Save Money by Buying Basic Clothing

Want to spend less on clothing? Here are a few ideas:

  • When you are going to buy a nice item of clothing, forget about the trendy styles unless it is cheap. Trends come and go, and then your trendy clothes go out of style. Instead, buy a classic item that will never go out of style. How about a quality white shirt and black slacks? They will never go out of style so you should be able to wear them until they wear out or you outgrow them, whichever comes first. What else is on my classic list? Blue wool blazer or sport coat, PLAIN black shoes and solid color polo shirts.
  • To make your clothes last longer, skip the dryer cycle. There is nothing like solar power for drying your laundry. Don’t have a clothes line? Use one of those little fold-up racks. Everyone does this in Europe. The dryer is hard on clothes, especially polyester, lycra and knit fabrics which tend to “pill up” in the dryer cycle.
  • Also, hang up or fold your clothes after removal so they won’t get wrinkled. Use thicker wood or padded hangers for heavy items such as suits. Sweaters and knits should be folded instead of hung up.
  • If you can live with being ordinary, try wearing clothes of the same color, such as dark green pants and black shirt. Then you can load up on these items on sale. And, you won’t be stuck having to buy an expensive pink skirt to match that orphaned pink sweater. Someone I know has been doing this for about 10 years, and nobody except his spouse has noticed. It also makes life simpler when getting dressed in the morning.

Save on Children’s Shorts

With summer coming, it’s a good time to go through your family’s wardrobe to see what’s needed for the warmer weather. It’s pointless to spend a lot of money for shorts for your children when they’re just going to be playing outside in them. Instead, if they have pants that still fit through the body, but are not long enough, or the knees have holes in them, just cut them off and hem into shorts. Don’t know how to hem? It’s easy.

Other inexpensive ways to acquire shorts are at yard sales, resale shops and consignment shops. Now that you know how to hem, you don’t need to restrict your search to just shorts.

Save Money By Renting Ties and Toys

We’ve all seen the stores that rent household furniture and electronics. You may also rent a carpet cleaner, movies or even a car. But it never occurred to me that you could rent a tie. Well, now there is an internet business that allows you to do just that. For a beginning price of $10.95 a month for one tie up to $49.95 a month for 10 ties, Tie Society (http://www.tiesociety.com) will send you a professional looking sanitized tie. If you get tired of the one you have, you can send it back and exchange it for another. It makes sense for someone starting out in their career who doesn’t want to make a big investment right away. Or, maybe you want one for that all important job interview or even a wedding.

Another novel rental idea is in the area of children’s toys. Spark Box (www.sparkboxtoys.com) supplies you with a selection of sanitized educational toys for your 0-4 year old. Boxes start at $22.95 for 4 toys for 8 weeks. It’s a nice way to get good quality items without having to buy a lot of toys that your child will soon outgrow.

Hem Your Own Pants

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably found the need to have a pair of pants shortened at some point. Hemming them is not that difficult, even if you don’t have a sewing machine. Doing it yourself is a lot cheaper than taking them to a tailor.

For a quick fix of course, you can use fusible tape. However, this is not a good permanent solution since the tape eventually comes off after repeated washings.

The following site shows how to determine the correct length for your pants: http://www.squidoo.com/HowToHemAPairOfPants. Another method would be to take a pair of pants that fit you well and use them as a guide. Measure the inseam from the top inside of the leg to the hem.

For a great instructional video and detailed instructions on using hand sewing to hem your pants, check here: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-testing/from-the-lab-blog/easy-way-to-hem-pants.

A couple of other tips: The most important thing to remember if you have to cut off excess material is to measure twice and cut once. You can always make them shorter if need be, but it’s pretty hard to make them longer again.

Planning Your Wardrobe

When buying clothing for yourself, you can save a lot of money by resisting the urge to buy the latest trends and fashions. How many things do you have in your closet that you’ll never wear again because they were out of date after only a year or two? Clothing for men tends to have a more classic look, although even this has changed somewhat in recent years. Women’s clothing, though, is constantly changing with new colors and styles. Nevertheless, it is possible to find classic clothing for women that will never go out of style.

Start out by selecting a few basic color groups, such as black, navy and gray for slacks or skirts. When you add tops, choose colors that will go with all of the bottoms. If you are creating a work outfit, you can add a suit coat or sweater in the same color groups. Likewise, with shoes, pick a couple of pairs of comfortable classic shoes that you will be able to wear with your ensembles. If almost everything you own goes together, you will be able to  assemble numerous outfits with just a few items.

You can finish off the look by adding a colorful scarf, belt or jewelry, which can often be purchased inexpensively at second-hand stores.

Not only will you save money, but you will find that you save time as well, because you won’t have to agonize about what goes together. And, you may have a little money left over to buy that one latest fashion that you can’t resist.