Welcome to part 2 in the series of how to find all the best fashion deals! If you haven’t read part 1 yet – how to save money on fashion online, then go there now….and then come back here to read on about fashion offers in store. Thank you muchly 🙂
Anyhoo, I mentioned at the start of the series that it’s hard to put a figure on your monthly clothing spend. And that’s not just because we really don’t want to (eek!). It’s also because we don’t tend to go out on a regular basis for clothes. Instead, we buy when we need to replace items, or to restock our wardrobe during sales periods or at the start of a new season. Well, regardless of how often you purchase clothes and how much you spend, I’m sure you’d love to spend less.
So let’s crack on with tips on how to grab fashion offers in store!
Buying fashion in store
As easy as online shopping is, the downside is that you can’t see the item on the hanger. Nor can you touch the material or try it on to see how it fits you. Often those three factors can be huge in determining whether you buy something or not. So if you buy online, you run a huge risk that you’ll be dissatisfied with the item and have to return it. Annoying. In fact, according to research by the BBC, 2/3rds of clothes bought online are returned.
And yet, we still buy clothes online because we know it’s so easy to find a bargain. But don’t think for one moment that deals can’t be found when shopping on the high street. There are loads of tricks to find fashion offers in store!
Have a plan
Browsing is dangerous. Yup. That’s a strange statement right there. But it is dangerous. If you enter a clothes shop with a open mind and money to burn, you’ll end up spending quite a lot.
So, the best way to keep a limit on your spending is to decide before you walk through the door what you intend to buy and stick to it.
And every time you’re tempted by something else, make a mental note to think about it again later and run through these questions:
- Do I need it? i.e. will I wear it lots and will it go with a lot of clothes I currently don’t wear but should?
- Will it suit me? Think in terms of colour, cut, style and age-wise
- How can I buy it more cheaply? Unless you can find a way of paying 50% of the full price for it, wait for the sale!
If you’re venturing out to the shops, you’ll know which retailers will be there, so before you leave, check online to see if there are any in store voucher codes available for those places. Just as you would search online for vouchers and codes to get a discount on your favourite retailers’ website, you can often apply most of these at the till in a store too. Always check terms and conditions before you do though.
In store cashback
My favourite cashback site, Quidco, has a great tool whereby you register your debit or credit cards securely on their site and then when you buy anything in store at places like Debenhams or Jojo Maman Bebe, you’ll automatically be credited with a percentage of your spend as cashback in your Quidco account! Just visit Quidco now and click on the Ways to Earn and High Street tabs.
For more info on how cashback sites work you can read my guide here.
Wait for sales
If you’re like me and patience is not one of your virtues then this will be a tough one. The thing to remember, however, is that sales take place a lot more frequently than they used to and you could save yourself as much as 60% of the full price.
If waiting seems too hard, sign up to the retailer’s mailing list (if it has one) as you may get advanced notice of when the sales are to start which at least means you have a date to focus on!
Buy quality over quantity
Technically this requires you spending more upfront rather than less, but you’ll realise the savings over the long term. Cheaper clothes are typically made with cheaper materials which don’t last very long and will need replacing fairly often. And more trips to the shops mean more temptation to buy other things! So if you’re buying items like white shirts (that you don’t want to go see-through very quickly) or a staple jumper (that shouldn’t stretch beyond your knees the first time you wear it), seek out a good quality version and see it as a long term investment.
Charity shops (particularly in wealthier areas!)
There is probably nowhere you’ll pick up a better bargain on a good brand name than a charity shop. Having volunteered in one as a teenager, I can assure you that the sorting process is incredibly thorough and it’s rare that anything other than a high quality brand, in nearly new condition or better, will get on to their shelves. So you can be sure that you’ll pick up something great and it will only cost you a few quid.
Even better, a fellow money blogger, ThriftyMum.com, recommended to me to visit charity shops located in wealthier areas as the stock is likely to be very high end!
Check out bargain retailers and supermarkets for basic items
Pants, t-shirts, basic jeans and kids clothes are always great items to buy from the supermarket. Stores like Asda and Sainsbury’s have some very good clothing brands under their belts and the prices are great. While they’re never going to be bang on trend, don’t underestimate these stores for the basic essentials.
You may be surprised to hear that it’s not just at the market that you can haggle on the price of your purchase; major retailers will do it too. According to a survey conducted my Moneysavingexpert.com of its readers, it’s possible to successfully haggle for a cheaper price in TK MAXX, John Lewis, Debenhams, Clarks and M&S!
So go get your negotiation face on and see what you can achieve.
Shop with an honest friend
My final piece of advice on spending less on fashion in store is to take a friend with you who will be able to tell you straight if something suits you and is worth buying or not. Stores play a lot of tricks on customers in the changing rooms by using soft lighting and flattering mirrors to make you think you look better than you do so get someone to give you honest feedback and it could end up saving you a fortune!
What was the last thing you bought in store? Would you try haggling?