How To Shop For Clothes On A Budget


Maybe it has happened to you before: Your new t-shirt looks like it has suddenly aged two years with one wash. A hole has opened in the crotch of the jeans you’ve only had for six months. A thread is hanging from your shirt after just a few wears, threatening a much greater unraveling.

Not all clothing is made to last. The quality of our clothes is in decline, some argue, and the culprit is a global fashion system that prioritizes lightning-fast production and a cheap price tag. We shop constantly, and always want more new stuff, creating a culture of disposable, low-quality clothes.

But quitting fast, cheap fashion is easier said than done. To start with, if we want to buy better clothes that last us longer, we have to know what to look for when we’re shopping new clothes. 


Best-way-to-shop-clothes-on-a-budget


 Tips When buying Clothes

1. Look for good fabric. I’m not a snob to polyester. The truth is 60% of the fabrics which exist on the earth are polyester, so it’s common to have it in your wardrobe and our future (because of all this excess polyester) looks like fabric blends (and buying and producing less). But I won’t lie to you, many of the pieces that I’ve had for a long time have been cotton, linen and very high quality wool. I realized before I fully stopped purchasing fast fashion all together that I truly hated fast fashion sweaters because they became terrible after a season. Beaded. Misshapen. I began to see them as an utter waste of my money - so I made a rule. I stopped buying sweaters unless they were cotton, cashmere or high quality wool. It kept me from a lot of impulse purchases and it’s part of why I’m known for my knitwear. I think that was a key step in weaning myself from fast fashion - setting a standard for what came in my closet.Want to know if a sweater is going to bead in the store? Pinch the material and give it a good rub. It will show you how it behaves right there.

2. Stop following trends and develop your personal style. When you develop your personal style you’ll naturally know what styles work for you and which don’t. You’ll sidestep a lot of stuff in stores that you don’t need simply because it’s not your thing. You won’t feel pressured to buy "just because". Getting dressed in the morning and truly loving your clothes means that you never stress out in front of your closet about what to wear. That wardrobe will carry you through many seasons and you’ll be too in love with your wardrobe to needlessly consume.  A great way to figure out your personal style for free is to start a Pinterest board for looks you enjoy. Eventually your pins will start to reflect to you exactly what you love.  
Realize that there will always be trial and error (because no one gets it right all the time… not even me the writer)

3. Start at Low-End Retailers. Almost always, our clothes shopping starts at thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales, and the like. There's a simple reason for that - people with more money than sense tend to basically give away much of their stuff unused or barely used, so why not take advantage of it?
Sure, you might browse through a thrift store and find absolutely nothing that works for you. So what? You spent fifteen or twenty minutes searching for a bargain and came up empty. Move on.
However, if you find even one or two items that work for your family's needs at a thrift store or a consignment shop or a yard sale and save 75% or more off of the original cost of the item, then the stop was well worth it.

4. Buy Quality Clothing Items. Unless it's practically free, you're better off buying clothing items from good brands with a reputation for well-made items. If you give me the choice between a $10 shirt that's falling apart after or a $100 shirt that still looks good after fifty washings, I'll take the $100 shirt any day of the week.
So, how do you identify well-made items? Some people have better eyes for this than others, and I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the sharpest eye for clothing. Still, there are a few things that I know how to do when examining any clothing item.
The first strategy I use is to glance at the seams. The seams of a well-made clothing item versus a cheaply-made one tell the difference - the stitching is far better in the well-made item, meaning the item will hold together for much longer. There aren't strings dangling off and it doesn't look like you could easily rip it apart with a tug. The seams on a good quality item are usually perfectly straight, too, and any patterns should match up well at the seams. Also, keep an eye on the material. Try to stick to natural fibers and blends that last a long time, like wool, and avoid synthetics like polyester. The tag will tell you this information.
You can apply these tests anywhere, from the small consignment shop on the corner to the highest-end clothing store you've ever set foot in. Simple tests like these will point you toward items that last and away from items that will be disastrous.
I'm a rather tall guy, and even I've found some amazing stuff in thrift stores and consignment stores. Land's End sweaters that fit me for $8? Yes, please. At one local thrift store, I found three practically new Todd Shelton shirts for $10 that immediately became staples of my dress shirt rotation - these normally sell for well over $100. Items like these are well-made - you can tell from the seams and the material - and have lasted me for many years.

