How to save on your new spring wardrobe
Despite winter hanging on in many areas of the country, retailers are already displaying new spring collections in store windows and enticing shoppers to ditch the bulky coats and boots in favor of new clothes. I would bet there are a few emails sitting in your inbox right now, tempting you to click over to your favorite store's website and start adding items to your online shopping cart.
I'm not suggesting you avoid new spring clothes altogether, only that you prepare a bit beforehand to make the most of your hard-earned cash. A few simple steps will help you avoid any sticker shock or shopping regret and instead leave you looking your best without an empty wallet.
First, take inventory of your wardrobe. Dig out last year's warmer weather wear, and see what's still in good condition or what might need replacing. Make a shopping list as you go along when you notice things you really need it. While you're at it, bag up anything that is no longer your size or your style and bring it to a nearby consignment shop to see if you can sell it, and then donate anything left over.
Another idea for gently used clothing that you no longer wear is to host a clothing swap. Encourage your friends to do the same closet purge and then get together to trade items. Try to spread the word and get a larger group together, so that you have a variety of sizes and styles to choose from. By the end, you might be surprised at just how much you're able to add to your own closet! And once again, if there are leftovers, you can always try to sell them online or take them to a consignment store.
Now you should have a good sense of what you already have without spending a dime. Ideally, you own a few good quality staples that with the proper care, can last years – but if not, you may want to reconsider your buying habits. If you're shopping on a budget, it's tempting to buy inexpensive, albeit trendy, clothes, shoes and accessories. They might last you the season, but that's about all. In the end, you'll end up spending more because you constantly need to replace things that wear out too quickly or aren't in style by the next season.
Instead, consider buying better quality, classic items as the staples for your wardrobe. They can last you years and serve as the basics you'll turn to again and again. The best part is you don't even need to spend top dollar to acquire these items for your own closet. If you take advantage of sales and coupons, you can still shop on a budget.
When you head to the mall or your favorite store to try on clothes and shoes, make sure to bring your best shopping tool with you – your smartphone. Before you head to the register with your new purchases, do a quick search online for coupons. Chances are you can find additional savings if you check your favorite coupon website first. Many coupons can now be scanned right on your phone, saving paper and time. If you find coupon codes that are only for online shopping, make a note of the product number and size of the items you're interested in, and buy them online instead. Just make sure you can get a free shipping deal (or pick up the items for free in the store) if you buy them online.
One last thing you should take with you when you shop, whether you're on your computer or in the mall, is a budget. This way you'll start your shopping knowing exactly what you can afford. After you buy the items needed for your wardrobe, you might find you have a few dollars left over. A few fun accessories like sunglasses, a brightly colored tie or costume jewelry can be worn over and over to make outfits feel new again and freshen your entire spring wardrobe. That way, you'll continue getting the most out of the clothes you already have, and still have money in your pocket to help you enjoy the warmer weather.More from US News:
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