How I Shop for Clothes Without Spending a Fortune

Yesterday I talked about some awesome deals I found at Kohl’s.  Gahhhh!  I just love to find a great deal!  Especially on clothing.  Clothing is something everyone needs, but I just don’t see the sense in spending a boatload of your hard-earned income on clothes because: A) Styles change.  B) Clothing needs change.  C) Bodies change.  (Um… hello pregnancy!)  and D) Clothes don’t last forever.

And I know some folks believe in their heart of hearts that expensive clothes will last longer or look better than cheap clothes.  However, in my own regular person experience, I have had very expensive clothing wear out after a season. And I’ve had very inexpensive clothing last for many years.  And I’ve gotten more compliments on my Forever 21 clothes than on my embarrassingly expensive jeans.  But of course, I stay at home and don’t have anyone to impress so take my advice how you will.  🙂

So how do you get nice new clothes for less?!

Gotta take your time.

Yesterday I admitted that I actually like to shop and to find a good deal.  And in my opinion, spending a good chunk of time browsing the clearance sections is the best way to consistently score good deals. Great deals are out there almost everywhere, but if you don’t have the time to look for them, you will have trouble finding them.  Click here for tips on saving money without having a lot of time.  But seriously, try to find time.

Gotta know where the good deals are.
Shopping Clearance
I think Drake likes Clearance too.

Some towns have better deals than others.  It’s really not fair.  I’ve lived in several different areas, and my deal-finding has varied in each place.  In some areas, stores have multitudes of beautiful normal sized clothing on clearance.  On the other hand, merchandise is bought up before it ever has a chance to go to clearance in some areas.  And in these areas, the only things on clearance are hideous or an extreme size.

Of course, you’ll find better deals when there is an abundance of clearance items.  If you live in an area where clearance items are scarce, there is some hope.  Perhaps you have family or friends who live in a different area where clearance items are plentiful.  If so, maybe you can schedule a visit and plan to do some shopping while there.

Also, you gotta know where to look for the good deals.  Sometimes clearance racks are hidden in the backs of stores or in locations you may not normally visit while shopping.  Find out where your store puts reduced items.  If you can find out when they typically do mark-downs, that would be an awesome tidbit of information to know too!

Gotta be flexible.

I am currently waiting on the price to drop on a purse at Kohl’s.  It’s mint green and perfect for spring.  The catch? It’s more than I want to spend on a seasonal purse.  Whenever I’ve got a few minutes to spare, I pop over to the store and check to see if the price has been lowered.  I know I can live without that purse.  But if the price gets lowered, I’ll definitely jump on it!  Waiting for a store to reduce the price of an item can be excruciating, but being flexible about what you can and cannot live without is a great way to make sure you get a good deal in the end.

Gotta know when to drop your brand allegiance and when to keep it.

To substantially increase your potential for finding a great deal, open up your options by ignoring brands.  How clothes fit you and your body type is more important than wearing a brand name.  A cheap pair of jeans that fits properly will look infinitely better than an expensive pair that does not fit properly.

That being said, if you already *know* a certain brand works for you, it’s easier to comparison shop for that brand only.  Online shopping is one of the best ways to price-compare.  And if you know how much a particular brand costs normally, you’ll know when you find it for a good price.  Click here for a few tips for shopping online, including my favorite Ebates.  Thrifting might be another option to get brand names for less.  However, thrifting is probably not going to be a time-saver.

Gotta know yourself.
My body shape...
I added in the super-sexy part; the stylist just called me a rectangle.

Burgundy is one of my colors.  How do I know that?  I can assure you it is not because I am some sort of fashionista.  I attended a group party with a professional stylist.  She told each of us what colors look good on us.  And we learned our body shape and what styles of clothing work best for our individual shapes.  I’m a super-sexy rectangle in case you were wondering.

That experience helped me understand why I like certain clothes more than others.  And it definitely helped me with what to focus on when shopping.  Find a group of friends and pitch in to hire a stylist for an hour or two.  Or ask your friends if anyone has a knack for dressing others.  Or simply ask them what outfits they like best on you.  That information could help you buy only clothing pieces that work for you instead of against you.  You’ll be better able to build an interchangeable wardrobe where you’ll be able to mix and match instead of always wearing the same tops and bottoms together.

Celebrate you
What if we all looked at ourselves in the morning and did this little dance over how beautiful we are? What a happier world we’d live in. Celebrate you and your body!


From the same stylist, I also learned how important it is to buy clothes that FIT.  Women often buy clothes that are too big in an attempt to hide our bodies.  However, wearing clothes that are too big make us LOOK BIGGER.  Mind-boggling, I know.  Let’s make a promise to buy things that celebrate all the curves of our beautiful selves?!  Okay??

A little bonus tip on buying jeans:  You want them to feel a little too tight in the store.  Almost uncomfortable even.  Why?  Because jeans loosen up as you wear them.  If they fit perfectly in the store, they will be too loose after wearing them for an hour.  You’ll end up having to continually pull them up or walk around with saggy butt.  No one wants saggy butt.

Gotta dress up inexpensive basic pieces.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.  Inexpensive plain clothes get a huge fashion bump from accessories.  Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, scarves, hair styles, hair accessories, and belts can turn a plain outfit into something more stylish.  Ahem, my sweatshirt glam look I mentioned yesterday.  Buy your jewelry on clearance or second-hand to save money.  Oh, and don’t forget your shoes!  The right shoes can make a plain outfit look interesting.

Gotta LOVE what you buy.

If you don’t love it immediately when trying it on, do not buy it.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT talk yourself into buying something.  Please don’t stand there tugging and pulling the shirt trying to get it just right.  No one stays in one position all day long.  If the shirt only works when it is pulled just so, then it is not going to work the vast majority of the day.  If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.  Let it go.

You should love the whole item.  Everything about it.  The shape, the color, the pattern, the length, the whole darn thing.  Love it or leave it.


This rule goes for amazing “can’t pass up” deals too.  Don’t buy something you sort of like because it is inexpensive.  If you won’t wear it, you’ll be wasting money.  And if you don’t feel good in it, you shouldn’t wear it.  That’s why you need to LOVE it and WANT it.  And preferably, you should NEED it in your wardrobe too.  If you have five black shirts, you don’t need another one no matter how much you love black shirts!


Soooooooo, that’s my take on clothes shopping.  Anyone ready to go shopping with me?!  I’ll do my best version of that man’s dance for every awesome deal we find! 🙂



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