Shop like a pro: how to buy clothes without hurting your budget

Retail therapy is something most of us love to indulge in now and then. You take a friend with you (or more) and take your time, roaming the shops from dusk till dawn, trying on all the clothes that catch your eye and bringing home shopping bags brimming with new purchases. That about sums it up.

But as entertaining as shopping sprees might be (and trust us, we’re by no means against them), you can’t ignore the financial implications. Shopping for clothes can make you giddy with joy when you look at all the pretty things you’ve bought, but all that happiness can fade away in an instant when you check your bank account and you realize you’ve gone overboard with your spending…again. So, what’s there to do? Give up retail therapy altogether and embrace a frugal lifestyle? We wouldn’t dare to suggest that.

Believe it or not, you can still revel in your passion for shopping while also making sure you don’t leave a dent in your budget every time you enter a shop. It takes some practice, but we’re here to guide you in the right direction with these 7 smart shopping tips.

Master the art of thrift shopping

Yes, designer clothes are every girl’s dream, but they’re not your only option when it comes to building an amazing wardrobe. You can find stunning pieces for a fraction of the price you’d pay in a designer store if you learn how to master the art of thrift shopping. Some so many low-end retailers sell quality clothing at great prices, it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. Thrift stores are packed full of unused or barely used clothing items given away by people who have more money than they can spend.

So next time you plan a shopping spree, give thrift stores a try.

Hunt for bargains

If you’re an avid shopper, you must also become an avid bargain hunter. That doesn’t mean you have to obsess over finding coupons and sleeping in front of the stores to get the latest discounts, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to look for offers when you’re out and about buying clothes. Also, it’s more budget-friendly to renew your wardrobe at certain times of the year, when you can find the best deals such as Kohls Black Friday offers and other similar promotions. You can find great bargains in most stores if you only take the time to look for them.

Buy quality pieces

If there’s a shopping rule that everyone should follow religiously, that would be to prioritize quality over quantity. We know that buying cheap low-quality clothing can be tempting, but fast fashion can ruin your sense of style and your budget. Just think about it. Would you rather buy six $5 shirts that will fall apart after just a few wears, or a $30 shirt that will stand the test of time and make you look crisp and stylish every time you put it on? The correct answer is pretty obvious. This shouldn’t even be a discussion to begin with. Quality should always come first, period.

Search for the wow factor

When you hop from store to store, you’ll come across so many clothes that might suit you, but then again, they might not be exactly what you’re looking for. If you’re on the fence about a clothing item and you’re not sure you like it or not, don’t lose time thinking about it: just leave it there and move on. When there are so many stunning pieces that would look great on you, why spend your money on clothes that you’re not absolutely in love with. If it doesn’t have that wow factor the minute you try it on, there’s no point in buying it.

Care for your clothes

Since you love buying clothes so much, you should also care for them properly. Think about it like taking care of your investment. If you know how to look after your clothes, you’ll extend their lifespan and they’ll look better for longer, so you can wear them over and over again. Besides, it’s not that difficult to do it right. All you have to do is read the instructions on the tag, and follow them exactly. You probably know the rules already: washing clothes of similar colors together, selecting the proper temperature, avoiding over-washing to reduce wear and tear, etc.

Buy for your actual size

We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings here, but we know it’s a common practice to buy clothes one or more sizes smaller as a motivation to lose weight and get back in shape. Guess what? Buying clothes for your dream body can not only make you feel less motivated to get fit, but it can also result in piles of clothing pieces that you’ll never get to wear. It’s like looking at your money standing in your closet, gathering dust. If you’re going to spend money on clothes, at least make sure they’re worth it and you’re going to wear them. So, avoid this trap and buy clothes for the body you have now, not for the body you’ll have in the future.

Consider what’s already in your closet

A lot of people buy clothes without thinking of the ones they already have in their closet. That’s a huge mistake. First of all, you risk buying too many similar items (who needs five pink sweaters, really?). Secondly, if you don’t analyze your wardrobe, you can end up with a lot of clothing pieces that don’t go with anything you have. Imagine buying several pretty tops and not having any bottoms to pair them up with. You’ll have to go on another shopping spree to find matching pieces. Or you could be more reasonable and buy clothes you can mix and match with items that you already own.