We have all been hit with many increased living costs lately – from food, petrol, energy bills etc. – so here are a few ideas on how to make your money go further when it comes to clothes shopping.
Shop your own wardrobe first
I always say this, I know, but you’ll be surprised at how many ‘new’ outfit options you’ll find hanging in your wardrobe if you just think more creatively at how and what you put together. Try pairing that top that you only ever wear with those trousers, with a different pair of trousers or a skirt. Wear a shirt as a jacket by simply leaving it undone. Try different colour combinations. Add a scarf, a belt, some jewellery, different shoes/boots etc. to create new looks – small things can honestly make a big difference. Reach for the things you rarely wear any more. So many clients say things to me like “I’d forgotten I’d got that” or “oh, that old thing, I’ve had that for years” and we then pair them with different, sometimes newer items they’d not thought to try them with, and hey presto you’ve got a great new outfit. (If clothes maybe aren’t your thing or you feel you lack style inspiration, I’d love to help – creating outfits and helping you to get maximum wear out of the clothes you already have is what I love to do! Wardrobe Edit).
Buy from charity shops and preloved retailers
I’m a fan of charity shop shopping. We all cast off so many things that have so much life left in them. Something someone else has got bored of could be the very thing you love. Here are a few items that I found in just an hour’s mooch around the charity shops here in Farnham:
- Nicole Fahri blouse – £11.50 (would have been c.£150 when new) + Top Shop jeans – £5.99 (new: c.£40)
- Warehouse silk blouse – £5.25 (new: c.£45)
- Zara linen top £6.00 (new: c.£20)
- Pure Collection silk blouse £4 (new: c.£120)
Not only is charity shop shopping good for your bank balance, but it’s great for the environment and also enables the charities to raise much needed funds to support those they help.
There are a plethora of preloved stores and online apps (eg, Vinted, eBay etc.) too – so again why not give them a try too.
Make do and mend
This was very much the mantra from post-war Britain and it’s as good today as it was then. If you are able to mend your clothes by fixing a broken zip or hemming a hem line that has fallen down, or adding a new button, then you can ensure your clothes have longevity. Even better perhaps, if you can channel your inner Sewing Bee, maybe you can see it as an opportunity for you to alter the item and create something new – maybe add a whole new set of buttons rather than just one, or shorten the hemline on a skirt or trousers to make them shorter/cropped/into shorts, or add patches to cover a hole, change the collar/neckline, add shaping to what was a boxy style top, dye an item a new colour (this is so easy to do and gives a whole new look instantly) etc. You can really change the way something looks from a few minor tweaks. If you don’t have these skills then it could be good value to gather a few items and take them to a local tailor/seamstress to have them repaired/altered. They can often suggest different tweaks for the item too.
Buy less, but buy well
It’s definitely the case that buying quality pieces that you know will stand the test of time and that will wear well is the best long term strategy for your wardrobe. So if you are able to afford one quality item, rather than 3 cheaper items, then you’ll likely not regret it. If you look at things from a ‘cost per wear’ perspective, the inexpensive items often turn out to be the most expensive as you don’t get much wear out of them before they’ve seen better days! So take time to think about what you really need, how many times you’re likely to wear it and invest your money wisely by choosing clothes in the colours and styles that suit you Don’t forget about retailers like TKMaxx, Secret Sales, Brand Alley and Outlet malls – they all offer discounted/end of line items from high end brands, making them more affordable.
Buy from budget-friendly retailers
In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing clothes from retailers who offer more budget-friendly clothes. You may need to consider the quality and maybe their eco credentials if these things are important to you, but you really don’t have to spend fortunes on clothes to look and feel good. Choosing clothes in the colours and styles that show off the real you will mean that you look and feel good no matter what number was written on the price tag. Many high end looks are often copied by the budget-friendly retailers so it’s totally possible to recreate a look on a budget. It’s equally possible to mix budget pieces with more expensive pieces to again create looks that you feel amazing in. I’m certainly not someone that has a ‘designer wardrobe’ – I buy clothes from an array of retailers.