5. Practice Appropriate Clothes Care. It's not rocket science. Wash whites with whites. Wash similar colors together. Follow the directions on the tag and, if there are no directions, find out how to wash that kind of garment online.
The problem is that it's really easy to skip this when you've got a family of five that seems to blow through clothes like there's no tomorrow. We can easily generate four or five loads of laundry per week at our house if we're not careful about it.
Thus, the key to practicing appropriate clothes care is to have a good system in place for all the clothes and knowing exactly how to best care for the different types of clothes.
In terms of maximizing the life of your clothes, a few clothing care strategies work really well. Try to avoid using your dryer for anything but socks and underwear and use a clothesline for your other items (that lint in your lint trap is the residue from your clothes falling apart under the rigor of the tumble dryer). Use a front-loading washer as it's gentler on clothes. Don't wash jeans and other sturdy garments every time - instead, wash them when they're actually dirty. All of these tips will greatly extend the life of your clothes.

6. Approach Baby and Toddler Clothes Differently. Almost all of the tips described above go out the window when you're considering baby clothes. Why? Babies grow so quickly that they only need their clothes to last for a few months before they're on to the next size. This pretty much holds true until they're roughly two years old.
Prior to that, the best way to save money on baby clothes is to buy them cheap. You don't need to worry about ensuring a long life for an outfit for your three month old because they'll likely only wear it a few times before they outgrow it.

7. Utilize Hand-Me-Downs. When the kids get older, the rules change quite a bit. In fact, if you have multiple children, it is really worthwhile to get sturdy well-made clothes for the oldest child because those items can easily be handed down from child to child.
The majority of our youngest child's wardrobe is made up of the better items from his older brother's wardrobe from a few years ago. The cheap items? They didn't make the cut because they were simply worn out. Kids can be really tough on clothes.
So, once your oldest child escapes toddlerdom and aren't outgrowing their clothes every few months, look to the future. Are you going to have more children? Are those children already present? If they are, take extra care in looking for sturdy clothing for your oldest child. You're far better off spending twice as much on a t-shirt with good stitching compared to one that's not well made because the well-made shirt will likely stick around for the younger brother or sister... and maybe even the younger sibling after that. The poorly made t-shirt will likely hit the rag bag.
Along those same lines, if you do have a well-made item of clothing, don't ever be afraid to hand it down. As long as it still looks good, it's essentially free clothing for your younger child.

8. Buy for Opposite Seasons. We buy most of our summer clothes in early fall. We buy most of our winter clothes in early spring.
The reason's pretty obvious. In early fall, retailers are getting rid of their summer stuff and there's often a ton of sales with incredible markdowns on pretty high quality garments. The same thing is true with winter items in early spring and for spring and fall items at the end of those seasons.
In fact, it's only during those opposite season purchases where we find new quality clothes that match the prices of the better consignment shop items.

9. Use Clothes Sales, But Don't Fetishize Them. One healthy approach for keeping your clothing spending in check is to limit the size of your wardrobe. Keep only a certain number of each clothing category, then agree to only add new ones when old ones need replaced.
For example, I have eight long sleeved dress shirts, eight short sleeved dress shirts, some number of t-shirts (I haven't bought any in years, so I'm not sure of the numbers), eight pairs of blue jeans, and six pairs of dress pants. That makes up most of my wardrobe. If an item wears out, I replace it.
This leads into clothes sales. The best way to use a clothing sale is to fill a slot in your wardrobe to replace an item that's on the way out. That way, you have some time to look at a number of clothes sales and patiently wait for one on items that you actually want - as well as give yourself plenty of time to check thrift and consignment shops when it's convenient - before actually taking the plunge.

10. Buy Current Sizes, Not "Goal" Sizes. Sometimes people are tempted to buy clothing that's a bit smaller than their current size and use it as some sort of motivator to get in better shape. I highly recommend avoiding this strategy, particularly on sale items or anything that can't easily be returned. (Obviously, this doesn't apply if the store you're buying from has an incredible return policy.)
Focus your clothing dollars on items that are useful, not aspirational. It's not an effective use of your money to buy something that has a significant likelihood of not being worn. The motivation for true weight loss comes from an internal motivator - something you want to change in your life - not an external one, so investing money in an external one will usually not pay off. Keep your money in your pocket and seek out other motivations.
Not only that, if you actually need to return a new item because it doesn't fit well, it's going to feel a lot better returning something that's too big than returning something that's too small.

