You already know the basics on how to save money on clothes with tips like sell your old clothes and shop at thrift stores. While useful, they don’t help you look stylish AND save money.
Here are seven surprising and clever tips that will have you dressing for less while looking your best.
1. The Red Ribbon Technique
Instead of shopping at the mall, use this strategy to wear the clothes you already own. You’ll be amazed at how you’re wardrobe grows. I learned this from Hilary Rushford at Dean Street Society.
Find a red ribbon or a ribbon of any color. Tie the ribbon at the end of the rod, behind the last piece of clothing you have hanging. Each time you wear something put it back on the hanger behind the red ribbon. Here comes the hard part. You’re not allowed to wear that item again until you’ve worn everything in front of it.
I followed this strategy for a few months. I was surprised at how much I was able to save money on clothes over those couple months.
2. Host a Swap Party
A swap party is a party where each guest brings gently used clothes and accessories and swaps them with the clothes other guests brought.
This works really well if you set some rules in advance, such as each guest must leave with no more than the same number of items they brought, to prevent any unfair swapping. You can make this as minimal or as big as you want. If you want to go big, think theme, food, invitations, decorations. You could make this really-super-over-the-top.
There’s even a feel-good component because when the swap is over, you can gather up all the un-swapped items and donate them to charity.
3. Rent Your Clothes and Jewelry
I love new clothes. There’s something about wearing something new. The problem is when you go to the store to buy something – you don’t really ever just buy one thing. Plus, it gets expensive buying new clothes every month.
Consider renting your clothes. And your jewelry.
Companies like Le Tote and Rocksbox, make it less expensive to wear new clothes on a regular basis without investing tons of money, but it’s also fun to shop and click on all the items you wish were yours.
Rocksbox has a clever Instagram hashtag #wishlist you use when you want them to include something they’ve featured in a photo in one of your boxes.
4. One Color Palette Wardrobe (aka the uniform)
Simplifying your wardrobe down to a three-color palette, or all neutrals has many benefits.
For one, it reduces stress in the morning when you’re trying to decide what to wear. Limited options in colors create endless options in matching. You can grab any shirt and any pants, or any dress, and any shoes and be guaranteed they will look good together.
Two, it makes shopping much easier and cheaper. It allows you to ignore items not in your pre-chosen palette. Imagine walking by all the clothes because they don’t work for you. No matter how cute they are. Make the decision ahead and time, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
Third, there’s a reason successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerburg wear the same outfit every day. It reduces decision fatigue and makes for an overall more productive day. You’ll be able to channel your energy into decisions other than what you’re going to wear.
5. Focus on Accessories
Changing accessories can completely change an outfit.
Imagine you have a white shirt and black pants. But you wear a patterned scarf, bright yellow earrings, an orange belt, and green shoes. The next day, you wear the same shirt and pants, but pair with a pearl necklace and earrings, and a skinny leopard belt. Completely different looks with the same basics.
Accessories can always be found on sale, saving you money to spend on quality foundation pieces.
What’s your favorite trick you use to save money on clothes?