How to make a valuable purchase

6 Sep

When we talk about dressing on a tight budget people often mention thrift stores, closet swaps, sales and any method to add items to your closet for $25 or less. While I do love a good bargain, hand me downs and purchasing out-of-season clothes aren’t the ONLY ways to get a good deal. Sometimes the deal is in the value you get from your clothes.

If you’re not into wearing other people’s old clothing, ask yourself the following questions before buying to make sure you’re maximizing your dollar:

1) Where can I wear this? Some clothes are meant for specific places and can’t be worn in other situations. Yes that midriff is cute but can you wear it to work? The less places you can wear an item, the less money you should spend on it.

2) How can I wear this? I’m a FIRM believer in mixing and matching different pieces to create new outfits (I’ve worn crop tops with pencil skirts and have a pretty loose definition of a shirt vs. a dress!). My general rule when purchasing new pieces – if you can’t make three different outfits of this, don’t buy it!

3) Will it hold up? One of my favorite stores is moderately expensive for a woman of my income. Not so expensive that I have to sacrifice rent payments to buy from there, but expensive enough that I should only buy so many pieces at a time. Why do I continue to shop there knowing stores exist better fit for my price range? Because their pieces always last! I’ll buy a top or bottom for $15 – $50 and STILL have it five years later.

4) Do I really want this? Whenever you try clothes on divide them into three piles, “Yes”, “No”, and “Maybe”. Only buy the clothes in the “Yes” pile. Anything in the “Maybe” pile will probably be worn twice and then tossed aside only to be worn on laundry day. That is a COMPLETE waste. If you’re not excited about your clothes, you won’t wear them. If you don’t wear them, you waste money. So while  $75 for jeans may seem like too much upfront, it’s worth it if you wear them a lot. That $12 shirt that you wear twice and then get rid of is the real waste of money.

5) Can I get it cheaper? Lots of major retailers host sales regularly. There have been plenty of times when I see an item in the stores, only to wait another week or two and either find a coupon, see the item get marked down or both! Knowing a stores sale cycles helps tremendously – you can scout the clothes you want and come back when you know you can get a better price. Why pay more when you can pay less?

Penny pinching doesn’t mean you can’t afford keep up with the latest trends, you just have to learn to properly invest in your wardrobe. Print this list and bring it with you  before your next purchase.


3 Responses to “How to make a valuable purchase”

  1. Jennifer September 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Love, love, LOVE this piece! I would personally refer this to a few of my good friends who don’t know how to shop for bargains, or even how to dress themselves! A necessary how-to-shop guide!

  2. Danielle September 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    These are great tips that I will definitely keep in mind as I update my fall wardrobe. With a little more conscious effort I can definitely get more bang for my buck


  1. 1 piece, 3 looks: H&M yellow pencil skirt | Living Fiesta - September 26, 2013

    […] have this rule about buying clothing. Actually, I have several rules before I decide to buy (or keep) a piece -but one of the most important questions I ask before a new article enters my wardrobe is […]

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