So, here’s the thing. I love having a wardrobe full of fun clothes to play with. But I don’t have a huge budget. So in order to be able to support my shopping habit and still afford things like food and hot water, I’ve had to find places where I can get awesome clothes on the cheap.
So today, I’m going to talk about some of my favourite places to find cheap clothing. Buckle your seatbelts, and away we go!
Op-shops are probably the best place to look for cheap clothes. Charity stores, second hand stalls and opportunity shops are bursting at the seams with budget clothing options. It’s true that you might have to wade through piles of awful garments in order to find a treasure, but when you do, it will be worth it. Op shops are also great for shoppers who love delving into styles from the past, and fashionistas who want clothes that are more unique than what you’d find in your average store. If you want more information about thrifting, you might like to check out my e-book, Nessbow’s Guide to Second Hand Shopping.
I used to have a real problem with shopping at stores like Target and K Mart. The fact that every second person on the street was sporting their clothes really turned me off. I like to stand out from the crowd and the thought of wearing something that was on the back of practically every person in town did not appeal to me.
It took a while for me to realise that even if you buy something that’s commonplace, you can style it in a really unique way. All you have to do is pull on a pair of fantastic shoes, add a vintage scarf and some handmade jewellery and nobody will guess that your gorgeous dress came from Big W.
This entire outfit came from discount stores. No joke.
Discount stores are also a great place to stock up on basics like plain-coloured shirts for layering. Buying from discount stores is a good way to dip your toe into new trends without wasting a whole lot of money. If you do find that you love wearing a certain style, you can always invest in a better quality version down the track.
They’re messy, they’re crowded and they’re a pain in the neck, but clearance racks are one of the best places to find cheap duds. You have to be very patient, flipping through the racks until you find something in your size, but you can save so much cash if you’re willing to put in the time.
Clearance shopping isn’t for you if you like to be outfitted in the latest trends. But if you’re happy to wait a few months for the items to come on sale, then this might be a good option. Get to know the retail ‘seasons’, which are different to natural seasons. Typically, new-season stock will start arriving in stores 6-8 weeks before the actual season begins. It’s around this time that the old season stick will begin to get marked down. Visit your favourite stores regularly and get friendly with the sales staff. They’ll be able to give you a heads-up when a big sale is about to begin.
Factory outlets and sample sales can be a goldmine for fashion bargains. Often, they only cater for very small sizes as sample garments are usually made as small as possible to save costs. However, if you’re petite, then these outlets can be a fantastic place to stock up on cheap clothes. While some of the stock may be damaged, most of it is totally fine. Some of my favourite fashion finds have come from factory outlets and seconds sales.
Sample sales are also a brilliant place to look for shoes if you have tiny feet. Many of the shoes at these sales are a size 5 or 6, so they’re perfect if you’ve got dainty feet and struggle to find small sizes in regular stores.
Never underestimate the value lurking in your fashion-forward mate’s closet. While I don’t suggest hassling your friends to give you their best clothes, it’s worthwhile asking them to give you a heads-up when they’re going to have a wardrobe clear-out. Before they throw away/ donate/ sell their cast-offs, ask if you can have a look to see if there’s anything there that might work for you. Your friend will probably be relieved if there are a few less items for them to dispose of, and you’ll walk away with a bunch of new threads.
You can also do this with your mum’s or grandmother’s wardrobes. I’ve got so many gorgeous pieces that used to belong to some of my relatives, which I’ve re-styled and given them another run around the block.
Where do you shop for cheap clothes? Any tips that you’d like to share?