5 Ways to Own Quality Clothes at Thrift Store Prices
Today’s post is brought to you by my new staff writer, Kristi! Please give her a warm welcome and I hope you enjoy having her perspective here on ShoeaholicNoMore. 🙂
My parents worked hard for their money, and they didn’t like to see it wasted unnecessarily. They definitely passed that trait on to me. That being said, I love to shop, and I frequently indulge in retail therapy. Shopping lifts my mood when I’m feeling down. Here’s the rub though…I really like having nice things, but I hate spending a lot of money to get those things. I refuse to spend full-price on anything (unless it’s wine or chocolate).
Start at the Back and Work Your Way Forward
Sometimes, my parents would take us to bigger name stores like Macy’s and JCPenney, but we would always go straight to the back of the store. My mom taught us to never start shopping at the front of the store. The front is where stores lay out their most expensive, in-style, and seasonal clothing. It’s where they make the most money. Always, always start at the clearance racks on the back wall.
If you can find what you need on those racks, great! You’re done shopping and you probably saved upwards of 80% on that piece of clothing. If not, no worries. You can try walking through the store and decide if you really want to spend $30-$40 on one shirt. Or you could continue on to another store’s clearance racks and end up finding 8 shirts for $40 total.
Buy Timeless Pieces of Clothing
When you look at the clearance racks, the jumbled clothes are either out of season or out of style. That’s why stores willingly part with them for so low a price. Their loss is your gain. By searching through those mish-mashed clothes racks for timeless pieces, you can be sure to look your best without shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your wardrobe. Look for solid colors in classic cuts. Exercise gear, knee-length work attire skirts, black pants, and classic cut jeans are all items that inevitably end up on the clearance rack because of overstocking or the season coming to an end.
Wait a Few Months Before Deciding to Buy an Item from Your Favorite Store
Don’t walk into any retail establishment and plunk down $50 for a pair of pants. You can get those same pants in a few months on their clearance racks or at a closeout store for $5. If you are willing to hold off on keeping pace with the latest fashion trends, you can save yourself a lot of money. Just this week, I bought a pair of black, flannel-lined winter leggings off of the clearance rack for $3. In season, those exact leggings cost $30. By having the forethought to buy ahead for next season, I saved 90% of the original price.
Don’t Let Name Brand Become the Sole Consideration When Buying Your Clothes
Who doesn’t like name brands? Branding is a way of ensuring quality, durability, and workmanship. Name brands do have a time and place in your wardrobe. Don’t let name brands become the sole consideration when buying your clothes though. Especially when looking for a great deal, ask yourself:
- Do I like the item, does it look nice, and does it fit well?
- Is the item comfortable?
- Is the item affordable?
- Is the item timeless? Can I wear it next month, next year, or 5 years from now?
Name brand or not, if the answer to those questions is yes, then buy the item!
Become Familiar with Your Local (and not so local) Discount Clothing Stores
If you have your heart set on name brand, find the discount stores in your area, and think about shopping at them quarterly. I live in a small town. It’s an hour to the nearest mall. My clothing store choices are Walmart, Roses, or Belk. Three stores. That’s it. My choices and deals would be pretty limited if I only shopped in my town. I always make a point of setting aside money to take for a shopping trip when visiting my parents. They live in an area with some of the best closeout stores. These are my favorite stores for finding great deals:
- Rugged Warehouse
- Burlington Coat Factory
- Nordstrom Outlet
- T. J. Max
All seven of these closeout stores have name brand clothes for a fraction of the original price. Searching through their endless racks of clothes to find the best deals is exciting. I love to see how little I can spend on really nice items. I especially love that some of these stores also have loyalty reward cards and semi-annual sidewalk sales, giving customers even better opportunities to save money.
Living on a tight budget or a limited income can make shopping for quality clothing seem impossible sometimes, but having a little bit of forethought can save you a lot of money in the long run. Be creative, look through stores you have never been into before, don’t stay staunchly loyal to your favorite name brand, and you will look great without emptying your wallet.
Do you shop around to get the best prices on clothes? What other methods do you use to save on clothes?