Saving Money on Clothes

Consider: Repairing damaged clothing instead of replacing. You can wear a shirt with a broken button around the house, or maybe consider replacing the button. Pants that have a hole in them can be patched and worn around the garage, and it would not matter if you got oil on them.

Sewing a button or a patch is simple sewing and can save you a lot of money in replacing clothes. When an item is no longer fit to wear to work, consider wearing it in the flower garden or when you clean windows outside. I love to take old T-shirts for cleaning rags.   Just cut the sleeves off and use the tube of cotton that remains. If you want a smaller rag, cut the shirt front from the shirts back. When you wash it a few times and it gets so stained that you do not want to use it again, toss it and get another rag.

Consider: Having a yard sale. This is a great idea to win back a few dollars and clean out some clutter. Go thru your closet and find items that you no longer wear or do not fit.   A yard sale could just be the ticket to a few extra dollars in the wallet this month. And involve the kids, this could be a fun Saturday for the family. After the sale, take everyone for ice cream.

For you families with children who can utilize hand me downs, consider a few pink outfits instead of completely pink wardrobe.  Your younger son can use the jeans and the tops.  Consider exchanging childrens clothes with a friend who has children younger or older than yours.

I am a big GoodWill shopper.  I have found designer clothes with the tags still on them.  I have bought beautiful suits for $10 and have already been dry-cleaned for me.  I buy vases or picture frames and decorate them for gifts to my friends.  I buy kitchen towels and placemats there.  I always have a different color for every season.  There are kitchen rugs and complete sets of fine linen sheets for a small price. 

Black Friday is just too busy for me to shop in the mall.  I use the online sites.  You can get free shipping and there are sites that have "web shopper only" bargains and deals.  I shop year round for Christmas and birthday presents.  When you see a great deal, consider an upcoming birthday or anniversary.

I love to shop at  Their search feature can find you bargains on CD's, books, clothes and household items.  register an account and you can get advance emails of items you are looking for or the newest CD from your favorite artist.  I have used their return feature and had very little trouble with returning an item.

Lay-A-Ways are coming back.  I suggest purchasing what you want and making weekly or monthly payments.  This is much better than charging to a credit card and paying the interest. 

Think carefully before you purchase items.  Don't get into the frame of mind that you can buy (charge) everyone a large item and everyone will be happy.  This may be true, but when the bills come in, who is happy?

Gifts:  Think about the person and what they like to do, what hobbies they have and what they can use.  Think about the size of their kitchen before you buy that large stock pot on sale.  A digital meat thermometer may be a much better gift.  I have a list of inexpensive gifts here.

Now, back to clothes.

Buy the size of clothes that you wear NOW.  Avoid a sale on skinny jeans if you have to lose a few pounds to get into them.  That is not a good deal.

Consider renting or borrowing that special outfit for that occasion you need.  You will probably only wear that cocktail dress once.

Some discount stores like TJ Maxx or Target can get you designer clothes for a fraction of the price.  They are over buys or sometimes last seasons styles.  Still a good value.  Stick to classic basic looks, these never go out of style. 

Avoid trend styles.  Remember Hammer pants?  They were in style for about 5 minutes.  I got caught up in the Nehru style.  I bought all of my school clothes in that style.  By the time school opened, the style was gone. I had to turn the collar down and wear them anyway.  I wore lots of scarfs that year! 

Swap clothes you don't wear with friends.  Every Spring and Fall go thru your closet and pull  out clothes you did not wear that year.  Invite your same sized friends over and have a swap party.  Or you can have a yard sale.  Always make a handful of money for the new seasons new clothes.

Save on workout clothes.  TJ Maxx, Target and Old Navy have the styles for a  much better price.  Old Navy has nice jeans at a good price, too.

When purchasing clothes, consider what you already have at home.  Will that new blouse match at lease three more items you already have?  If it is a really good deal, can you wear it with black or white that you already own?

