November 10, 2011

Dressing On A Dime~Guest Post

I rarely purchase clothing. We don't even budget for the expense because left-over grocery money is usually enough to cover what we don't receive from family and friends. In God's good providence, He's blessed us with a community who has a light hand on their material possessions and often pass along their unused clothing to us. Additionally, we both grew up in large families where living on a dime was the name of the game for a significant part of our childhood. The following 13 principles still guide our decisions about clothing purchases:

~Invest in good quality, classic clothing. By choosing well-made, timeless items like skirts, tailored jackets, a good pair of jeans or slacks in neutral colors, you can wear them for multiple seasons without feeling "dated."

~Use cheaper accessories like scarves (which help keep you warm, stylish, and ensures your cleavage stays covered!), belts, and necklaces to dress up a plain shirt instead of buying a new one.

~Buy your clothes off season when they are on sale. Stock up on commonly worn clothing like underwear or t-shirts when they're on clearance.

~Avoid buying clothing you love in the wrong size. You'll get more use out of it if you feel good in it.

~If you're not sure whether it really "suits" you, don't buy it. It will end up having a lonely life in the back of your closet.

~Swap clothing. Growing up, my three sisters did this all the time. Between us, we had oodles of clothes to choose from.

~Hand it down. With the exception of birthday presents, my children live in hand-me downs. They don't know the difference, and to my knowledge, no one else does either (until now...the secret's out!). Find a friend or two who have children slightly older and/or younger than yours and share clothes back and forth. It takes a little organization and frequent purging, but it can work!

~Recycle clothing. My 2-year-old has just gone through another growth spurt which left a few of her pants looking like floods! Since the waistband still fits perfectly, I'll be cutting them up and turning them into skirts which will hopefully fit her for a few more months. (Tutorial coming soon on Growing Home.)

~Try selling clothing you no longer wear (and would be too embarrassed to pass along) at a garage sale or consignment shop. It surprised me when a local consignment shop gave me a couple bucks for clothing I thought was terribly dated.

~Shop at outlet malls, discount warehouses, and thrift shops to get the best bargains. You may have to do some digging around, but you're bound to find a steal.

~Visit a clothing department's website before you go. Often you'll find a $5.00 off coupon just for visiting! Keep your eye out for promotional codes.

~Pick clothing with labels printed on the inside. All the big names are plastered on the outside, but if you're looking to spend half of what it costs to buy lables like Dooney & Bourke, skip the lettering.

~If you're the trendy sort, purchase just one or two knock-off versions to keep yourself from feeling ripped off when they go out of style two months later.

Do you have any other frugal clothing shopping tips? I'd love to hear your savvy ideas!

Jacinda is a sinner, saved by grace, the cherished wife to her best friend Brad, the mother of two precious children so far - Charity Sofia (2) and Judah Paul (6 months), and a passionate homemaker who enjoys blogging about it all at Growing Home!

0 Modest Musings: