Ten Ways to Save Money Buying New Clothes

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10 ways to save money shopping for current in season fashion clothes

 

Sometimes I get an idea for something I want to tell you about here on the blog, but then I think that I don’t have enough tips to actually write up a full post. I was surprised when I sat down and made of list of shopping tips for this post, that I had not 10, but actually 11 ideas for you. I guess that means I spend a lot of time shopping 🙂

We have added more fashion on content here at 11 Magnolia Lane over the last few years because you all seem to like it; we know that because you purchase through our affiliate links which we are so grateful for. It doesn’t change your price for an item {more info HERE}, it’s usually just a few pennies that comes our way as the retailer’s way of saying thank you for referring you to them. It does validate that you all like the items we are showing you enough to purchase them, so we keep fashion in our topic mix. However, I think these tips today are universally applicable even if fashion isn’t your favorite because saving money is never a bad thing.

jacket |  similar top  |  bootie  |  pants |  necklace

First off, I will also skip right over thrifting for awesome finds–while Christy has that gift, she can uncover a vintage Chanel purse at Goodwill any day of the week, I don’t have that knack, nor do I have the patience. I do most of my shopping online, from several go-to retailers, and I am always trying to spend as little as possible so I can continue to indulge my shopping habit. So here are my best tried and true tricks to score current, in style items for the best price:

1-First, if you see something you like online but don’t want to pay full price, add it to your shopping cart. Not only does that give you a ‘cooling off’ period so you can decide if you really truly want it, but in today’s fast retail environment it may go on sale if you come back in a day or even a week. Many retailers like Nordstrom allow you to leave items in your cart indefinitely, so I keep my cart stocked with things that I am watching and then I wait until I see the price drop, then I’ll scoop it up.

{I loved these jeans when I tried them on in the store last summer, but at $90 I resisted and walked away. I came home, added them to my cart and checked back a week or so later, I scored them for $35 when they went on sale!}

2-Watch and follow a group of bloggers or Instagram fashionistas (stories are a great way to see fun fashion items) for good ideas. I find when I see something I like on someone and they recommend it, that it’s unlikely I’ll be disappointed in it when I receive it. For the most part, I find everyone sharing is straightforward about fit, quality and comfort of clothes, I know I’d never recommend something to you all that I wouldn’t wear myself, I like to think that is true across the board.  Once you have found a few people with taste you admire, and age appropriate style, it’s easy to pick up a few new things here and there. Also, then you can get new things when they are on sale (see #1!) rather than frantically shopping when you need something. You can even search with the #salealert hashtag on IG for the best sales. We share our favorite finds every few days in our IG stories (and soon to come Facebook stories as that is being rolled out) so be sure to follow us and check in there.

 

If you aren’t following us on Instagram you can do that HERE. To watch stories, simply go to our profile page and click the picture of us. You’ll almost always see circles at the top of the home screen of your feed, just click on them to watch the continuous loop of stories. And you can always click the “shop” button under our picture for more of our current finds.

I also think it’s worth mentioning that usually when you see fashion-type bloggers hype something en masse, it means it is that good. Women are just wired to share what they love with other women, right? For instance, I kept seeing the Leith circle cardigan mentioned and styled, so I finally bought one when it went on sale. Honestly, I truly love mine, it is good quality, a great length, and very warm yet stylish. I am happy with my purchase and would highly recommend it to any of my friends, so consequently, I share that sweater frequently on the blog and IG.  I also love these boots  (I am wearing them below), they are another item you see frequently being touted as a great deal. So now that they are on sale, I share them often. This tunic has been a blogger favorite for literally, years, because it goes with everything. Just a few examples of items worth considering, but when something is mentioned frequently by multiple influencers, I consider that validation that it’s definitely worth making the investment in.

boot |  jean {similar}  | sweater  |  camisole

3-PRICE MATCH. This may be my very favorite trick. Many large retailers price match these days, Nordstrom being one of them. While I don’t love to pay full price, certain items are so good that they may sell out before they go on sale (especially in certain sizes/colors).  If you love something and don’t want to risk it selling out, but it is full price, take a quick minute to search online to see if you can find it cheaper. Sometimes it may be less money but with more shipping. You may find an item at say, Macy’s (where you have to pay shipping) but they may be having a 20% off sitewide sale with a coupon code. Simply call Nordstrom customer service, tell them where you found it and for what price and they should honor the lower price. This way you get what you want, but at the best price possible. Here is an example:

This North Face Vest is full price at $149 at Nordstrom, but here is it at another site for less.