11. Use a mood board. Your mood board is a collection of images of clothing that you like; it helps you craft your personal style and serves as a source of inspiration when you’re clothes shopping. Notice commonalities between the images you’ve selected—are there specific colors, textures, and styles you consistently gravitate toward? When selecting pieces, see if they align with the overall style of your mood board. 

 12. Keep a wish list. Keep a running list of clothing items that you want or need. When you go shopping, glance over the list to remind yourself what you’re actually looking for. Shopping from a list is usually more successful than heading out with one specific item in mind—you may not find everything you want on the first try, but over multiple shopping trips, you can generally check off most of the items on your list. When online shopping, bookmark your favorite items and return to them when the brand has a sale. 

13. Know your measurements. Keep a note on your phone with your hip, waist, and chest measurements. This will help with online shopping, allowing you to compare your measurements with a store’s size chart. When clothes shopping in person, you can bring a measuring tape to check if a piece will fit before you even try it on. This is especially helpful when shopping secondhand, since vintage sizing can be very different from modern sizing. 

14. Start broad, then edit. Whether you’re shopping online or at a brick-and-mortar clothing store, add all the items you like to your shopping cart, then edit down your options from there. By bringing many pieces together, you’ll be better able to compare them and decide which ones you like. There are bound to be pieces that don’t work out and other pieces that surprise you. By branching out a little, you can find hidden gems. 

15. Make a list of items you already own. When considering a new item, make a mental list of the pieces from your closet you’ll be able to wear with it. Unless you’re building a brand-new wardrobe from scratch, you’ll probably want this new piece to play well with several items you already own. If a cardigan you’re coveting doesn’t work with any of the clothes you have at home, consider why that may be. Are you trying to move your style in a different direction? If a piece doesn’t go with anything else you own, it may not be right for you. Of course, there are exceptions—statement pieces that work all on their own, or clothes for special occasions. When you get home, try on the piece with your other clothing. If it doesn’t work, return it. 

16. Diversify your wardrobe. It’s easy to gravitate toward the same safe pieces. But there’s only so many black dresses or dark-wash denim jeans any one person needs. Having multiples of the same item can add unnecessary bulk to your closet, making it harder to get dressed. If you find something you like but already own something similar, ask yourself: Do I like this version better than what I currently have? How many of these do I really want? The answer usually isn’t more than two, except when it comes to your work uniform. 

17. Bring a friend. Shopping is more fun with friends, and a second opinion can be extremely helpful. If you’re unsure about a piece, a friend can give you the confidence to try it or let you know if the piece doesn’t seem like “you.” Ask a friend or family member whose aesthetic you admire to go on a shopping trip with you—they'll probably be flattered. 

18. Always try on multiple sizes. When you find something you like, grab it in your size as well as the sizes above and below. Maybe try it in a few different colors. Bring as many pieces into the fitting room as you can, and take as much time in there as you need—see how a piece feels when you bend down, sit, or twirl. 

19. Go window shopping. Window shopping can provide inspiration. If you see something you love at a designer shop but the price is too high, add it to your wish list and see if you can find a more suitable version elsewhere. This is also a great way to find styling ideas for your mood board.

20. Put clothing items on hold. If you’re on the fence about an item, ask the store if you can put it on hold. Many stores will hold an item until the end of the day, giving you time to decide. Walk around for an hour, and see if you’re still thinking about the piece when you come back. For online shopping, simply place an item in your cart and wait a day or two before buying—or bookmark it in your wish list folder.

 

Ways To Save Money On Clothes

Surely, it’s important to feel good about the way you dress, but that doesn’t mean you should blow your budget to stay fashionable.
Nonetheless, buying clothes can take a big bite out of your budget. In fact, the average American spends about $150 per month on clothing. It might not sound like a lot, but that’s nearly $2,000 per year.
Let’s get real: if that $150 was invested in a retirement account every month and earned 6% interest for 20 years, it would have grown to nearly $70,000. And, even if you earned zero interest and simply saved that $150 a month for one single year, you’d have $1,800 in your bank account. Yikes. So, how can you buy some fashionable threads while still saving money?
To help you find a balance between trendy and broke, we’ve compiled a list of 25 ways to stay fashionable on a dime. Continue reading to learn more.

1. Buy generic basics

If you’re buying layering pieces that you mostly wear under other things — like tank tops or plain tees — don’t bother shelling out for a brand name. No one’s going to see it, and it’s probably not going to last long — part of an undershirt’s job is keeping sweat off your nice button-down, right? Stick to stuff like Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, and save the labels for stuff you actually show off.

