Is it possible to look good on a budget? The average household in the UK spends more than £1,300 per year on clothing and footwear, which equates to around £25 per week. This accounts for almost 5% of the average household budget.
I for one am trying to be much more sustainable, and this year I’m actively trying to spend less on clothes and be more eco-friendly. Less fast fashion included! I actually get more pleasure from spending money on food and travel, so fashion is one of the areas I’m massively cutting.
Whether you have the budget for designer labels or are living on a shoestring, here are a few tips to help you save money when it comes to clothes.
1. Have a sort out of your wardrobe
Most of us dread cleaning out our wardrobe. It can be dull, and if you have lots of clothes, it can be overwhelming. However, the end result is almost always worth it. There is nothing quite like opening up the doors and drawers to see rows of neatly folded and organized clothes, all of which fit. It can also save you money, too.
You may find some old favourites: You might find a forgotten but beloved cardigan that fell into a pile of sweat pants or maybe a previously undiscovered top and skirt combo that breathes new life to some very seldom worn clothes. Either way, a good sort out can get you excited about your clothes again. , and much less likely to go shopping and spend money on new ones.
Sell Your Clothing: A decent clear out inevitably ends up with a pile of unwanted clothes on the bed or the floor. If you need some cash, you can try your hand at selling your unwanted clothes instead of donating them to the charity shop. Finding the right place for your clothes will depend on the quality of your pieces and how well used they are.
I often use eBay and Depop – you just gotta save some time aside to have a huge selling spree!
2. Shop during the sales
If you must go clothes shopping, try to time it when there are sales on. These are usually after Christmas, in March and September (ish!). Keep your eyes peeled, and you might find a bargain or two.
If you need something out of sales time, look around for deals and money off vouchers. For example, you could find a Jacamo discount code if the man in your life needs a new outfit.
3. Hire an outfit
Sometimes, a special occasion crops up – a posh ball, a trip to the races or a wedding, for example – and you need an outfit for it.
Instead of spending a fortune on something for it to sit in the wardrobe forever, or settle for a cheap dress that you just don’t love, hire one. You can hire a dress for about 10 to 22 percent of the selling price, which can save you a massive amount of cash. Sometimes the hire price includes insurance and dry cleaning as well to save you the expense and hassle.
There are lots of retailers now that let you rent a stunning dress for an occasion.
4. Visit the charity shop
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, or so the saying goes. Spend some time scouring the local charity shops. You never quite know what you are going to find in there, and once in a while, something pretty unique appears! If you can, head for ones in ‘posh’ areas – you are more likely to find high-end and designer clothes there for knockdown prices!
5. Know where to buy cheap
Okay, so far from being the most environmentally friendly option, but if you can’t go without being seen in the latest fashion, know where to look.
The high street is the best place to head for fast fashion – inexpensive, up to date pieces that are not going to last as long as a classic piece, but let’s face it, are you really going to be wearing THAT dress this time next year?
6. Learn to read washing labels
You know those things on the inside of your clothes? They are not there to look pretty – they are there to tell you what your clothes are made of and how to look after them. Spend a bit of time getting to know what the symbols mean and how to care for particular fabrics, and you will find that your clothes look better and last much longer. No more shrinking those beautiful (and expensive!) wool jumpers in the dryer!
Before you buy anything, check the washing instructions. For example, if that silk blouse is dry clean only, consider whether it is ever going to make it to the dry cleaners, or is it going to stay scrunched up in the bottom of your washing basket forevermore? Once you factor in the cost – and hassle – of dry cleaning, these items can become prohibitively expensive.