Thursday, April 5, 2007

4 Tips for Saving Money on Clothes

Over at Consumerism Commentary, there's a post about breaking down the purchase of clothes to cost-per-wear. The idea is that you factor in the number of times you will wear something and divide the cost of the item by that number. For example, if you buy a $15 dress and wear it 15 times, then you're paying $1 per day for the dress. I think it's a great idea, and something to keep in mind while you're shopping.

Towards the end of the article, though, they sort of hinted at the idea that you shouldn't be too frugal on clothes. I think it's hard to make blanket statements like that.

I buy clothes at major discount department stores and retailers. It's true that some of the clothes there will not get you a great cost-per-wear (CPW). Many times, however, I have had an excellent CPW. Conversely, it's worse when I buy clothing for more at a "nicer" store and it shrinks in the wash, gets a stain, or the buttons pop off (not that I'm speaking from personal experience).

So how do you balance quality versus price?

1. Do Shop at discount department stores and retailers. The quality of clothing at Target and Walmart has gotten much better in recent years. They take cues from the major designers - and Target even features low cost lines from top designers. Stores like Ross Dress for Less have great finds as well, as they get clothes from good clothing retailers.

2. Head straight for the sale rack. When you go to the mall, find the clearance and sales racks. Don't buy just because something is on sale. Make sure it's something you like.

3. Calculate the cost-per-wear.
This helps cut down on impulsive and ultra trendy purchases.

4. Inspect the garment!
Look at the seams. If the thread is loose, don't buy it. Tug a little at the fabric, does it lose its shape? Does it just look cheap? Even a bargain isn't worth it if the item is poorly constructed.

Take your time when you shop and reward yourself with quality clothes at a low price. What are your tips for saving money on clothing?

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