2. Shop out of season

We know, it’s exciting to buy things pre-season. When it’s icy outside, that lightweight sundress makes you feel like spring is right around the corner. But if you’re buying in anticipation of what’s next, you’re paying the maximum retail price. If you shop for what’s not happening, you’ll get a much better price. Sure, it might feel weird to buy a sweater when it’s nearly triple digits outside, but it’ll save you some cool cash.

3. Buy one really great swimsuit

When you’re gearing up for a vacation, it’s tempting to load up on fun, inexpensive swimwear. Here’s the thing though — all of that cheap stuff is going to wind up costing you more in the long run. Not only are you buying more of it to begin with, but it’s going to be sagging, stretching, or sheer before you know it. Instead, invest in one really great, well-made swimsuit, and make it last. After you wear it, rinse it out or soak it in cold tap water to remove lotion, sunscreen, and other oils, which can damage and fade the fabric. Then let it air dry. With good care — and a good suit — you can get three years of use out of it. Can’t think of a swimsuit you’d be willing to wear for three years? It’s hard to go wrong with a basic black bikini or maillot from a made-to-last name like Land’s End.

4. Skip the factory outlets

“But I can save 50% off retail price!” you say. Well, can you? Outlet stores are usually a mix of items from last season that didn’t sell (usually for a reason, like an unflattering color, poor fit, or a short-lived trend) and items that were made just for the outlet. With the latter, that price that’s 50% off the suggested retail price is pretty much made up — the outlet is the only place it’s ever been sold, and that “sale” price is the real price. Items made just for outlets are generally not as high quality, so all you’re really paying for is the label.

5. Go easy on trends

Fashion trends all have their moments, whether it’s ikat-print everything or oxford-style lace-ups. Once that moment’s over though, it’s either sitting in your closet, headed for charity, or saying loudly to all around you, “Hey, I bought this in 2012!” Even though stores like H&M and Forever 21 try to get you to buy ultra-trendy items because they’re so cheap, think about it — if you’re constantly buying the latest trends and then not wearing them for long, are they really that cheap? Instead of falling for fast fashion, only buy trendy items that you genuinely like and that fit with your style. Who knows, other people’s fashion moment might become one of your wardrobe staples.

6. Expand your options with accessories

Make your basic wardrobe feel more exciting with inexpensive accessories — think necklaces, bracelets, belts, and scarves that you can mix with outfits you already own. Especially if your work wardrobe has to stay in the business casual doldrums, a little accessorizing can make your basics feel fun and special. This isn’t just for the ladies, either: Guys can switch it up with differently patterned or colorful socks and ties. Either way, you can get away with spending a lot less to make a new outfit.

7. Don’t be afraid of a little DIY

No, we’re not saying you have to make your own clothes — that’s harder than it sounds, and it already sounds really hard. Instead, just learn some sewing basics. Hand-sewing a button is actually super-easy, and you can replace a popped button instead of getting a new shirt. Bored of a cardigan? Give it some new life by replacing the buttons. If you own or have access to a sewing machine, learn to do a simple hem. You can save on hemming your own pants and jeans, and those perfectly tailored trousers you ruined when you walked through a puddle? You can hem ’em into a perfect pair of shorts.

8. Use coupon apps to score a better deal

There’s an app for everything, and unsurprisingly, there are tons of great coupon apps that can help you save money. Yowza is a free, location-based app for Android and iOS that lets you search for coupons at stores near you (both chains and local merchants). Coupon Sherpa is another great app, which lets you search for coupons for retailers, restaurants, and more. You can set it up to remember your favorite stores, letting you track when they have special offers.

9. Befriend a salesperson

Have one spot you always love shopping? It’s worthwhile to get to know one of the salespeople. Not only will you get better service (which never hurts), it’ll also give you an inside line on upcoming sales and deals. If there’s an item you love but the price is a little too steep, you can ask your in-store BFF to hold it a few days for you, then scoop it up on sale.

10. Beware the dry-clean only tag

You know how car ads talk about the price to own a vehicle, not just what it costs to buy? The same goes for clothes. If you’re buying items that need to be dry-cleaned, you’re going to keep paying for them long after you get home from the store. Depending on how often they need cleaning, you could be tacking on an extra $10 to the cost of the item every few wears. It adds up fast. Instead of dry-clean only, try to find clothes that have a fancy look and feel, but can be tossed in your washer. Home dry-cleaning kits are another option. Have something that’s absolutely got to go to the cleaner? Extend the time between visits by spot cleaning as needed.

