See how you can save when shopping

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Master to save when shopping

Like all things in life, getting great clothes on the cheap means efforts. One has to learn how to find the best deal and how to shop like a pro.

In life, you often need a specific piece of clothes right now, i.e. you can’t wait eons to find the perfect piece at a great deal eventually. That’s something you can only do with Lust pieces. But what about the Must-haves? Like a new office look because you were promoted and have to upscale your office wardrobe or you are sent off for training at another office in a foreign country or a city with a more formal dress code than at your home branch of the company?

#fashionover50 mature woman in frugal high and low price work outfit
Abstract print top with wave hem c/o Shein, skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangle, and Ivanka Trump suede heels c/o Wikibuy

I am not talking trendy It items here, but things like the real wardrobe basics like a new pair of pumps for the office, a new sonic tooth brush which works with different Voltage, baggage that has to be replaced, or even a garden hose when you will move in your company’s guest house with attached yard. The day-to-day pieces, the basics that have to be covered. How can you save when shopping for them?

Save by getting rid of misconceptions

Let’s get back to updating your office look. You can’t expect to find a gem at a great deal just in the first store you visit. The same applies when you google. The first page that comes up most likely doesn’t have the best deal ever. Yes, and the fact that you got a great deal at so and so last time, doesn’t mean you get a great deal there every time. Also the inventory changes quickly, so they may not have what you look for.

#fashionover50 #budgetfashion work outfit created from cheap and expensive items
Multi-color print top c/o Shein, flare silk skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangles, and Ivanka Trump suede pumps c/o Wikibuy

While many of the point discussed in the following also apply to other items, let’s speak here of first hand clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, etc., the things every stylish professional woman needs. A thing that cannot be emphasized enough is the importance to learn how to shop fashion that you can turn into style.

Fashion is what you buy, style is what you make with it. #quote Click To Tweet

Know the turn-over basics and buy new ones when on sale

Accept that white T-shirts, white blouses and/or button-down shirts last a season, not more. After a while, they turn yellowish and shabby whether or not you used bluing addition or bleach in your laundry or both. It’s the natural aging process of the fabric.

Traditionally, women white T-shirts are more expensive than men’s T-shirts of same quality. Thus, buy your white T-shirts in the boys’ or men’s department. They are much cheaper than in the women’s department.

Buy white button-down shirts or blouses only on sale. Since you know they are short-lived, you can buy a new one on sale as a spare when it is a classic cut. But don’t overdo it. You have a closet, not a warehouse. 😉

Money saving strategies

Search for great deals

Of course, you not always can wait for a (clearance) sale. What then? Today there are apps for almost everything in live. Thus, there are also apps that search the internet for the best deal for you. They don’t sell the products, they just match you with the best prices. My favorite one is Wikibuy. It operates as a website and Chrome extension and finds you the best deals across the web. This page lets you not only search by brand and/or item, but also the size, and even better, by all these characteristics at the same time. I love that you can browse combinations like color, item name plus size. It ensures that you won’t land on a store page where they have the item, but not in your size. In other words, this cool feature not only saves you money, but also time.

Time is money. - Uncle Scooge #quote Click To Tweet
shoe beauties in pink
Zoom-in on the Ivanka trump pink suede high heel pumps c/o Wikibuy

I found the shoes of my OOTD, for instance, that way. I wore them to a meeting with a new colleague and my new boss. These pink shoes are perfect for the office on hot summer days when the dress code asks for closed toe pumps. The color well works with all kind of summer dresses. The pink sticks out of the crowd of nude or white summer pumps. It’s a real statement.

Pro tip: Wikibuy is also great to find the best deal for hard to find sizes like pumps in size 11 or 5 or the often hard to find extra long pants in size S or M. <3

You get the idea. I bookmarked the page. As a fashion/style blogger, I shop a lot, right?! 😉

Bookmark a price comparison page like Wikibuy to find the best deal. #saving Click To Tweet

Check in store, save online

Another great strategy to save money when shopping for new work clothes is to first try out an item in the store for fit. Once you know that it fits and which size you need, you search the internet for the best online deal of that piece or for a promo code, and order the piece online. But be careful, always do your math! They may charge shipping, and then your item might have been cheaper in the store in your mall. Thus, take note of the in store price tag, and find your best deal online and add the shipping fees before you hit “buy.”

