Smart shopping tips that can save you money

When it comes to clothing, low-cost retailers and department stores are often avoided for the wrong reasons. Usually, shoppers are concerned about wearing the same items as others. You’ll often hear people saying “they’re good for the basics, but I don’t want everyone to know where I bought this outfit”.

Smart shopping tips for department stores

Big clothing chains are good for the basics. You might be surprised to find that some high-end chains sell quality basics at very low prices, such as cotton camisoles, T-shirts and underwear. A smart shopper would buy these items here as opposed to cheaper retailers, since they’ll probably pay about the same for apparel that will have a longer lifespan.

When the big department stores have sales, you could find clothes that were beyond your budget before are radically cheaper. Even if you have to buy out-of-season items, you’ll still be able to benefit from high-quality manufacturing and fashionable styles.

If your  size falls within the most popular range – shoe size six to seven and dress size 10 to 12 for women – you might need to put in a little extra effort to reap the benefits of sales. Be there as soon as possible once the sale starts, preferably on a weekday or early on a Saturday morning, since the most common sizes typically sell out very quickly.

Tips for shopping at low-cost outlets

Bargain outlets usually stock products made to lower manufacturing standards and from less expensive materials, which is why they are able to sell their inventory at low prices. It is important to note that, while these shops mostly sell at discount prices, some items might carry a price tag that you would see in a high-end department store.

If you find a jacket at one of these retailers and the price is close to what you would pay at a chain store, rather purchase the item at the high-end shop because the quality of the product could save you money in the long run because it will last longer.

Many people treat low-cost outlets as sources of ‘one season only’ pieces. However, if you want to save money, you shouldn’t buy anything that will only last you a year. Rather buy the less trendy products, like T-shirts that don’t feature the print or logo du jour or jeans in non-seasonal colours, because these are less likely to date.

If you’re buying clothing that is not made from the best material and to the highest manufacturing standards, you can ensure it has the longest lifespan possible by taking good care of it. So pay attention to the washing instructions.

Tumble drying, even when it is declared safe on the label, will wear down an item much faster than hanging. If you iron your clothes, make sure you know how to do it safely – never iron directly on prints, and to be completely safe, iron on the reverse side.

If fabric starts to pill, take a few minutes to shave these off with an old razor blade if you don’t have a purpose-built gadget. This really doesn’t take long and can have a drastic impact on the look of the item.

Forget about what the shops are trying to sell to you. Always compare prices and quality. If you want to buy value-for-money clothing, one of the best smart shopping tips include using common sense and following your own personal style.