11. Only buy what you can actually pay for

If you can’t afford it, you’ve got to skip it. One way to put yourself on a major spending diet is to only buy clothes with cash; handing over actual dollars makes the money you’re spending feel much more real than throwing down the plastic, even if it’s the same amount of dough. If you’re using a card, make sure you can pay off the entire balance when it comes due. Paying interest on your clothes means you’re paying more for them.

12. Store your clothes with care

Extend the life of the clothes you do have by taking decent care of them. That means actually folding items like sweaters and tees, not overstuffing your drawers, and taking off those plastic dry-cleaning bags before you hang stuff up (oh yeah, you’ve got to hang stuff up, too!). For hanging items, invest in those fuzzy “huggable” hangers. It’s pricier than buying basic plastic hangers, but they won’t warp your tops’ shoulders.

13. Don’t do flash sales

Just don’t. Flash sales lead to crazy, adrenaline-fueled purchases – you’re not stopping to really think through whether you need those purple python stilettos, you’re just thinking that it’s a great deal and there are only a few of them and oh my gosh I only have a few more minutes to lock this in! The sites lure you in by telling you you’re getting deep discounts on designer goods — and yes, it’s a big price drop — but in the heat of a flash sale you’re not likely to make wise decisions. Plus, as with the designer stuff at outlets — there’s a reason this stuff wound up on a sale site.

14. Be willing to hunt

Stores tend to put the priciest items right in the middle of the sales floor, and especially at higher-end boutiques, they aren’t excited to showcase the clearance rack. Walk around the edges of the shop, and keep your eyes peeled for deals. Stores are carefully laid out to try to encourage you to spend money, so the most discounted items may be the hardest to find.
15. Keep your zippers zipped
A weird tip, but it’s another way to keep your clothes lasting longer: Before you do your laundry, make sure anything that has a zipper (like pants and hoodies) is zipped up. That way, the zipper’s teeth aren’t getting tumbled around in your washer or dryer — and aren’t ripping or pulling the other garments you’ve got in there.

16. Swap for special occasions

“Just get a little black dress, you’ll wear it for everything.” Easier said than done, right? Especially when you’ve got a bunch of weddings to go to, and one’s in the daytime in a vineyard, and another involves a beach weekend. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up and a friend who’s a similar size, shop her closet for something new to wear. When she’s got an event coming up, you can return the favor — and you both get a better ROI on your formalwear.

17. Hit the thrift shops

If you’re determined to get a bargain, you can’t find clothing much less expensive than in a thrift shop — and if it’s one that supports a charity, you’re even doing good with your purchase. That said, thrifting isn’t always for the faint of heart: You’re going to do a lot of digging. Some major thrift retailers like Goodwill have actually started pulling out their designer and major-label pieces and putting them on special racks, making the search a little less daunting. If an item isn’t your size, you’re out of luck — but if it is, you’re not going to find a less expensive score.

18. Trawl eBay for investment pieces

If you’re a shopping pro, you can actually turn to eBay if there’s a certain designer piece you totally can’t live without — if it’s more than a year old, there’s a decent likelihood you’ll find it, and often at a reasonable price. Be extremely cautious though: You can’t see or try anything on before you buy it, and eBay is full of counterfeit and knockoff goods that are not worth your money (if it seems to good to be true, it definitely is — and remember, you usually can’t return items or get your money back on eBay). Don’t be afraid to ask sellers questions, check out the other items they’re selling (large numbers of the same item can be a red flag, while different items from the same designer can be a good sign), and be sure to read their reviews. Other eBayers will usually let you know if a seller is legit.

19. Remember that cheap isn’t free

Sometimes, you’re so excited to get a deal, you feel like you absolutely have to get this item. You’re such a smart shopper, and think of all the people you’ll tell about it! But do you actually need it? Take a moment to make sure you actually want the item — don’t be blinded by the price.

20. Keep track of major sales

Big department stores (like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s) and some mall stores (notably Victoria’s Secret) have giant annual or semi-annual sales where they offer their best discounts of the year. These usually fall at lulls in the shopping calendar — neither before nor right after big holidays — so you have to keep an eye out for them. If you’re really committed to not missing one, sign up for that store’s emails; though if the emails are leading you to spend too much time browsing their sites, click unsubscribe.

