I worked at a clothing store for about two years when I was at university, and I definitely learned a thing or two about finding deals.
That being said, even though I became a seasoned budget fashionista near the end, I definitely spent more money on clothes in those two years than in my entire life. Working in a mall is dangerous! Here a few things I learned as a clothing store sales gal on how to buy clothes for less like the pros:
Never buy anything for full retail price. Of course, sometimes you have to if it’s a need like a new winter jacket, but what I do to avoid these instances is to have a running list of things I need to get or replace, then I wait for the right time of year to buy them. Plus, I’ve been doing a bit of research on retail mark-ups, and it seems like 100% markup is the norm. Just so you know.
An item of clothing will go on sale approximately 6 – 8 weeks after it’s put on the floor. So, once you find something that you definitely want to buy, wait it out a bit for that price to drop. However, if you wait too long it might be gone by the time, you’re ready to make the purchase. And hiding it in an odd place in the store will not work, believe me.
Apparently, Thursday evenings are the best times to shop. Not only will you beat the weekend rush, but some stores put their sale items out Thursday evenings but don’t advertise the sale until the weekend. We used to do this at my work all the time.
You’ve gotta think a season behind. Buy your winter stuff near the end of winter and your summer stuff at the end of summer. Apparently February and September are the best times to buy clothes on sale, coinciding with the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Fashion Weeks as noted by Smart Money. I remember I got an amazing deal on 3 pairs of sandals (I think I got all 3 pairs for less than $40) from Aldo.com at the end of August last year. Which brings me to my last rule.
Make a list of your favorite stores to buy clothing from and sign up to their e-newsletters. Most of the time you’ll probably just ignore the emails they send out but once and a while they’ll announce free shipping online or 80% off for one day only which you’d never know if it weren’t for their spam.
Got any other tips on how to buy clothes for less?