6 costly mistakes shoppers make at clothing stores

Clothes shopping can be fun, but even the most experienced shoppers can be surprised by the bill. You can save money by avoiding these common mistakes shoppers make at clothing stores.

6 costly mistakes shoppers make at clothing stores

1. Simplicity is boring

  • The most versatile clothes are simple, like well-cut pants or skirts and plain shirts or T-shirts.
  • Try to choose fabrics that will take you through different seasons. Soft and crisp cottons, lightweight wool, soft knits, silk and fabrics with a hint of stretch will all work well across the seasons.
  • A well-tailored black suit may cost a little more initially but it will last for ages, and you can add variation by wearing it with different jackets and pants.
  • Buy quality accessories during sales to add style to more basic outfits. You can add pizzazz to outfits by wearing different scarves, necklaces, belts and brooches.
  • Just changing the colour of the shirt, blouse or T-shirt you wear with it will give it a totally different look.

2. Sales save money

  • It's hard to walk by a sign that says "50% to 75% off," but if you don't normally shop there, it may be because you don't generally like their fashions.
  • Make sure it's something you really want and need. That crisp, white, tailored shirt may be a great bargain, but not if you have one or two already.
  • It's a marketing myth that shopping on Boxing Day will snag you the best buys. Sales continue through January and reduce further into February, so avoid the crowds and let your wallet breathe for a month.

3. Go with a group

It's fun to shop with friends, but it's easy for someone else to tell you how to spend your money. All too often, we're influenced by the other person's taste, and encouraged to "branch out" for a different look. Don't let someone else, sales staff included, convince you that something looks good if it's just not you.

4. Quality over quantity

Resist the temptation to pay a lot, even if the quality warrants it, for items that you will seldom wear. It makes more sense to pay less for evening wear and dressy shoes if you won't get much use out of them.

5. It (nearly) fits!

Before buying a bra, check out the styles available and take advantage of professional measuring services offered by many department stores. It's free of charge and you don't have to make a purchase.

6. Keep old clothes, just in case

  • A good closet-cleaning lets you start fresh and know what you're working with before heading to the mall.
  • Look at your wardrobe as a whole. To maximize the number of outfits you can put together, focus on items that relate to each other.
  • Be ruthless and get rid of anything you haven't worn for the last two years.
  • Don't keep something in the hope that you will lose weight or that it will come back into fashion.

Shopping for new clothes is a great way to gain confidence and mix up your wardrobe, and you can do it for less if you know how. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can save money, look great and even free up some space in your closet.

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