Discount Duds: How to Save on Clothes

June 6, 2013

Photo by kthread, via flickr

Clothes shopping. Some love it, some hate it, some do it just because they have to. With winter finally ending, it’s time to take the holiday sweaters, down jackets, and wool hats out of the closet and replace them with shorts, tees, and flip-flops. While doing this, you may think to yourself (or someone may blatantly tell you), that you need new clothes. Lucky for you, I've compiled a list of the best places to buy high quality clothes on a budget.

Members-Only Online Shopping Clubs

This is something new that not many people may know about. Online shopping clubs simply purchase excess inventory directly from the manufacturer at a greatly reduced price, and then slightly raise the price so they can make a profit. There are clubs to match whatever you’re looking for, and most are extremely easy to sign up for; usually they just require you to create an account with your email address. The length of the deals range from several hours to a few days, and you have the option of having the club email you each day with their new sales. Here are some of the top online shopping clubs:

  • Gilt Groupe - Gilt provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. They have deals on women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, and jewelry.
  • HauteLook – Hautelook offers daily sale events featuring the best names in women's and men's fashion and accessories at up to 75% off.
  • Ideeli – Ideeli features shopping events for women that last for only a few days, with the prices of the products reduced by as much as 80%.
  • Jack Threads – Jack Threads is for the men. They offer top-tier street, skate, surf and contemporary men's fashion brands at up to 80% off retail prices.
  • The Clymb – The Clymb offers up to 70% off the top outdoor and active-lifestyle brands. This is the ideal site for any outdoor enthusiast.

TJ Maxx and Marshall’s

TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are stores that sell unworn, name-brand clothing and shoes at very low prices. You never know what you’ll find there, and that’s part of the fun! Bring the family or go with friends, and treat it like a treasure hunt. Sometimes you may find a $200 designer pair of jeans for $30, other times you may go home empty-handed. The selection is constantly changing, so you’ve got to be flexible. But if you’re willing to put in the time and effort searching through the store, you may find something that will leave all your friends jealous.

Nordstrom Rack and Other Outlet Stores

Nordstrom Rack offers a selection of things you would find at any Nordstrom store, but at a reduced price. The same idea goes for outlet stores, with nearly every major clothing company including Nike, Gap, and North Face offering reduced prices on all their merchandise. Outlet malls are filled with just such stores, and locations in Colorado include Lakewood, Castle Rock, Silverthorne, and Loveland. I must warn you, however, that you can lose track of time at outlet malls, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore.

Thrift Shops

As Macklemore puts it, “I’m so pumped about some s*&# from a thrift shop!” I’ve had that feeling plenty of times after leaving thrift shops, and while they are some of the best places to find unique clothing, you can also find high quality name brand items for absolutely ridiculous prices. Examples of stores throughout Colorado include ARC Thrift Stores, Goodwill, and Salvation Army Family Stores, but there are also plenty of small, independent thrift shops. Thrift shops also get all of their merchandise through donations, so if you have any old clothes, shoes, or furniture you no longer need, instead of throwing them in the trash, think about donating them to a thrift shop.

Buy for the Previous Season

Every clothing store offers a different selection with each season, and the moment they bring in new items for next season, everything else will likely go on sale. If you know what you needed this past winter, take the opportunity this spring to buy the items you’ll need next winter at a discounted price.

Do you have an killer tips for saving on clothes?