21. Shop for the life you have now

If you start telling yourself a story when you pick up a piece of clothing — like how amazing it would be to wear if you were at your summer home in Tuscany — you should probably put it down (well, unless you own a summer house in Tuscany). Shopping for the life you want will get expensive fast, and isn’t likely to get you items that will work with your current routine. Same goes for other kinds of aspirational shopping, too — don’t tell yourself how great those jeans are going to look once you go on a diet. If you actually need jeans, buy a pair that fits you now. You can keep dreaming about tomorrow, just don’t spend your cash on it today.

22. Take their surveys

Most major retailers include a bunch of print at the bottom of their receipts, and in addition to the return policy and their web address and stuff like that, lots of them ask you to take a survey about your shopping experience. If it’s somewhere you shop often, do it! It’ll take you less than five minutes, and it turns your receipt into a little coupon (usually 5-10% off) for your next shopping trip.

23. Fix the clothes you own

Sure, it might feel easier to get rid of it or give it to charity and just buy new stuff. But if you really love an item, and you plunked down a decent amount of dough for it, make it last. That shirt that’s not fitting quite right? Take it to a tailor. The boots you’ve worn so much the heels are nearly gone? Bring them to a cobbler. The repairs won’t be free, but you’ll spend less than you would replacing the items – and when you get them back, they’ll feel fresh and new.

24. Count to three before you buy

If you’re thinking about buying something — a new purse, a new shirt, whatever — before you hand over your charge card, challenge yourself to make a quick list of three reasons to buy it. (It can’t be because I want it, I want it, and I want it.) Come up with at least three other items in your closet you can wear the new piece with, or think of three upcoming occasions when you can wear it. If you’re coming up short, you probably don’t need it.

25. Use the one in, one out rule

Really want to rein in your spending? Use this simple rule: For every new piece of clothing (or pair of shoes, or accessory) you buy, you have to give one to charity. Yep, to get anything new, you have to give something up. It’s intense, but it can be the difference between a perfectly adequate wardrobe and a healthy bank balance, and an overflowing closet and a maxed out

5 Places to Shop for Clothes

Well, when shopping in person, you can try clothes on, see how they fit, and feel the materials and craftsmanship of each piece. Another benefit of shopping in person is the option to ask questions; don’t be afraid to talk to sales associates, who can offer a wealth of information about different clothing styles. There are several types of stores to choose from, and your shopping experience will be different depending on where you go.
  1. Boutiques: Boutiques have a curated selection of clothing that hews to a certain aesthetic. They are usually small, which means you can develop a relationship with the people who work there. Typically, boutiques carry several designer brands, and they can be a great way to discover local and unique items. Finding a boutique with an aesthetic you love is a great way to develop your personal style.
  2. Department stores: Big department stores carry a huge selection of products from different brands. Clothing is organized into categories, from formalwear to swimwear to activewear to sleepwear. Department stores are a great place to go if you're revamping your entire closet, since they have the largest selection of products. Feeling overwhelmed? Look at the mannequins. When you see an outfit you like, ask a sales associate to help you achieve that exact look or general vibe.
  3. Fast-fashion chains: Fast-fashion chains offer trendy clothing at lower prices. Fast-fashion stores operate much like department stores, selling a range of products, from blazers to sweatshirts. Clothing in fast-fashion stores is usually all one brand, so sizing and pricing tends to be more consistent.
  4. Thrift stores: From vintage boutiques to consignment stores to discount thrift chains, thrift stores vary widely in the type of clothes they carry. You can find high-quality clothes at thrift stores, as well as unique vintage pieces, but you may have to dig through many items to find your size and style. When thrift shopping, it’s best not to have a specific piece in mind—rather, bring your mood board, wish list, and an open mind.
  5. Online: Shopping online is a good strategy if you’re looking for a specific item, since you’ll be able to browse a much larger selection than you’d ever find in a single store. Start from a wide pool of options by searching for the item you’re looking for, and then narrow the results by color, size, material, and price. The advantage of shopping online is that you can compare items from thousands of brands. The disadvantage, obviously, is that you won’t be able to try clothing on before you place your order. Since every brand sizes clothing differently, check the size chart and read the reviews to get a better idea of how the clothes fit. Always research the company’s return policy to ensure that they offer free returns, in case you want to order more than one size.

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