How to Shop Smarter for Clothes the Easy way

Is it just me, or are clothes becoming ridiculously overpriced? It seems that clothes these days require less fabric, but they cost more money. I refuse to spend my entire paycheck on an outfit, and using these tips, I will never have to.

1. Shop around. There are a lot of options out there, so do not limit yourself. You may have a favorite store, but that does not mean you have to buy all of your clothes there. Be flexible and you just may find exactly what you are looking for at a third of the original store price!

Look online. One of my favorite places to shop for anything these days in eBay. eBay has EVERYTHING, from car parts, to shoes, to beauty products, to clothes. Buying clothes online is always a tad risky because you cannot try items on before purchasing, but most sellers give measurements. Browse pages of clothes and accessories to find some great purchases. Hit up the vintage section, as well. Clothes are usually a bit cheaper there and some amazing, unique looks can be found.

Other store websites sometimes have online specials and deals, as well as a bigger, better organized clearance section. Most also include free shipping if you spend so much. A third option is hitting up big search engines, like Yahoo! and letting them bring products to you. This is more time consuming and does not usually result in great deals, but it is still an option.

If you like to shop at the mall, then by all means, shop away. But be willing to peruse several stores before settling on a purchase. Do not buy the first thing you see because chances are there is another store in the mall with that exact item for cheaper. Be willing to comprise, as well. Sometimes what you want can be found in a different look. For example, if you want a dress, maybe buying separate top and bottoms can give you the same look for less cash.

Chain stores such as Target, Walmart and KMart are not known for having the greatest quality of clothes, but for more basic items, they are a great place to shop. If you want some basic t-shirts or a couple pair of shorts to get you through the summer, head to these stores. They are very inexpensive and the clothes will work for what you need them for.

2. Stick to basics. Everyone likes to have their own look and feel comfortable in what they are wearing. But if you want to own a lot of clothes that have a lot of versatility, the trick is to keep it simple. Tops that layer, and pants that are neutral shades will go a long way. You will be able to wear them year-round, and mix and match to make many different looks.

Shoes should stick to this rule as well. Versatility is key. You want shoes that you can wear over and over until they wear out. Try classic looks that have been fashion staples for years because obviously you can never fail with these. But also remember comfort. They may look good, but if they hurt your feet, there is no point in getting them because they will spend more time sitting in your closet than pounding the pavement.

There are some items that should be avoided if you want to make the most of your money. Buying a great number of clothes with funky prints is not a wise investment. These do not give a lot of options and probably cost more money anyway. And they do not stay in style for long. The bigger “right now” trends are never smart, either. Sure, everyone wants the look now, but two months from now, it will be ancient history. All the money you spent on that look is wasted. And buying items that you know you will wear once or twice and then leave in the dresser drawer should be avoided as well. That is just common sense.

3. Splurge every now and then when the occasion calls for it. Know that it is okay to treat yourself to something fun and fresh at a higher price every now and then. Maybe you have a big event coming up. Sure, buy that pair of earrings with the real diamonds for yourself. Maybe you got promoted at work. A new suit, tailored exactly to your fit, is definitely deserved. Buy yourself a new handbag for your birthday. Or if you just broke up with your boyfriend, then do a little retail therapy and buy yourself a fabulous top that shows off your curves.

Instead of spending a lot of money on your clothes, you can spend that extra you saved on some accessories that liven up each outfit. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts and hair accessories can put life into an otherwise blah wardrobe. Have fun with these extras!

Suits and coats are two items that I do not suggest buying at cheaper prices. You want these to fit you well and work for what you need them for. Know you do not have to buy the most expensive one on the wrack though!

With all of these little tips and hints, looking stylish has never been so affordable!