Tips for saving money on clothes.

I am passionate about clothes. I have been for a long time. I’ve been addicted to this subreddit for a long time now, and I want to help others here enjoy frugal shopping the same way I do. This is going to be rambling, but who cares. I hope it sparks a bit of dialog.

  • Whenever you buy something, check for promo codes. If you find that a promo code cannot be entered for whatever reason (site doesn’t allow multiple promo codes, it has expired, promo code doesn’t work for your region, item(s), or whatever) try emailing and calling customer service. They often times will apply promo codes for you that the website will not allow. I’ve saved a ton this way. While I do not condone fraud (I see recommendations for committing fraud all the time on here), I think as long as you are honest in what you are trying to do, and the customer service rep does it for you that is fine. I never lie to get additional promos added.
  • always check for student or corporate discounts.
  • I’ve even gotten free shipping just by calling customer service and asking if I could have free shipping.
  • if an item is available for less after you already purchased it, email or call customer service to see if they will apply the difference.
  • before you buy anything check ebay for coupons. you can often times call customer service and they will apply these coupons even if you dont physically have them. if they dont, the coupons are usually pretty cheap on ebay. a buck or two.
  • check out the different gift card websites. gift cards are an awesome way to save because they always stack with other sales/promos. I have only used cardpool, but there are others out there.
  • fill out surveys, sign up for company’s mailing list (physical and email), like on facebook, follow on instagram and twitter, and call/email companies to get all the promos you can. whenever you have a bad experience with a website or customer service, let them know. I’ve gotten tons of $5-15 gift cards from sites just because I let them know I was let down by their site/service. Again, I am always honest.
  • ebay is awesome! work on refining your searches to match exactly what you want and then save the search and have the results emailed to you daily. I’ve gotten killer deals on things when people have buy it now prices too low.
  • another ebay tip is to always ask questions when in doubt. I’ve found sweaters listed as larges that when I asked them to measure they turned out to be the sizes of mediums (things shrink, people make mistakes listing, etc..). Dont trust sizes, trust measurements.
  • another ebay tip is to check out their Fashion Outlet that is how I found out about the killer Hart Schaffner Marx sales. It is still going on and they just added more! they probably will continue adding items until MSM goes out of business. I’ve bought over $500 from MSM’s ebay fashion outlet and I couldn’t be happier about every item I’ve received.
  • another ebay tip is to not get emotional when bidding. if you get outbid be absolutely sure you want to increase your bid. I virtually never increase mine. I wait until another, better, deal comes up. If you are patient you will get really great stuff for cheap. It defeats the whole purpose if you over bid because you really wanted to win the auction.
  • just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean you should buy it. Only buy what you would wear (or what you are sure that you can resell for more). If you already have some CDBs, dont go buying a cheap pair of chukkas just because they are $10 or something. Sure, everyone needs a pair of beater footwear, but dont make the same mistake I did and end up with 10 pairs of shoes you’ve never worn just because they were cheap. What a waste of money! I really wish I would have thought about if I would actually wear them before I bought them all. I also dont ever buy from old navy, asos, or aldo anymore. I have never gotten anything from those stores that I wear. Sure, it’s cheap, but it’s also shit. Why would you want to wear cheap looking clothes that look terrible? I wouldnt even wear most of their stuff if it was given to me for free.
  • thrift as much as possible. if you dont know your style yet, thrift like crazy. buy as much stuff as you can for cheap and you’ll figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. You could save even more money if you just do research. google and read mfa to find out the styles you want to go for. Once you have your style, you can really be frugal, since you can buy things that you know you will wear.
  • Only buy things that you will wear. If something is the wrong color, size, texture, shape, or if you already have a better alternative that you will always wear instead of it, or if it doesn’t match your style or doesn’t fit in your wardrobe, dont buy it! I have a pair of blue suede shoes that I’ve never worn. they were a great deal, but the color and style of the shoe is something I would never wear. I regret that purchase a lot.
  • Buy things that work with your existing wardrobe. dont buy things that you hope to one day include in to an outfit. in my experience, that day will never come. Once you know your style and what colors, textures, items you need for it, you will be able to buy things that you are sure will get plenty of use. I see a lot of people in waywt posts that dont have any particular style. It must be a nightmare to know what items to buy and their items cant be very versatile in their wardrobe. This is really important. If you are stretching yourself too thin across too many styles it’s going to be costly to complete the different looks. It’s better to focus on one look and nail that, then to try to mimic everyone else’s looks.
  • learn to sew. or at least tailor everything. if something doesn’t fit you probably wont wear it, or you will buy another similar item hoping that it looks better. just get the first item to fit from the start.
  • when buying work boots wait until factory seconds are available. I’ve gotten most of my boots from factory second sales. Why would I care if there is a nick in the boot? After the first week of wearing them there will be plenty of nicks. buying new boots is like spending an extra $100+ so that they look nice for that first week. doesnt make sense to me.
  • check out all of the flash sale websites and keep checking the sale sections of your favorite sites. Being early to sales is really key to getting the hot items before they sell out. check out bargain sites like sierra trading post
  • know what you want. think out the looks you want to complete and have a list of items you need. keep that list in mind while checking out sales. If you dont know what you want, then it’s easy to buy tons of stuff that wont help your wardrobe. having too much stuff can easily stretch your wardrobe out too much and you will loose focus and it will become much harder to be frugal. I used to be really bad at this.
  • levis are a great starting point for jeans. until you are ready to spend real cash on denim, I would stick with levis. you can find them on the clearance rack of jcpennys for $20 or often find them online for sale at around $35 a pair.
  • shop the clearance racks. items who’s season just ended often hit the clearance racks. if possible, buy things like coats at the end of winter, and shorts at the end of summer. you could easily save 50% or more of your wardrobe costs if you do this.
  • buy wigwam over smartwool. I’ve gotten wigwam boot socks 3 pairs for $2 at walmart’s clearance isle in the middle of summer. outside of that, I wigwam can be found for ~$5 a pair on sale. I dont think smartwool gets that low.
  • all you really need to look good is jeans, tshirts, boots, and a jacket. you could have a killer wardrobe for $1000. if this is a style that interests you…
  • if a company messes up, do not pay for the return shipping or restock fee. I’ve had email conversations with customer service reps that have lasted weeks, and which they said they would not pay for the return shipping over and over when the problem was the fault of the company. If you are in the right, you need to be persistant with these bastards. Some companies are really bad with trying to enforce a policy in situations where it doesn’t make sense. If they’ve messed up, you shouldn’t have to pay anything. even the policy stated return shipping or restock fee.
  • Bring a buddy to BOGO sales

TL;DR: Promo codes, call customer service as much as possible – their job is to make you happy, buy discounted gift cards and coupons, have a clear style, only buy things you will wear, factory seconds for boots, ebay is awesome, shop out of season

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