Guest post: Best tips for bargain fashionistas from a professional

The fact that on-trend clothes, especially designer clothes, come at a high price is a source of perpetual frustration for many. If you’re like me and refuse to pay designer prices but you want to wear the latest trends AND save money, it can be tough to build a wardrobe you love. However, today’s guest blogger and professional fashionista Jonah Levine, Creative Director of TheDressWarehouse, is here to show us that there are no shortage of ways to achieve this on a budget…

PLAN AHEAD AND MAKE A LIST

Impulse buys can drain your budget. Just like you’d make a list before you go supermarket shopping, make one before you hit the high street or online marketplace. Decide what you intend to buy before going shopping: how many shorts, skirts, or pairs of jeans do you need? If you want to buy shirts, what style are you looking for? Long-sleeve, short-sleeve, or casual t-shirts? Get specific, it’ll keep you focused in your hunt.

SHOP FOR TRENDS THAT LAST

Trendy clothes not only have a short shelf life, but are also more expensive. It’s easy to realise you’re no longer in love with that leopard-print mini three months later. It’s best to stick to classic styles like A-line skirts and other basic pieces that always work. Try to buy neutral colours, earth tones, and jewel tones, as well as soft, flowing fabrics that shape your body well. Bright colours tend to look cheaper, as do shiny and figure-hugging fabrics, even though they not always are!

DON’T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE

If you see a garment you like, but it’s kind of pricey, don’t be afraid to ask for an adjustment if you’re shopping in a boutique or independent store, especially if you’re buying a whole new wardrobe’s-worth of clothes at once. Sometimes, people buy something at full price only to see it at 50% off a few days later. By the way, you can still return a now-discounted item if the tag’s still on and you’ve kept the receipt and most stores will refund the price paid for the item, not its current one.

CONSIDER COST-PER-WEAR

You’ve fallen in love with that luxurious coat or jacket, but how many times will you wear it? Be realistic. Most people’s wardrobes are full of things they don’t wear. Don’t give in to impulse. Take a few minutes while you continue shopping (or even a few days) to think about it. Need another way to fight impulsivity? Search for the items you want online and compare prices. This will give you time to think if you really need that piece of clothing while actively giving you something to do.

SHOP DURING THE OFF SEASON

In the off-season, retailers try to make room for new collections, so you can score big markdowns. Shop for winter coats in May, swimwear in September, and sandals in December. You can even get discounts on designer goods by waiting for the right time of year to buy them.

SHOP ONLINE DISCOUNTS

When clothes shopping, don’t forget online retailers. They can offer very impressive discounts and a bigger selection of clearance items than most traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Bargain shopping online is like browsing the racks of a discount store. The retailers get out-of-season merchandise from designer brands and then sell it to you at a major discount. Do you have a formal event coming up, such as a friend’s wedding, a dance, or party? Online discount stores are perfect for finding designer dresses on sale

LOOK FOR FREE SHIPPING

The extra cost of shipping and handling might well be the only disadvantage of shopping online. However, some stores offer free shipping online or you can have the items delivered to a local store for you to collect for free. If your size isn’t available or your favorite colour is sold out when you’re shopping in-store, ask the retailer to arrange an online purchase. Then, all you need to do is wait for your picks to be delivered free of charge to your front door.

CARE FOR YOUR CLOTHES

Before buying, always read the label. Save by sticking to “machine wash” and avoid the dry-clean-only stuff as it will keep incurring expenses down the line. Still, “machine washable” is not the same as “forever and ever.” Wash clothes in cool water on a gentle cycle and line-dry to make sure they last as long as possible. Always wash by hand items that are delicate or have the possibility of shrinking.

FOLLOW YOUR FAVOURITE BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Just like you follow your fave celebs, friends, and one ex or another (admit it!), make sure you’re following your favourite brands. Sometimes retailers announce clearance and discounts only on social media. Look out for Twitter-specific sale alerts, special offer codes, and contests that aren’t announced on any other media.  

FINAL TIP:

Do you know what the best time to buy clothes at a discount is? At the end of the day on Tuesdays. Most retailers cut prices and change their specials before closing on Tuesday evening. This way, you can get a head start and enjoy a bigger selection than other shoppers, who won’t come until the official sale starts on Wednesday morning.

Author Bio: Jonah Levine is the Creative Director of TheDressWarehouse.com. TheDressWarehouse.com was launched in 2018 as the go-to online source for amazing prom dresses on sale. With 10 years experience in the industry, Jonah works daily to scour the evening wear markets to find the hottest styles and to negotiate the best prices for special occasion wear on the internet.



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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