Many of us spend – and waste – a lot of money on buying clothes. Fashion, of course, can be almost like a hobby for some people. It is a way of expressing themselves and having fun, but if not done carefully, it can have a massive impact on their bank balance, especially if they don’t quite know when to stop.
There is no need to stop buying new clothes as a treat, but to help you to save some money, here are a few tips on making sensible decisions when shopping and make your clothes last longer.
Sure, you most probably have your eyes on that range of RRL by Ralph Lauren shirts, but don’t make any impulsive decisions. Most of the time, the items left hanging in your closet – the ones you never wear are the result of a snap decision. It was on sale, your friend said that you looked fabulous, the sales assistant was cute and flirty, there are lots of irrational reasons why we buy stuff. By all means, go in to the shop, try them on and make sure that they fit and look good. Take a walk and go back later, if you still love it, then it’s right for you. If you like browsing online, do some research to see if you can find any offers or better deals. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions before you buy, such as the shipping information and what happens if you change your mind or there is an issue.
Make sure that it fits
We all get so hung up on clothes sizes these days, but size really is just a number. It is important not to get too wrapped up about what number is inside your dress or shirt, and buy things that fit you well, look good and most importantly, feel comfortable. If you try to squeeze into something a size too small just because the label says your normal size, you are never going to end up wearing it. It will sit lurking in your wardrobe for years, gathering dust until you end up throwing it out, unworn.
Quality over quantity
Fast fashion is a big deal. We go to shops where we can pick up multiple items that we only end up wearing once because after they have been washed and dried and pressed, they lose their shape or end up shrinking or pilling. It is better to spend a little bit more money on one item that is better quality and will last for years over several items that you end up throwing away after one wear.
Consider a capsule wardrobe
Linked to the point above, instead of buying lots of things that will date very quickly, buy clothing items that are entirely adaptable to any situation and pass the test of time. When it comes to a capsule wardrobe, a pair of quality, well fitted dark blue jeans, a crisp, white shirt, a black blazer or jacket and handbags and shoes in neutral colors are always suggested. This is because it does not matter whether you are going to work or chasing the kids around the park; these items will work and can be mixed and matched with other, less expensive items. Before you make a purchase, consider how many different ways you can wear it.
Follow the laundry instructions
The lifespan of your clothes can be significantly increased by making sure that you follow the laundry instructions to the letter. It can be tempting to throw it all in the washing machine together at the same temperature and then into the dryer, especially if you have a busy household, but pop that expensive wool jumper or silk shirt in the tumble dryer and you will instantly regret it, we guarantee. If you know that you can’t commit to complicated laundry routines, check the instructions before you buy anything and leave it on the rack if you are not prepared to do what they say to keep it at it’s very best!
Buy out of season
You can find some pretty great deals on your favorite trends during the off-season, so if you can wait a short while, you should shop at the end of a season to take advantage of clearance prices. This is where retailers reduce prices drastically to get rid of the current season’s fashion to make way for next season’s trends.
Sign up for reward programs
Many clothing retailers have their own store cards, offering you credit or reward and loyalty programs. If you shop there regularly, it may be worth taking advantage of these as they often give you access to exclusive discounts and sales. Whether you shop in season or off-season, this is a great way to get the latest fashion at the lower prices.
Written in collaboration with Joe Daniel