Clothes shopping on a budget

Remember that clothes shopping list from my previous wardrobe organisation post? Here’s a reminder:-

  • 1 long sleeved top – white or black
  • 2 plain colour tshirts
  • 1 plain black tshirt
  • 1 smart skirt, suitable for work but also a smart/casual night out – black?
  • 1 white and 1 colour button down shirt, as mine ended up in the “to go” pile
  • A dressier shirt in a colour – think texture or patterns
  • Smart/casual trousers, but not jeans or black “work trousers” – Khaki’s, linen trousers?
  • A graphic sweater – Think big, fluffy, having a bad day and need comfort. David and Goliath brand?
  • Little black dress (LBD) – as mine ended up in the “too big” pile 🙁
  • Black boots – flat or low heel, suitable for work
  • Closed smart/casual shoes, again suitable for work
  • Pretty black flats
  • Bras!!! – Get re measured
  • Tights – it was surprising how many I binned
  • Socks for flats (in suitable colours), aka Popsocks
  • 1 winter coat
  • 1 water proof coat/mack

Well, I’ve made a start! Happy to report there was no impulse buying and the majority of items were on sale! 😀

Here’s a quick run down of what I got:

  • 1 long sleeved top – black
  • 1 long sleeved top – burgundy/purple
  • Night out little black dress
  • 1 blue vest top
  • 1 light red vest top
  • 2 pairs of black boots – different styles, but both suitable for work, one of them would also be good for a night out.
  • Flesh coloured tights
  • Opaque tights
  • 1 plain colour tshirt – burgundy/purple
  • 1 plain black tshirt

To be honest, it was easier than I thought it would be to stick to my list, though I deviated from it slightly with the vest tops. I didn’t get caught up impulse buying or buying the “ooo so and so would love that for their birthday/Christmas/mothers day etc” items that always end up in my basket/hand (OK, the latter was slightly more difficult).

I stayed clear of full price if possible and hit the sale racks instead, I also went into a few charity/”thrift” shops, the latter as suggested to me by a friend. What a good idea, even if I did spend a proportion of my time browsing at the books there haha.

Budgeting tips

Here’s a few tips, that worked for me with my budget shopping:

  • Plan ahead – Determine what you need to complete an outfit. Something that doesn’t match or fit well may never be worn. I had quite a few clothes in my wardrobes that just didn’t go with anything else I own.
  • Love the item – Be patient and don’t settle on the first top/skirt/dress/whatever you try on. Check for quality, colour, fit and a long-lasting style. You’ll want to wear it for a few seasons.
  • Try it on! – May seem obvious but I know a lot of people that buy something, take the tags off and then go to wear it only to find, it doesn’t fit.
  • Try a market. You’ll find a variety of unique imported and second-hand items. You can bargain for a better price, or if you’re like me, you get someone to do it for you lol.
  • Charity/”Thrift” Shops.
  • Primark is your friend! – Primark is a cheap clothing store that we have all over the UK, could be compared to places like Walmart or Target in the US. I used to stay well clear of Primark and other shops like it, as I thought the quality wouldn’t be good and the clothes wouldn’t last long. Happy to have been proven wrong, though their sizing can be rather hit and miss!
  • Watch for sales. Use coupons/gift cards/vouchers during the holiday sales either online or in stores. Try things on prior to a sale, if you can.
  • Use online vouchers – If it’s a online shop you’ve bought from a lot or have registered to and now find you’ve been added to their mailing list) or have registered to, check the emails they send you for vouchers/coupons. I’ve had ones for free delivery, money of deliveries, percentage discounts etc.
  • Bring a limited amount of cash and leave the credit cards at home.
  • Do not remove the tags until you’re sure about your new item.
  • Shop around!
  • Check out outlet stores for discounts on brand names

That last one is where I’m going next shopping trip, we have two large ones near us. I want a little look, only problem is some of the shops have no changing rooms and often never have my size anyway!

Next up on my budget planning is likely food shopping. Please share any tips. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Clothes shopping on a budget

  1. You’ve got some good points there, especially leaving your card at home and just bring cash. You can’t break your budget if you don’t have access to any more money.

    Oh, and I went to Primark on Oxford Street when I was in London. They do have some really affordable clothes!
    My boyfriend, who was with me, afterwards named it Hell on Earth. He still tell his friends about the ordeal, like it’s some horror story. “Multiple floors, man. Multiple floors, and all of them jam-packed with clothes and women… The heat, the horrible pop music… I was afraid I’d never see the light of day again.” XD

    • LOL! My boyfriend feels the same way at Primark, though he does like the Home and Ware section there. The one on Oxford Street is probably the biggest one – he should try it at Christmas! 😉

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