Looking to build stylish, enviable wardrobes for you and your (growing-too-quickly) family without spending a fortune? Consider these options for how to dress well on a budget:
Shop strategically: It takes foresight, but planning your purchases when clothes are most likely to be discounted can save a bundle. Retailers typically slash prices to clear stock from the season that’s ending to make room for the new season’s fashions. Generally speaking, look for spring and summer clothes to go on sale in June or July, and fall and winter stock to go on sale in January after the holidays. But don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for clearance racks all year long. The counter strategy may also apply, with retailers slashing prices at times of high demand, such as discounting clothes in August in time for back-to-school, for example.
Organize a clothing swap: Not only can swaps save money (what’s better than free?), but they’re a fun way to socialize, and with heaps of used clothing ending up in landfills, it’s environmentally friendly as well. Participants bring their valued but no longer used clothing to exchange with others. The more participants the better, but you’d be surprised at how even those with different body types and sizes can fit into the same items. Set up a full-length mirror, send out the invitations, and you’re ready to host. You may want to offer guidelines, such as limits on quality or sticking to a theme (such as only dresses, or children's clothes, for example). At the end, consider donating any unclaimed items to charity.
Try consignment: Earn a few dollars by selling your gently worn clothes through a consignment shop, and save by buying that way too. Note that most consignment shops tend to accept only higher-end, or name-brand used clothing.
Mend and make do: Somewhere along the line, society seems to have lost the built-to-last philosophy of our parents and grandparents. Instead of tossing garments that are torn, stained or worn out, consider mending or altering them to give them an extended lease on life. Learn the basics of mending rips, sewing on buttons, hemming, and otherwise altering or embellishing clothes to keep them in the rotation longer. Children and teens in particular may love the one-of-a-kind looks they can create with their old or thrift-shop clothes by adding appliques, stenciled designs, embroidery or other simple embellishments.
Create a capsule wardrobe: It’s a concept that stretches back to the 1970’s but has – spending more money on a few “investment pieces” that fit well and will last for years instead of months, creating a compact wardrobe that can be worn often and easily mixes and matches. A capsule wardrobe can help you stay organized and save money, time and closet space, and doesn’t have to be boring – retailers such as can help add life to your basics with stylish and affordable seasonal pieces and accessories.