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10 Savvy Ways to Save on Your Wardrobe

We all enjoy looking good and having fun clothes to wear. Advertising is quick to point out that we need to have the latest fashion to have 'style". But style and looking good are relative and unique to each person. We certainly don't need to spend a fortune in order to look good. By putting clothing into its proper perspective and taking 'style' with a grain of salt, we can find economical ways to dress well, look good and find our own brand that is uniquely "us".

Here are a few tips to save on clothing expenses:

1. Know What you Already Have: Inventory

Here is a great place to start; know what you already have in your closet. It is hard to know what we need if we aren't aware of what we have. Step 1 is to do an inventory of our closet (s) and drawers. It is highly likely that we will find clothes that we have forgotten we had. And when we do an inventory, this can give us creative, new ideas of how to combine our outfits.

2. Try New Ways of Wearing What you Already Own: New Combinations

Following up on number one, we can use our creativity to imagine new and different combinations, to create a new look or style with what we already have. Is there a new way to wear that skirt or those jeans that we had forgotten we had? Try out new combinations and you may find that you have a bigger wardrobe than you thought.

3. Have an All-Season Look: Summer Clothes in the Winter

I like to "winterize" my summer outfits. This works surprisingly well. It is a tip i learned from my African friends now living in Canada. Why not take a bright summer dress and add warm black stockings to give your summer outfit a colourful winter look? Shorts can be worn in the winter with the right stockings and, by adding a warm sweater, you can create a cozy fall or winter look.

4. Take Care of your Clothes: Gentle Wash and Dry

Machine washing does not mean "gentle" washing. In fact, washing machines can be very hard on our clothes. One look at the lint filter will tell us how our clothes are being "eroded" in the washing machine. And the dryer is amazingly harsh on our clothes. Why not try the delicate cycle (and cold water, when possible) and consider clothesline drying. As an added bonus you can save money on electricity.

5. Shop at Thrift Stores

I love thrift stores. There are so many hidden treasures and, when you spend the time to look, you can find some very good quality clothing. When shopping at thrift stores, flexibility is important as well as beginning with a colour scheme (basic is always best). Go in knowing (generally) what you are looking for, but be open to new possibilities. Look for quality, not quantity and go with a conservative colour scheme. Accessories can be bought later.

6. Set a Budget and Make a List

Does this sound familiar? We do this for grocery shopping so why not apply this to clothes shopping as well? When we set our limits and stick to them, we are far less likely to be swept away by passing sales and more easily able to say no (to ourselves). It is important to know what we actually need (hence the list) and to have a plan. And, when we get to the mall or store, we need to be prepared to come away empty handed. We need to be careful about buying items just because we have this on our list. Sometimes we may have to wait until we can find what we need at a price we can pay.

7. Stick to a Basic Colour Scheme: Stay simple

I personally like to go with a basic black and/or navy blue (I'm conservative). It is just so much easier to match outfits and shop for additional items to add to the wardrobe when there is a basic colour line. There is also a lower probability of ending up with mismatched clothes and a limited way to wear them. It is important to think about mileage (ways the item can be worn) when buying clothes. Think about how to expand your wardrobe with minimal spending.

8. Do Clothing Swaps

This is simply a great idea to get maximum wear. Why not pass on the style to another so that they can create their own new style with the same clothes? I think clothes always take on a new look (personality) with different people. Clothing swaps are a fantastic excuse to get together with friends and save money in the process.

9. Don't Fall for the "On Sale" trap

"On sale" does not always mean "on sale". Usually, at the beginning of a season, clothing is marked up above the actual value of each item. Then, as the season progresses towards its end, the clothing is "marked down" closer to its actual price (or value), so it doesn't actually mean you are getting a good deal. Sales are more about clearing inventory than they are about saving the customer money and getting value for their dollar.

10. Beware of Malls: A Lot of Stores, a Lot of Choices

I am not a fan of shopping malls - just putting that out there. That's just me. Some people love their convenience. There's a lot of temptation with all the variety of stores and enticements to "stay a while". We may very go in with the intention of not buying or buying very little, but it is very easy to spend money there that we did not intend to spend.

What tips do you have for saving money on clothing? Let us know.

Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living

Diana's passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and her dog Skye. You can connect with her through livingandstuff.com

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