Fashion Shopping When You’re Strapped

Sick of wearing the same old ratty clothes, but can’t afford the overpriced cool fashions at the mall? Learning to shop when you’re poor can not only become a chore, but a fun hobby. The cheaper the item, the more I feel I have “won” at the game of shopping. Here are some helpful tips to help stretch that dollar during the off season, and wind up not looking bad either.

sometimes you can even find things unused with the store tag still hanging on itConsignment shops can be a start when shopping for something cheap. Their clothes are used, but usually in good condition, and sometimes you can even find things unused with the store tag still hanging on it. Consignment shop prices are generally about half of what you would pay in a mall or department store, although sometimes they can also be overpriced. Usually, you can get a certain percentage off of the item the longer it sits in the store. For example, after 30 days, an item will go for 25% off; after 60 days, 50% off, etc., before they end up on the clearance rack.

Clearance racks at retail, department, and other clothing or overstock stores can be a great catch when trying to find something that looks great and costs less. The end of a season is a great time to stock up on next winter’s clothing. The best thing to do is buy your sweaters and outerwear in a neutral color that can be worn for another year or so. It may sit in your closet for a few months, Don’t bother bringing it home if you think it might fit in a few weeks or months because it probably won’tbut at least you will have something different to wear the next time it gets a little nippy outside. Clearance racks sometimes have overstocked items in the middle of a season. A store may have too many of the same style of bathing suit and mark it down in the middle of July. Find your size and you may not only have a slick bikini for the rest of this summer, but be able to wear it the following year as well.

Thrift shops and Goodwill stores are other great places to shop for seasonal clothing. People are always cleaning out their closets and donating unwanted items. Cities with large colleges or universities seem to have the best clothing. I’ve seen many name brand items for little cost at these places. Sometimes I’ve gone home with an entire wardrobe for $50.

One thing about shopping at any of these places is that you have to really look through everything. You have to have patience when shopping on a budget. The smart shopper knows that you aren’t just going to walk up to a clearance rack and pick out the first thing you see. You have to look at everything, make sure there are no defects, and try all of it on. Lord knows I’ve seen many cute outfits that look great on the hanger and like hell in the mirror. Don’t bother bringing it home if you think it might fit in a few weeks or months because it probably won’t. Choose items that flatter your face or your figure and you will learn to dress like a bad ass chick!

Shannon Dawn See all posts by this author
is a starving artist and freelance writer.
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