By asking Nordstrom to price match, you get the lower price and you get the free shipping and returns, and you can also accumulate Nordstroms Rewards if you participate in that program. I will often search other department store chains–Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and online retailers like Zappos and Amazon to see if they offer an item for less before I purchase it at Nordstrom.

4- If an item is trendy, you can often find a good knock off at a flash sale site like Jane.com or Target. While I believe certain items (jeans, riding boots, coats etc–more on this in a minute) are worth investing in the real deal, some trends are here one year gone the next (cold shoulder, I am looking at you!). Paying $100 for a top that will be out of style next year isn’t a great financial strategy, but scooping one up for $15 might make sense to have a fun item to wear for a short time. Target often has shoes that mimic national brands, last summer they had a studded sandal that was a knock off for the $995 real deal Rock Stud sandals, but at $20 the Target shoe was a budget-friendly way to still be trendy.

 

5- Always, always, always check for a coupon code. Some sites Old Navy, Loft, Gap, JCrew etc. almost always have a sale of some sort going on. You can usually find the sale code at the top of the home screen {see it above}, so be sure to remember to enter that at check out for extra savings. These are often stackable, meaning that you can get an item that is on sale, then add the coupon code when you check out to save even more.

Here is an IG story when we told you the sale price using the coupon code, we try to make it easy for you! Then from stories, you can just swipe up to be taken directly to the item online.

 

striped top

6. Pay attention to shipping costs. I shop frequently at Loft, especially online, but they charge a whopping $8.95 for shipping unless you spend $125. I don’t often spend that much on one order, but if I am close to it, I may add another item that I am on the fence about. If it’s a $25 top, I’ll ask myself if I would pay $16 for it. In many cases, I decide it is worth it at that price, then I am not just throwing the $ on shipping away. Also, keep in mind that if you shop and pay with paypal, they pay the return shipping if the item doesn’t work out, so I try to use that to pay at retailers that don’t offer free returns in case the item doesn’t work out. Also, consider the value of your time. This is different for everyone but I live 45 minutes from the closest mall. To drive there and back is almost two hours of my time, so I often can justify the shipping costs in saving my time, not to mention the cost of gas.

Also, quick note about Loft–I just learned this but if you live close to a Loft store and find an item you love, just stop in and they can order the item for you and have it shipped to you for FREE. I did that with this Faux Sherpa Vest below {worth every penny, I just love it} so I got it for only $25. You can also now order online and pick up an item in a Loft store to avoid shipping costs if they have the item in stock.

Cute faux sherpa vest on sale

faux sherpa vest

7. If you shop at several retailers frequently be sure to subscribe to their emails. That way, when they do have a big sale you know it. My boys like to wear Vineyard Vines, which is pretty pricey, but they do offer sales throughout the year. I tend to stock up when I see those sales, which saves quite a bit of money. Also, Nordstrom sells some top-tier brands like Vineyard Vines, JCrew and Boden, so be sure to check there to take advantage of the free shipping you don’t get by buying direct.  Many times retailers will offer a discount on top of the price of sale items but the good stuff tend to go fast.  The good things in popular sizes will sell out early, so by getting the emails you have a better chance of finding your size while it is still in stock.

8. Check Amazon to see if you can get a better price. Amazon carries a wide variety of high-end items, sometimes at lower prices than department stores. It’s a great place to price shop, especially if you just need something rather generic.  Recently my son needed a new pair of gym shoes (he didn’t really care about the brand) and we found some for around $40, shipped with Prime, which is a pretty good price for a pair of men’s Under Armour running shoes. They also carry jeans (I have these Vigoss jeans that get great reviews in my cart right now, that are a better price than Nordstrom) and I have even purchased designer bags from Amazon in the past. I know Christy scored some Tory Burch sunglasses there at a great price, so be sure to check (but be sure to read the item reviews to be sure you are getting an authentic item) Amazon if you are thinking of splurging on a designer item, you never know what you might find.

9. Google shopping–another great way to find the lowest price is to google the item, then click the “Shopping” tab, it will show you all the stores carrying the item you are looking for and at what price. This is a great way to find a better price on something, or if nothing else confirm you are getting the best deal.  This is a great way to find an item you can then request a “price match” on too.

