Dressing to impress isn’t always easy, and it can cost you more than a pretty penny. But when you’re tight on cash, there are a number of ways you can look like a million bucks without actually spending that much.
[THRIFT LIKE MAD]
Thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army keep plenty of clothes on the rack, and will keep you from racking up the bills. The clothes may be used, but there’s almost always something worth wearing. Here are a few tricks to thrifting: 1) Stores are constantly bringing in more clothes, so check often for new stuff. 2) Most thrift stores offer special deals, such as half off on a given day. Know their specials and you’ll save even more. 3) Check for stains, rips, missing buttons, etc. It’s no fun to be out and realize there’s a hole in the crotch of your pants (trust me).
Another way to get dressed for even less is to volunteer your time sorting clothes at thrift stores and clothing banks. Most places have more clothes than they know what to do with and desperately need people to help them sort through the mess. It will not only provide you the first crack at coveted thrift clothes, it will also help you get them cheaper as well.
[TRY SOMEONE ELSE’S CLOSET]
Like thrift stores, consignment shops let you buy used clothes at cheap prices. The clothes are generally in much better condition and much newer than thrift store clothes. The catch is that they’ll cost you a bit more than thrift stores.
[RUMMAGING IS WORTH THE WORK]
Estate and rummage sales can be a goldmine. But like finding gold, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll find great stuff. The price is definitely right, and often negotiable; take the time to check them out.
[ONCE AGAIN, THE INTERNET]
As always, if you can find it anywhere, you can fine it cheaper on-line. While you won’t be able to try it on before the purchase, most places have some sort of return policy. Ebay is a good starting point, but there are countless discounts you can find with a quick search. Two sites worth mentioning: urbanq.com, and dealtime.com.
[HIT THE RACKS]
Almost every store out there has a sale or clearance rack. Right next to the $80 sweater is one for $15 or less. The deals are sitting there just waiting to be found. The key is looking, looking and more looking. Even higher end stores like J. Crew or Banana Republic will have the steals. It’s just a matter of finding them.
[‘TIS AFTER THE SEASON]
Go to the stores right after Christmas. The entire inventory that stores were hoping to sell during the holidays needs to be sold off, and the competition is fierce. That means you can find slashed prices everywhere. But you have to move quickly; there are a lot of other people doing the same thing.
[TIMES ARE CHANGING]
Styles always change, and so do the seasons. Every season means a whole new line up of clothes at every store. Out with the old and in with the new means you can save big bucks on sweaters when retailers are trying to make their push for swimsuits. It’s pretty simple: Buy at the end of the season and save big.
[OUTLETS, TENT SALES, WAREHOUSE CLEARANCES]
You know what they are and where. Just go.
[AND WHILE YOU’RE AT IT]
[+] Be patient. The harder you look, the better you’ll look.
[+] Sometimes when shopping, know what you want and don’t buy anything except that. For example, if you’re looking for a pair of brown shoes, you don’t need to buy a pair of black sandals, boots, a sweater and a jacket (Unless they are a steal and you know that they’ll be worn a lot).
[+] Other times go out with a set limit. Leave the house with $25 and don’t bring any more. Not a credit card or checkbook, just $25 cash. You’ll be disciplined and learn how to stretch your money.
READ MORE LIFE | POST COMMENTS BELOW