Dress Your Best, For Less

Amy
Hannold, 247Moms Frugal Living Editor
Looking your best, from head to toe can be done
affordably.  How we look communicates
a whole lot about us.  When we
spend wisely to dress well, it feels good to us and our wallets.
Here are some budget-friendly tips:
Buy Quality, Not Quantity:  Utilize coupons, seasonal clearances, loyalty program
discounts or other store sales to buy the best for your money.  Choose well-made items, on sale, which
are more “classic” than “trendy” in style.  Less expensive accessories and tops can complement a suit or
outfit separates you’ve invested in. 
  Buy quality once or
twice and you will avoid the cost of more frequent replacement.  When you find good shoes, pants or
other frequently worn favorites at a great price, buy two.  You then have a ready replacement or
can alternate use of them.
Find Unadvertised Deals, Replacement Guarantees and Other Money-Saving
Options:
   Purchase an
Entertainment (Coupon) Book for your area.  These books contain mall/outlet coupons.  Ask for teacher/student/military/AAA/birthday
discounts or price-matching promotions. 
Look for brands which offer life-time guarantees such as Lands End, REI,
L.L. Bean and Sears.  Shop for less
when you earn gift cards for shopping/web-searching through Ebates, Mypoints,
Swagbucks, RecycleBank, and other sites.   Compare credit card offers, as some may reward you for
shopping. Do use restraint and caution however to avoid multiply debt for a
“discount”. 
Shop Second-Hand: 
Consignment, Re-Sale, Thrift Stores and Garage Sales are great
opportunities to buy quality at a fraction of the retail price.  Children grow quickly out of clothes,
adults change clothes sizes and other are looking to make some money from their
stuff.  Choose carefully,
thoroughly looking for any signs of wear or damage.  Look for stores that are the most particular in what they
sell and you should find the best for yourself.  (Note the brands you rarely find in second-hand stores –
these are the brands you want to buy new, using the above money-saving discount
options!)
Don’t Browse – Focus! 
Overspending happens when we’re buying with the wrong emotions or less
than our full attention.  Buying
for “retail therapy”, boredom, or while distracted should be avoided.  Online shopping can be a better choice,
if you don’t fall prey to using all the “great discounts” offered to you.  Use the “Review and Reconsider” option.  Wait a day or two before buying.  Give yourself time to find an adequate item
in your own closet or another alternative to buying.  If you need a little help in restraint or style choices, ask
a friend for their opinion. 
Swap for “New to You” Finds:  Start a clothing exchange between friends, groups, or  your community.  Locally, we have a “Great Giveaway Day”
twice a year.  Our “Clothing Swap”
has grown into an anticipated event. 
Everyone loves to shop for free and share their “treasures” with
others.   We use the local VFW
building, advertise, recruit volunteer hosts/sorters, and organize the room
with tables.  It costs nearly
nothing to bless everyone with some “new” items. 
Craigslist, Local Classifieds, Ebay and Freecycle:   Locally or online, you can find
deals on good stuff.  Buy from reputable
sellers.  Facebook and local
bulletin boards may also have “garage sale” or “for sale” ads offering you the
chance to buy from someone in your community.

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