Tough times require a bit of strategy. If the rising cost of living is making your midlife more challenging than usual but you don’t want to renounce your style, there’s no need to max out your credit card trying to get the clothes you want.
All you have to do is find new ways to reduce your outgoings. Whether you decide to swap a few items of clothing with friends, buy second-hand clothes, hunt down discount codes or get the most out of sales, you can always find the middle ground between budget and style.
Here are some tips to help you save money on clothes and keep looking cool.
Buy for the life you actually live
When it comes to saving money on clothes, midlife women know that less is definitely more. So, if you’re trying to stick to a budget, it’s important to only buy things that you’ll actually wear. For instance, if you spend a lot of time at home, buying another pair of cool stilettos just because it’s on sale wouldn’t really help your finances as you’ll probably wear it once. Instead, think about investing your money in quality pieces that can last a few years; that can make more financial sense than buying trendy but cheaply-made items.
Ideally, you should opt for basics to level up with cool accessories. That’s because, unlike clothing, accessories cost less, don’t wear out quickly or get torn or stained and can add accent to your look.
The ability to save money is one of the reasons many people shop online. Many online retailers operate exclusively online, which means that they have lower overheads and can pass the savings on to the consumer. In addition, many retailers offer exclusive deals and promotions to online customers and this makes it even easier to save money.
Looking at online retailers means you can effortlessly compare prices and find the best one for your budget, too.
Recycle old clothes in exchange for vouchers
Several high street shops now run recycling schemes and offer vouchers in exchange for old clothes. For example, H&M and Schuh offer £5 to be redeemed off a £25 shop, and Marks and Spencer offer the same when you spend £35. New Look offers 15% off if shoppers donate pre-loved fashion to a hospice charity shop.
Consider renting clothes
One way to save money on clothing is to stop buying it and start renting it. This works particularly if you are a fashionista or you have a very busy social calendar filled with cool events.
These days you can count on several online platforms where you can pick out multiple items, and keep them for as long as you want before returning them and getting new ones. In this way, you can save money and closet space while scoring the chance to step out in a truly fabulous piece of clothing. Access top brands and designers while experimenting with your personal style and trends.
Explore garage sales and second-hand shops
Don’t shy away from secondhand stores and markets. You can find great designer items and unique pieces that will turn heads as well as good deals. Plus, it’s more environmentally conscious and you can often negotiate prices. Shopping at garage sales helps us lower our carbon footprints and participate in a more circular economy, giving new life to items by keeping them out of landfills.
If you prefer, you can also shop on popular websites and apps including eBay, Depop and Vinted or organise a swap party and then refresh your wardrobe in good company, without a penny spent.
Look for Sales
If you are a professional clothes shopper, you must already be aware of the fact that sales are the best way to get a good deal on clothes. Most stores will have a clearance rack, so consider looking there to see if you can find any deals but attention to a “buy-one, get-one deal“. It might be good when you know you like the product and will use it. But if it’s an item you haven’t used before or are not planning on using very often, the sale doesn’t really matter.
Above all, stick to simple garments. Trendy clothes cost more and have a shorter shelf life. You could spend hundreds trying to keep up with the fashion magazines, only to realize you no longer adore that peasant skirt six months later.