Have no shame to use promo codes

Always look for promo codes and use them when shopping online. Shop online clearance sales. Look for professional clothes that you can wear at least in two seasons. And always remember, less is more, and more is just more. In other words, go for quality over quantity.

#fashiononabudget #turningfashionintostyle woman in cheap multi-color top, teal skirt and great deal pumps
Multi-color boxy top c/o Shein, teal silk skirt c/o Lilysilk, own statement earrings, Hermes collier de chien cuff, bangle, and Ivanka Trump pink shoes c/o Wikibuy

Put the sales and clearance schedule of your fav brands/store on your calendar

Identify brands that fit you perfectly. Know what brands and fabrics work well on your body type, and stick to them. Don’t know your body shape? Here is a free quiz to find it out.

Make a list of stores that offer clothes that fit you best. Find out their sales and clearance schedule and add these dates on your calendar. When the sale/clearance goes up, make sure you go there/browse their merchandise on the first day!

On eBay buy out of season. You can find more tips for shopping on eBay in the post at the link.

Avoid impulse buys

Never buy something that is just so so. Even when you need a certain piece right now. The best way to stick to this strategy is to ask a salesperson how many they still have in your size or whether they could hold it for you for 24 hours. When you are still excited about the item the next day, go get it.

Make the pledge to save on trends

Do the pledge to never ever spend a fortune on a trendy item. Trends are what the word says: A trend. This means it will go away sooner than later. You never know how fast.

But you also know that every item in your closet should go down to less than a dollar per wear. Otherwise it was a pricey item. Thus, ask yourself how often will you wear that trendy piece of clothes. If the trendy item costs, for instance, $30, ask yourself whether you will be able to wear it this season 30 times? If not, kiss it off, no matter how cute the trend is.

Fit is a must

Never buy something that doesn’t fit. Tailoring may be very expensive. If the store doesn’t offer it as a complimentary service, your new office look may become much more expensive than you had budgeted.

Hoping that a dress, skirt, pair of trouser – you name it – will fit when you loose those stubborn 10 lb (4.5 kg), can be very frustrating and expensive too. You may finally reach that goal when the item is out of style. Guess what? You will never ever wear it! You could as well burn your money. If it doesn’t fit, skip it!

Fit matters, size doesn't. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet

Avoid costly surprises by being disciplined about what you do

When shopping at a mall, always check the tag before you buy. Then use an app or web page on your phone to see what the item costs online. As I said, I have bookmarked Wikibuy for that purpose. Don’t forget to take fees for shipping into account in your comparison and decision making whether buying at the mall or online is cheapest.

Never forget to consider the shipping costs when ordering online. #budgettip Click To Tweet

When shopping online check the shipping and return policies before ordering. Check whether you can or can’t return an item that is on sale. Your item may become much more expensive than you think when shipping and return are not free.

Say non no to complete outfits

Never buy complete outfits! #styletip Click To Tweet
They may only work that one way! Instead buy an item only, when while being in the store, you have – out of the top of your head – already ideas for at least three new outfits with items you already own.

beautiful pink pumps
Other view of the Ivanka Trump suede heels c/o Wikibuy

Best practice to save when building a wardrobe

Build your wardrobe on one or two neutrals and two or three fashion colors of your palette. Doing so allows you to combine your clothes easily. This means you have many possibilities for great outfits. Again less is more, and more is just more.

Pro tip: Leave your credit card at home. When you only have cash, you will be more picky or selective with your purchases.

In summary

  • Before you pull your credit card always think about how many wear you expect to get out of the item. If the price divided by your estimate of wear is less than a latte or coffee at your fav coffee shop, go for it.
  • Always compare prices, but include costs for shipping. You can do a price comparison with apps or online price comparison pages like Wikibuy that even when you are in a store.
  • Aim for buying the best quality you can afford. Over time you will look like you have an expensive wardrobe even though you might have bought on sale/clearance.
  • Be prepared to try things on in a mall, when shopping thrift or consignment store, or even garage sales.

If you liked any of these outfit inspiration ohotos, it would mean a lot to me if you pinned them to your own Pinterest board. It’s a great way that your friends, family, and others can see them too.

When you liked the outfit recipes of this post, and want recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Keeping in touch

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Photos: G. Kramm

Disclosure: The shoes are a sample of my choice courtesy to Wikibuy. The post is not endorsed by them and I am not affiliated with them. I wrote the post entirely myself and all opinion are my own and 100% honest.

© 2013-2018 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved