4 Tips For Looking Your Best on a Tight Budget This Fall

James Wilson
September 13, 2018
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With fall right around the corner, sweater and flannel season is in full effect. Often considered the time where people “really start dressing,” the crisper temperatures lend themselves to more versatility in our wardrobes; and if you’ve been aiming to ramp up your closet, there are a few strategies you can take on to look your best while saving big. However, that’s why we’ve provided some helpful suggestions to get started. Check them out below:

Make A List of The Essentials

Every closet needs the essentials. From a pair of black jeans to a shirt that’s business-casual, having an arsenal of staples is necessary to complete nearly any outfit. The goal here, however, isn’t necessarily to have the items that are considered imperative, but investing in quality. After all, as noted by MarketWatch, with the average American spending approximately $1,803 on clothes per year, you want those clothes to last, which can be much more difficult to shop for than you might imagine.

A significant factor in looking at the staples is the price point in comparison to the lifetime of the item. For example, a $20 pair of black jeans might last you the season, versus buying a $250 pair from a local company could bode much better, especially if they offer perks like free patching. Granted, while not everyone can fork over the cash for a $200+ pair of pants, a smart strategy is creating a hierarchy of needs, then organizing them based on price point. Try to keep an eye out for deals, as a solid lineup of staples can go quite a long way.

The Internet Is Your Friend

Another important piece to note in building your wardrobe is learning how to look online for certain items. No matter if it’s your staples or an accent piece you’ve been eyeing, online can be a great place to save. In fact, as noted by CPC Strategy, approximately 96 percent of people conduct their shopping online, with many citing the discounts they receive as a primary reason. However, if you find yourself hesitant about spending money on items you can’t try on, fear not, as the process can be much simpler than you’d imagine.

Make a list of the brands and items that you’re after, especially if they come from stores you can visit locally. This will give you an opportunity to try out the cut and fit of each before making your purchase online, seeking out the most savings. Some companies have great deals by offering products direct-to-consumer, but you should be especially mindful of specifics. For example, looking at evening dresses from Azazie is easy since they list the sizes and cuts clearly on the website. All-in-all, the process should feel as intuitive as possible, giving you the best chances of equipping yourself with the best outfits.

Don’t Be Shy About Going Second Hand

A great source for clothes is going secondhand, which as noted by EcoGoodz is where nearly 80 percent of people worldwide acquire their clothes. Yes, depending on how savvy you’re willing to get, going to your local thrift store or boutique can be an excellent way to build up your wardrobe. Particularly for fall clothes, items like flannels, denim jackets, and boots are always in stock, and cornerstone pieces you should add (if you haven’t already). If you’re serious about quality, we recommend getting to these spots early (as well as towards the beginning of the week), giving yourself the best shot to score some of the best of the crop.

Outlets Might Be Worth The Trip

Finally, if you find yourself living within driving distance to an outlet mall, then these have become all the rage. According to CNBC, Tanger Outlets alone grew 22 percent in 2016, and it’s to see why: the savings are outstanding. If you’re not familiar, outlet stores are where big brands (for example, Gap, Forever 21, etc.) sell their goods directly to customers, usually in bulk. This differs from traditional stores in both the types of inventory they hold, as well as price point. How? By reducing on the frills.

Outlet shopping is not only a great place to find steals on this seasons items, but also on compiling your staples as well. For example, stores like Gap or Eddie Bauer will most likely have their standard chambray button downs or khaki pants at a much lower price, giving you a quality brand name for a fraction of the price. Furthermore, outlets can also be a great place to get those items you otherwise might overlook, such as wallets, luggage, or even more luxury accessories like watches. Take a weekend trip down to your closest outlet mall, as these are great sources for savings.

What are some ways you’ve been able to save big on fall clothes? Comment with your answers below!