Once in a while, take all of your clothes out of the closet.  Stack them on your bed by item and color.  Do you really need 7 yellow blouses?  Pick your favorite 4 to keep.  The only exception to this habit is black.  Black pants, tops and blazers.  But remember, do you need 4 cotton blazers?

There are two times in the year that you can get fabulous bargains.  Right after Christmas/New Year for winter clothes and Labor day for summer clothes.  The stores are getting ready for the new season and want the previous season's clothes gone.  The selection may be limited, but you can get a really great deal if you shop several stores.  Extra school clothes can be gotten for a song after Labor Day.  

To get the best deal, most people rush to the back of the store and look for the Clearance rack.  Good idea, but some stores cannot put all of their bargain clothes on one rack.  Look around the store for Marked downs and sales on items in their departments.

Consider store credit cards.  If you shop at one store regularly and can pay it off at the end of the month, or by two months, open a store credit card.  You will get advance notice of sales and can get extra money off of items that are already on sale.  Be careful of the interest rate.  It can be as high as 28%.  This is why it is good to pay at the end of the month.  If you see really good sales, consider paying over two months.  Just remember the interest rate.

Read the label on clothes.  Dry Clean Only may be on a fabric that you are sure can be washed.  But, consider the trim, the buttons and the frame of the clothes.  Some items can shrink in the wash.  Some ironing cannot put back the way the item fits your body like dry cleaning can.  Be careful not to purchase too many items that require dry cleaning.  That cost added to the bargain price makes it not a bargain at all.  Respect the dry cleaning only label.

Washable clothing can last longer by using cold water and a gentle wash.  If you can do it, hand wash the items and lay across the shower curtain to day.  You can buy little clothes racks that fit in your bathtub to dry clothes.  Smooth the clothes on the rack and you may not have to iron them. 

Outlet stores have fantastic values.  Be mindful of labels that say "Factory Line"  These are clothes from the designer company, but they are made in a factory that may have a little bigger neck opening, a little shorter sleeve or a little longer length.  Try on the item you want to make sure it fits you.  A good rule with all clothes, try them on.  And not just one pair of the three jeans you want to buy.  Try on all three pair.  I have had clothes miss labeled by size and length.

Wash your new clothes.  I know you like the fresh new look, but some companies us a stiffener that contains formaldehyde to prevent wrinkles on the shelf.  They stay new looking no matter how many people handle the item.

In summer, under your white pants or capris, wear black panties.  They will not show.

Add a half cup of salt to bright colors in wash to avoid fading.

Wednesdays are the best day to buy shoes on the internet.

For scuffed heels on your stilettos, I keep a pack of Sharpie pen in assorted colors to touch  up the scuff mark.

In winter, steam or freeze your woolen clothes. This will kill the moth eggs.  It is the larvae that ruin your clothes by eating them when they hatch.  If you see flying moths, they have already layer their eggs.

Dab a little vinegar on a hem you have just altered, then press it.  No taletail sign of the old hem.

Patent leather shoes can be cleaned with Vaseline or the inside of a banana skin.

Clean and launder wools regularly.  Moths can sniff out the tiniest food stain and come running for a meal.

A clothes shaver can save your clothes by taking off the tiny balls that appear with friction.  Like elbows, sleeves and the front of the garment.

For small snags, use a tiny crochet needle to pull the loop to the back.  Looks good as new.

T-shirts with armpit stains can be removed by soaking in an oxygen bleach.

Cover your sewing machine with a piece of flannel backed material.  Use a yardstick to mark off yards and parts of yards.  Saves pulling out the tape measure every time you need to measure cloth.

For the ladies:  I wear full slips as night gowns.  They are at goodwill for a few bucks.  They are lacy and silky and look oh so good.  They wash up easily and come out of the dryer ready to wear again.


Copywriter: Karen B. Cardwell 2012.   Email me at: cradwell.kc@Gmail.Com 

 Tweet me at: Karen Cardwell@blairie12.

 Original Artwork Images by Tom Wilson.