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Cutting the Cost: (from a male perspective)
We all have quite a different attitude to clothes and clothes shopping. Some people insist on every item in their wardrobe being freshly updated on a routine basis with the latest designer clad, whilst others couldn’t give too sods about how they dress and what clothes they buy. I’m personally not a huge fan of clothes shopping and spending money on clothes altogether. I try and make things last for as long as possible and I prefer to have just a few items of clothing that I actually wear rather than a wardrobe that’s packed with clothes I don’t wear. So here are some of the ways you can cut back on clothes shopping, expenditure, and accumulation.
Borrow or Hire ‘Wear Once’ Items like Tuxedos and Fancy Dress
If you’ve got a dinner a ball at work coming up, a wedding, or a friend’s fancy dress party to attend then you can soon be faced with the prospect of having to shell out for something you might wear once and never wear again. One option is therefore to hire whatever item of clothing it is that you need. This is a good strategy to take to save cash and wardrobe space if you know you’re only going to need the item of clothing once, but of course it could work out more expensive in the long run if you need, say, a tuxedo, once a year for the annual work dinner and dance in which case you might just want to go ahead and buy one. A better, alternative strategy is also to borrow these sorts of items from friends or family on the basis that you (hopefully) won’t have to pay them anything!
If You Like to Buy Designer Clothes…
I’m personally not too bothered about having any special brands or designer labels plastered all over my t-shirts and jumpers so this isn’t an issue for me. But if you can’t resist the urge to buy designer gear then trawl eBay for new, nearly-new or used stuff and you can make some massive savings. A few years ago, for example, I sold a Fred Perry polo shirt (it wasn’t mine, but I had it passed on to me from someone) on eBay in nearly new condition for about £15 which is a fraction of the price they retail at in the shops. Buying end of season or items in the sale is also a more obvious piece of advice; the chances are most people won’t know/care if it’s the latest t-shirt design or whatever else so you can get your hands on your favourite designer stuff and save money in the process.
Get Away with a Smaller/Cheaper Wardrobe by Buying Clothes in Different Designs/Colours
If you want to slim down your wardrobe but don’t want to be ‘the guy who always wears the red t-shirt’, or the ‘guy who always wears that black jumper’. Then you can kill two birds with one stone by having a small selection of clothes that are in different colours/designs/styles. That way you’ll be able to have a range of outfits for the different days of the week (avoiding any fashion/social faux pas), without, at the same time, having a clutter-filled wardrobe.
Get Rid of Stuff!
A couple of weeks ago I did a little guide on how we should approach the task of chucking things out. In that post I specifically mentioned how we can get over any indecision as to whether or not to throw an item of clothing out by looking at it and asking ourselves whether we honestly think we’ll wear it again. I’ve certainly found that when I use this approach I soon end up being quite ruthless as I realise that a lot of the clothes I have bought I just won’t ever wear again. This has allowed me to throw out loads of clothes and also make some money in the process of selling them on eBay. Sure, a lot of clothes don’t have a re-sale value that makes them worth selling, but if it’s got any sort of label on it or falls into the more practical category of clothing (e.g. raincoats) I’ve found they can be very easy to sell. The best sale I’ve made so far was a four year old Berghaus jacket that I bought for £50 and sold for £30. That’s not bad considering I’d got a ton of use out of it and could no longer wear it as it was too small.
Fellow male (and female) readers: how do you save money on clothes?
This is a guest post from Julian at Frugaal. He’s interested in and likes to write about a wide range of topics, both within and outside of personal finance.