Shopping makes me happy, but it usually upsets my bank balance. This is a struggle that is familiar to so many young people who, like myself, love the thrill of buying clothes but whose finances are not so great. So for some tips on how to get your hands on the best clothes without breaking the bank I spoke to Pietrie Morton, manager of the vintage store Babette, Kelly Johnson, a personal shopper at Topshop, and Tracy Gold, a personal stylist, fashion writer and designer.
1 Take advantage of in-store discounts
So you have your eye on that amazing item, but your budget won’t allow you to get it. Have you thought about making use of in-store discounts? Kelly recommends this method of buying clothes because some stores offer discounts to students and that could be a way of getting clothes for cheaper. “Topshop offers a 20% discount to students when they shop at the store on a Wednesday, provided they show their student card,” she says. “A person can also receive a discount when they shop at the store on their birthday, but they do have to bring their ID.”
2 Dig, and dig some more
Thrifting is like treasure hunting, you dig and dig until you find that gem. Thrift stores have amazing dresses and bags that will not break the bank and will have people taking a second look at the item you’ve bought. Pietrie recommends going to the lesser known vintage stores, as others can be a bit pricey. Another way to get some vintage finds is going flee markets and car boot sales. She suggests this because “some owners do not know the value of the items that they own, so a person could end up with an amazing item but at a really low price.”
3 Reward cards
Those stacks of cards that you think are of no use to you could actually help you get that item you have been eyeing. “Sometimes you can get a massive discount when you purchase something and you have the reward card of that store,” Kelly says. “You could also receive a discount, depending on the promotion at the time.”
Another way of getting clothes because of a rewards card is eBucks. “Some online stores work with eBucks, so if you are an eBucks customer you can utilise your eBucks to purchase items.” So start signing up.
4 Work opposite to the weather
Buy summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer. Sounds a bit weird right? But Pietrie says this is one of the best ways of snagging certain items. “Buying summer clothes in winter and vice versa helps in saving money because in summer [as] stores are trying to get rid of their winter stock which will make certain items cheaper than they normally would.” Tracy also agrees, “So often stores want to get rid of their stock so they’ll even have winter boots in stores that they’ve had from the previous years.” She also advises, “The trick is to know the kind of things that you can easily pick up and some of the things that you struggle to buy, but bear in mind that next season you may not feel like wearing it.”
5 Shop online
Shopping online is something that many are terrified of trying but online stores could be your new best friend. To those who are afraid to take the plunge, Tracy suggests sticking with well-known online stores. “I would stick with very reputable companies that have been around for a while. Some stores offer a free delivery, free return. So there is actually no risk,” she says. This is great for the shopper who does not have a lot of money to spend, she adds, “If you have a limited budget and you’re not sure it’s going to fit you or you’re not sure you’re going to like it, you certainly don’t want to be wasting money on something you’re going to be stuck with and can never wear.”
Images by Bulumko Gana