With summer 2012 nearly in full swing, it’s time to put away the bulky coats and sweaters in lieu of more comfy and colorful options. It has often been said that “clothes make the man” (or the woman), so it only stands to reason that trends in clothing can oftentimes mimic the world around us.
In fact, this can clearly be seen in today’s most popular clothes design trends that focus on happiness and positivity that also goes hand-in-hand with the recovery in the economy as well as with the earth in terms of nature and beauty.
Yet, while there are a number of wonderful new offerings for clothes this summer that highlight forward movement, many of us are still watching our finances with a fairly close eye. So, what is the best way to look great this year without breaking the bank?
There are a number of creative yet common sense ways to afford the new or name brand clothes that you want at a price that doesn’t leave your bank account dry. These can include:
Planning Your Purchase Before Leaving the House
Regardless of whether you are shopping for groceries or clothes, it is almost always best to make a list and stick to it! This can also be combined with having a specific monthly or annual budget for your clothing allowance. While it is somewhat tempting to purchase items on impulse – especially trendy and brightly colored items of new clothing – you are much more apt to stay on budget if you stick only to the items that you have on your list. And, in many cases, you will never even give the impulse item a second thought once you leave the store.
Once you know what you want to purchase, go online and seek out coupons for both the stores you will be shopping in as well as for the specific brands you are seeking. Coupons can also be found by “liking” certain retailers on websites such as Facebook – and, if you sign up for email alerts or other news from particular retailers, you are likely to receive regular discounts directly in your inbox.
Seek Out Sales
Many stores have sales at predictable times of the year such as markdowns on “back to school” clothes and other types of seasonal items. Although the items that are on sale may not be worn until a later time, by sticking to updated and fashionable garments, you are likely to stay with the trend going forward.
Shop at Discount Retailers
While you may not consider a discount retailer to be “trendy,” you can oftentimes find great name brand clothing items at a deeply discounted price – especially if you really shop around. And, because many discount retail stores purchase their inventory from big name retailers, you are often buying the exact same item, but for much less.
Consider Second-Hand Shops
Second hand stores can be a treasure chest of great clothing items. You may even discover that some clothing items in these shops still have the price tag from the original store on them – meaning that you can purchase a brand new unworn item at a very big discount.
Flea Markets and / or Yard Sales
Similar to shopping at second-hand stores, you may find that by going to yard sales or flea markets there are a plethora of great – and often new – clothing items that fit directly in with today’s trends. One tip here is to seek out yard sales in nice areas of town where you may be able to find high quality items that people simply want to get rid of.
Negotiate / Ask for a Discount
While yard sales and flea markets are known for the power of negotiation between buyer and seller, what many people don’t realize is that you may also be able to negotiate a lower price on items in a traditional retail store. Oftentimes stores are allowed to take less than the market price – but you need to ask, as this is not something that sales associates or management personnel want to be made public. By simply asking a sales associate what the lowest price is that they will take for an item, you may surprise yourself with the discounts that you can acquire.
Once you have stocked up on your trendy new items at an affordable price, you will be looking great while still holding enough cash in your wallet to enjoy the other fun activities that the summertime season has to offer.
Kelli McDonald is a fashion and design blogger for many industry sites. She enjoys finding great deals on home furnishings and personal styles on LuxeYard.