10. Check sale sites like Nordstrom Rack, 6pm.com  and Haute Look. There are certain items that have been on my wish list, or that I am always keeping an eye out for on sale. For instance, I received the Barefoot Dreams cardigan for Christmas (and it is worth every stinking penny, it’s so soft and comfortable I could live in it! One is on sale HERE though, you are welcome!) therefore I now completely hooked on the Barefoot Dreams line. I recently searched Nordstrom Rack with “barefoot dreams” and found they carried tons of other items in their sleepwear line {see them all here}, but at a discounted price compared to regular Nordstrom. I picked up pajama pants, a tank top and a sleep shirt for about what one item would cost at full price. Also, worth noting these lounge pants are the bomb–I shared them last summer {when I paid almost $40 for them, live and learn!} and now Rack has them at a huge discount, I live in these–they are so comfortable!

 

I also do the same thing at Rack with the Zella line {see it HERE}, which is the Nordstrom athleisure line (it’s really, really nice quality work out/loungewear). I am always looking to add items to my workout collection but don’t really want to pay a fortune for something that I’ll walk the dog in 🙂 so I’ll occasionally check Nordstrom Rack to see what they have in stock.  I find items that are at least equal to or less than the sale price at Nordstrom.com. Also worth noting, 6pm also has great deals on things like Hunter boots.

11. My final tip is to spend more on the items that last, and spend little on the items that don’t. Take time to think about what items you wear the most, and spend your money on those things. A great pair of jeans is worth investing in, I know I wear jeans all the time so my cost per wear is probably pennies even for a pricier pair.  My Tory Burch riding boots are several years old but going strong–they are still stylish, in perfect condition and very comfortable. I can’t say the same for any other boots I have, ones I probably paid 1/3 of the price for. A good winter coat is worth its weight in gold, unless you live in a warm climate (and if you do I am jealous, says she barely surviving January 🙂 ). I don’t have a closet full of dressy high heel shoes that I rarely wear. I basically own a pair of nude pumps and pair of black dress sandals, which pretty much takes me most anywhere, but I do have several pricier handbags because I carry them every single day.  White t-shirts will give you maybe one or two seasons, best case, even if you pay more for them, so pick those up at Target or Old Navy. See at cute shirt at Target? Buy it! It’s probably a great deal and if you love it, you will wear it even if just for a season or two.

Look at this cute outfit Christy put together.  The necklace is a Target score too, it looks cute and didn’t cost a ton of money!

striped top  |  cuffed jean  |  necklace

I hope these tips are helpful! I know there are other ways to save money like shopping consignment stores or shopping the end of year sales for the next year ahead, but honestly, I am not patient enough for all that! What other smart girl shopping tricks do you all have? I’d love to hear!

Now that we’ve talked about sales, here are the good ones I have seen this week if I have inspired you!

 

LOFT–50$ off a $100 purchase (so that’s 50% off if you spend $100, good time to stock up!)

JCREW–Free Shipping today

Macy’s–Free Shipping, Promo Code “RED” saves you additional %

JCrew Factory–Up to 50% off, this ruffle shirt is so cute!

XO,

small-amy-new-headshot-summer-2016-2 copy
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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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Comments

  1. Here’s a truly, “frugal mom” tip. A few years back I splurged and bought my daughter an expensive pair of riding boots. Riding boots were THE item to own so I went for it. Last year my daughter mentioned that she would like to have a new pair cause hers were “in bad shape”. Nothing a $30-$40 trip to the repair shop wouldn’t fix. New heals and a little polish later and they are good as new. So instead those funds can go towards something new instead of replacing something old.

    • You are so right! A good pair of shoes can easily be repaired, we have a great shop that does just that in my town. I think we often forget to consider that option in our haste to have the newest thing. Thanks for sharing, Amy

  2. Hi Amy, you always look so nice. I recently read an article by Dr. Mercola, that said the charities we take our things to that we don’t want has so much they are selling them by the pound and they are turning up in our landfills. The clothes have been treated with chemicals which ultimately ends up in our water supply. Severely shortened version of the article.

    I like to buy clothes especially in Jan. And July I’m going to research this more to see if it’s true? it may be the excuse I need to buy less clothes????

    Love your blog.

    • Thank you June, and good point. I am sure to some extent there is truth to that article. I try to avoid the cheap fabrics made overseas, and the low priced/low quality manufacturers but I think you are correct that they are cranking them out faster than we can consume them. Thanks for sharing, Amy

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