Buying Clothes that fit You and Your Budget

Here’s a quick fact: Did you know that the average household spends more than $1,800 a year — that’s about $150 a month — on clothing and accessories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? And while clothes may not be the most expensive thing in the world, rising costs tend to unnecessarily gouge up much of our bank accounts, leaving our wallets much emptier than expected and us scrambling to find ends meet.

For all those overspending shopaholics out there, there are, thankfully, numerous ways to cash in on stellar shopping deals all without causing too much financial headache. Catherine’s, for instance, has got tons of steals from BOGO offers to Free Shipping or 80% off all Clearance Items to take full advantage of. It’s definitely an obvious way to treat yourself to items especially designed to “fit you beautifully.”

Who out there doesn’t love to save, to shop smart for the right items, and to get in on a good ol’ bargain? Go ahead-- easily look great and buy clothes that fit both your incredible sense of style and your limited budget today. Here are some ways to go about doing so.

Timing is everything, so are coupons.

When it comes to purchasing clothes, taking careful and correct note of the time actually allows for hundreds to be saved on all expenses. The specific months of January and August seem to be the best months to invest in clothing, especially for children. It’s even been said that Thursdays are is the best day to shop for clothes, with certain days of the week being best for specific apparel types. Basically, buying off season generally leads to better deals than when choosing to purchase right at the get go when the piece is hot or trending.

For those who love certain brands and often buy items from that company, try subscribing to an email list to receive coupons throughout the year for holidays sales on Black Friday, Labor Day, and Memorial Day, as well as during annual or bi-annual blow out sales. 

Those not opting to subscribe or fill up their inboxes with unwanted spam mail can easily just hunt for bunches of wallet-worthy coupons via the web on sites such as Promocodes.com.

Go back to the basics.

So, there are lists all over claiming that every wardrobe needs a foundation of basics such as that crisp white or blue button down, a black dress, a pair of black pants, some nice old blue jeans, so on and so forth. For optimal savings, it really is always good to identify your personal set of "basics,” as everyone's "basics" are going to be different.

Whether it's basic denim and striped t-shirts or pencil skirts, floral dresses, bright blazers, or basic denim, determining which items you’ll likely need and actually wear day after day will go on to help you save money as well.

Buy brands you already like.

Stick with what you know and love by staying with clothes from those certain companies or brands that just look better on your body and fit your personal style way more than others. This, of course, almost 100% guarantees that there will be no regretted purchases and that the item will see frequent use. It’s generally a super strong and smart choice not to gamble on new brands when on a tight budget because buying brands you already like will always work out well in the end.  

Don’t be afraid of previously loved clothes.

Buying used clothing is another great way to save money, as tons of used, vintage style clothing is very trendy at the moment. Many a times, there’s even a chance to find never-before-worn clothing with the tag still attached if you dig deep enough.

Some of the most popular spots to pick up good quality used clothing are local consignment shops, Plato’s Closet, or sites like ThredUp. Plus, it’s also just always worth looking at used clothing first before committing to purchasing a brand new item. 

One more idea for those who are handy with a needle and thread or a pair of scissors is simply to repurpose old clothes. Easily turn something no longer wearable into something entirely different. Old jeans can become a new pair of faded denim shorts, old shirts can fashion themselves into tank tops and skirts. Neat.

Plan it out and know your spending limit in advance.

To avoid impulse buys, make a list of what you do and do not need. Then be sure to check it twice. So instead of just heading out to the mall or department store with no plan, take time out to do a closet or personal ‘inventory’ review of what you already have, what fits, and what you really ought to purchase. The basic idea is to ultimately cultivate a complete wardrobe that is full of pieces you love and use often -- but still manage not to spend an amount that will cause too much strain money-wise.

Face, it. Your clothing spending is limited, so prioritizing what you need most before buying anything helps in the long run—it also helps remove the emotion out of purchasing decisions, especially when coming across the that cute floral blouse or oversized cardigan that you really really want but don’t actually need. Think of it as grocery shopping. Just make a list. Easy peasy.

Start at Low-End Retailers

Think thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales, and the like. It’s simple: people with more money often like to give away much of their stuff unused or barely used. Why not take advantage of it of that fact? More wallet friendly stores such as T.J.Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls are also good choices, as discount stores like these often tend to sell overstock and slightly imperfect pieces from other retailers for a fraction of the cost.

Take care of your clothes.

What it all comes down to is to practice appropriate clothes care. Always. Allowing your clothes to last as long as possible will not only slow the wear and tear of all items over time, but will save a substantial amount of moo-lah in the long run. 

It is also important to store clothes properly, to avoid having heaps of clothes on the floor, and to remember to iron out what’s needed. Always read tags and labels carefully for washing instructions and never forget to wash similar colors together. Whites with whites. Darker hues with darker hues. It’s not rocket science. Really.

Lastly, keep in mind that “machine washable” doesn’t not mean that the item is “indestructible.” Wash on gentle cycles in cool water and sometimes even try line-drying clothes, as this helps then last the longest. And for delicate items or clothes that might shrink, always hand wash.