall and buy printed T-shirts and ended up spending a lot more money than I should’ve, just for the simple fact that they had some random text and image printed on them. Most of the time I didn’t even like the print. I only bought the T-shirts because they fit me. Kind of…
Sometimes I couldn’t even wear one for a certain occasion because of the words printed on it that weren’t appropriate for that meeting.
Those damned t-shirts were causing me a headache!
Until one day…
When I thought of looking at the label of a $20 T-shirt I adored just to see who’s the manufacturer. I was pleasantly surprised by what I’ve found.
The label reads not only the manufacturer but also the collection to which it belongs.
I was in for a treat!
I googled up the manufacturer and the collection and I’ve found at least five online shops that were selling the exact blank version of my beloved t-shirt for just… hold your breath… $4!!!
Ok, you can release your breath.
The blank t-shirt is 5 times cheaper than the printed one!
I don’t know about you, but I’m not happy to pay $16 for a T-shirt print. Multiply that by the number of T-shirts you have in your wardrobe. It’s a lot of money!
Since then, I only buy blank t-shirts and save about $16 on each T-shirt I buy. At the moment I have 10 t-shirts in my wardrobe, this means that I saved $160 just for the simple fact that I no longer display some words or images on my t-shirts.
I like to wear black, for example. When it’s time to wash my t-shirts, I wash them all at once.
I couldn’t do that before because my T-shirts contained all sorts of colors that were mixing each other thus destroying the fabric.
And the major pain relief is that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to wear tomorrow because all my T-shirts look the same.
I feel so much better now!
⛱️ Buy end of (or out of) season
In-season items are significantly more expensive than items that are far from their intended season.
Boots, jackets, sweaters, and gloves are items used predominantly in the cold. This means they are all but worthless during the warmer seasons.
Winter clothing starts to go on sale at the end of the season, which can lead to significant savings if you plan your shopping correctly.
Keep in mind that retail stores generally overhaul their products in line with the New York Fashion Weeks in September and February and also major holidays and other events that affect shopper’s behavior.
You can save big on summer fashion by shopping in August- September and can get excellent deals on winter fashion in January – February, after the winter holidays.
With a little advance planning, you can avoid charging up your credit card by planning your purchases around these guidelines.
From personal experience – last year I bought a pair of winter boots during the summer. As soon as the cold season hit, their prices increased by 25%.
I saved 25% of the price just because I bought the product out of season.
💯 Choose quality products
Generally speaking, cheap clothes aren’t cheap in the long run. I know how tempting it is to throw $15 on a trench coat but think about this for a moment…
How much quality can you get out of that $15 trench coat?
How long is it going to last for you?
Quality over price
Please do give a read to the following quote:
The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.Terry Pratchet, Men At Arms: The Play
The above quote is a gross simplification of a complex issue. Nonetheless, I think it is correct.
Recognizing the investment value is one of the things that can help improve your cash flow. It takes a long time to save and reap the benefits, but buying quality items puts you ahead the longer you own them.
🤗Take better care of your garment
Extending the lifespan and use of garments is one of the most significant ways of saving money.
I’ve found out that the average life of clothes, in general, is estimated at ~2.2 years.
If we can all extend their lifetime by just three months that would lead to a 5-10% reduction of carbon, water, waste footprints and can cut resource costs by ~$2.23 billion.
To take better care of garments, we must first understand what limits their lifetime.
The focus on low cost and trend-driven fashion over the quality of products has reduced their longevity in recent years.
People nowadays rapidly discard clothes when they are no longer in fashion.
But I think the main reason why the average lifespan of clothes is so reduced is due to raw materials and components that are often poor quality and so susceptible to fading, shrinkage, or loss of shape.
My father bought himself a biker leather jacket back in the 2000s and it is still in perfect condition today.
While nowadays leather jackets are a bit of poor quality. You rarely find a leather jacket that is made of high standard materials.
But there is still hope.
Take better care of low-cost or poor quality garments
We can all take better care of even low-cost or poor quality garments.
- You can start by reducing the number of times you wash a piece of cloth. Instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, choose to dry them by air, Eastern European style.
- Sometimes washing a garment is overkill and you may well just freshen it up by airing it for a couple of hours.
- Another very useful tip that my mother taught me when I was a kid is to sort the laundry into colors and fiber types before washing.
- Experts encourage us to wash our clothes by hand, steam-clean wool fabrics, and remove stains with a liquid detergent rather than washing the whole garment.
- Pay attention to care labels. Different materials need different approaches to laundering. The instructions label advise you on the maximum recommended temperature a garment should be washed at or, for certain items, can say dry clean only.
There are many more other tips and tricks you can apply but I think those recently mentioned are more than enough for the purpose of this post.
👖Buy or use second-hand wear
There is a misconception that second-hand clothes are dirty rags that are being sold as valuable items.
Moreover, the fact that these clothes have been worn by someone else bothers many people. Instead, they choose to buy overpriced clothes from the mall that fade and tear after a few washes.
Another persistent misconception is that only people who cannot afford anything else go to second-hand stores where they have no choice but to buy germ polluted clothes.
Here’s the thing: clothes undergo a strict cleaning process.
While I do not recommend buying second-hand underwear or footwear, you can still find many other high-quality garments in a thrift shop.
These shops ensure the quality of the goods and there is little chance that there will be torn or damaged items up for sale. Even if there are, you are the one who chooses what to buy.
And because I like to throw in percentages, statistics, and facts about recycling and mother nature here’s some bad news.
84% of clothing ends up in landfills and incinerators. The EPA estimates that in 2017, only 15.2% of textile waste generated in the United States was recycled. Oh, boy!
🌳 Protect the environment
However, I’d like to share with you a handful of reasons why you should buy second-hand clothes:
- They’re cheaper. Second-hand clothes are less expensive than brand new items of the same kind. You may find garments that can last a lifetime!
- They’re eco-friendly. Products that don’t go to waste are god sent. You are helping to reduce the water waste and chemical pollution of the fashion industry.
- Most of the clothes are of very good quality. Not so long ago, the clothes were designed to be long-lasting. This has been almost obliterated by the fast fashion industry which induced the state of obsolescence among young people.
- You can find garments that might not look that good but which can still be used for outdoor activities such as gardening.
If you’re still not convinced that buying second-hand is still not a good deal for you, there’s still an alternative – ask your friends or family if they have clothes in good shape they no longer wear.
It’s not a shame to wear second-hand clothes. You’ll see that people oftentimes don’t even notice what you’re wearing even if you wear a new and very expensive shirt.
🙏Thank you for taking the time to read the whole article. I hope you found at least some information that is useful for you.
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Keep these tips in mind next time you want to renew your garment!
What are some of your favorites tips to save money on clothes?
How have they worked for you?
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