5 Tips For Saving Money When Shopping For Clothes

Whether young or old, we all like to look our best and shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories is one of life’s little pleasures for many. However, with people cutting their cloth (sorry for the pun!) according to their means at the moment, buying new clothes can sometimes feel like a luxury we can ill afford. That doesn’t mean that buying clothes has to be something we no longer do as there are many ways to enjoy new trends and fashion without breaking the bank.

1. A great way to gain a new look for free is to hold a “swishing” party with your friends. Everyone brings an item or two (or more) they no longer want, maybe some shoes, a belt, a dress or a bag and then “swishes” or swaps them for another item. It’s a good idea to settle on how many items you will all bring as it is unfortunate if one friend brings a huge bag full and another brings one item! For the price of a few nibbles and drinks, you and your friends can get themselves a whole new look for free and also have an inexpensive fun evening trying on new outfits!

2. Shopping at charity/thrift shops and boot sales can uncover a whole new load of fashion treasures for mere pennies. The last thing people want to do when holding a boot sale is take all their items home with them, so there are many bargains to be had. I recently picked up a new suit from Mexx, complete with tags, for £1! The seller bought it on impulse and was just happy to get rid of it. Charity shops can also give you a great new look for less. My sister was looking for a winter coat recently but at £50 on the High Street, they were out of her reach. A trip to her local charity shop uncovered a great cream wool coat for less than £7! And her purchase also raised cash for a local good cause.

3. If you are lucky enough to have a local market, you will probably find traders who sell clothes and accessories for a fraction of the cost of those sold by the large retailers. These stalls are great for picking up items such as scarves, fashion jewellery and bags which can update your look. Our local market sells scarves and pashminas for a fiver for two, which can instantly transform an outfit.

4. If you are talented with a needle or own a sewing machine, why not consider making or customising your own clothes rather than buying new? With fashion gurus such as Gok Wan showing you how to transform an outfit for a few pounds, it is something which can be done at home with little outlay. A packet of dye and some string can transform a t shirt into a tie dye marvel. Or a few fabric flowers sewn on can update a dress or skirt instantly. If you are more serious, patterns and fabric can be found at most charity or craft/sewing shops.

5. A way of making fashion affordable is to consider a catalogue. A favourite of many women in 1970’s/1980’s, catalogues are now a very popular way to update your look and spread the cost. Many stars such as Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby have their own fashion lines in catalogues. Many catalogues also offer an incentive such as 10% off your first order if you purchase. Obviously only consider a catalogue if you are able to pay it off each month.

Hopefully these tips will show that fashion can remain affordable and give you a few new ideas when next considering a new outfit!

5 Mistakes That You Should Avoid When Shopping For Clothes

Shopping can be fun and rewarding, but there are also times when the entire experience can be unpleasant. Most people can think of several occasions when the shopping experience has left them feeling like they had been robbed or had thrown away good money. There are some mistakes that you should look out for before you go shopping for clothes.

1. Not trying it on

Failing to try on clothes before you buy them can be a huge mistake. The fact is that just because the item looks good on the mannequin does not mean it will look good on you! If you are in a rush, you are better off waiting to shop another day than buying something that might not fit or that you will hate the moment you try it on.

2. Ignoring your lifestyle

Failing to consider your lifestyle when shopping for clothes is a big mistake. You have to make sure that you shop for items that match your lifestyle so that you can avoid regrets. Buying an outfit that you will never wear is simply a waste of money. Before you buy that dress that looks so great, you need to decide if and where you will wear it.

3. What you do not need

Another common mistake that people make is buying items that they do not need. Just because it is on sale does not mean that you have to buy it! You might see an item that you do not necessarily love but you buy it because you are getting a bargain. Another black dress or white shirt to join those you already have and are not wearing, is not a smart buy.

4. Buying an “almost fit”

It either fits or it does not fit but there is nothing like an “almost” fit! Buying clothes that do not fit because you are ‘just sure’ you will lose some weight is not smart. Unless you are buying something slightly bigger so that you can have it altered, you are wasting your money. Remember that clothes that fit will always look best on you.

5. Ignoring your style

You need to know how to recognize your style when shopping. Knowing the clothes that look good on you is a distinct advantage. Think about your lifestyle, your size, body type, and other factors like the best colors. It is important to realize that something that looks good on your best friend may not look good on you.

Make sure that you read the care labels when buying clothes. It helps to have someone with you to offer a second opinion while you are shopping.

Online Shopping for Clothes? Do Yourself a Big Favor & Read this Before Making a Tragic Purchase!

Online Shopping today? To be more exact – online clothes shopping today? Good idea – you can find clothes shops from all over the world that will deliver to your door step (but wait a minute – is it such a good idea)???

Well – in my opinion, clothes shopping is soooooo hard – I find it the most difficult thing to buy online.
You can’t feel the fabric, there are often small changes to colour, the sizing is awful (especially if you’re talking about international sizing), and you can’t see it on a normal person (generally you see it on a milky white, stick figure model – if you are “normal sized”, and have asian colouring for instance – you’re not going to tell if it’s going to suit you).

So… what are you to do? No online shopping for clothes??? No – that’s not what I’m saying. By all means you should shop online for clothes – there are some HUGE bargains to be had, and the range of different shops & clothing styles is amazing (especially if you come from a small country like New Zealand).

But – if you are shopping online, find the following in an online shop, or an online trader:

* A well known online shop (generally their sizes, colours etc. are more accurate)

* A well known brand (and I’m not talking about fakes here – the real thing. For example – Levis – you are always going to find the same “size” Levis, no matter where you shop)

* A trusted online shop (do a search on their name – if their sizes/colours don’t match up, there is sure to be someone complaining on the internet somewhere…)

* An online shop recommended by other websites or friends (if a website is recommending a shop, generally this says good things, and as for your friends – if you can’t trust them….)

* An online shop that gives you unconditional money back guarantees, and offers returns (if that skirt does look awful on you, you can always send it back – (don’t get a guarantee for “only if broken” – if you don’t like it, you should be able to return it).

* An online shop with a telephone number / complaints department (if there is something wrong, you want to be able to get hold of them).

* Make sure the trader has loads of feedback (good of course) – and don’t just look at the feedback. People tend to only put good feedback (because they don’t want bad feedback in return) – so (if the auction allows it) check out how many items they’ve sold as well. If they’ve sold 10,000 and only have 1000 good feedbacks, you should query this – once again – check out Google – do a search on their trader name. If they are really bad, people are sure to talk – even if it’s not on the actual auction site itself.

* Make sure the trader has loads of completed sales – if they have 100 sales that aren’t completed in the last month – why – ask them in the auction questions BEFORE you bid. Remember it is a lot easier to get a refund from a shop than an online auction seller (generally)So what does this mean about online shopping?

Nothing… by all means – shop online. In fact I encourage online shopping (for all the reasons listed in the first place) – just do it with all of the “rules” in mind. That way – you should get what you’re looking for, and not end up with a wardrobe full of “disgusting” clothes.

Most online retailers are fantastic by the way – I’ve yet to find one that is really “off the mark” – but it is always a fear in the back of my mind – so I follow my steps….