- Paying full price for designer items and buying items based on the label rather than the fit could be costing you.
- Not checking the care label of clothing items before you buy them could be costing you money in the long-run.
- Throwing out receipts and splurging on items you’ll only wear once instead of staple pieces could be causing you to waste money.
Trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends can be expensive, especially if you simply don’t have the time to hunt for a deal. INSIDER spoke with celebrity stylist Ali Levine who shared the most common ways shoppers spend too much money on clothes and ways to save cash while staying on trend.
Here are some common clothes shopping mistakes that are costing you money.
You aren’t using promo codes or coupons.
Levine said one of the biggest ways to save money is by taking advantage of online promo codes and store coupons. You can find these codes on the store’s webpage, within their email newsletter, inside of mailed advertisements, or during a quick online search.
You buy items at full price instead of waiting for sales.
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It can be tempting to buy the newest pieces as soon as they become available, but Levine said that if you’re patient you can still have them without paying full price.
“Build relationships with the stores you love and find associates you can trust to tell you when your favorite item goes on sale,” she added. “Most items will go on sale eventually. Source around and do research.”
You choose the label over the fit.
Even if you find a designer piece at an amazing discount, Levine recommends making sure the fit and style actually work for you.
“A lot of shoppers will buy on an impulse just because it looks ‘flashy’ to them or feels like an expensive fabric. They assume because it’s designer it’s going to be the right choice,” she told INSIDER. “They neglect the fact that every designer fits differently.”
You aren’t taking advantage of big-box or discount department stores.
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In many cases, discount and big-box department stores can keep up with trends without sacrificing quality, all while charging a fraction of designer prices.
“There is nothing wrong with less expensive brands especially when it comes to buying trends,” Levine told INSIDER. “Purchase activewear from these kinds of places, t-shirts, comfortable leisure pieces, or even jeans. Less expensive brands are also fine for a statement you may be wanting to make, like a fun bright dress, or huge sunglasses.”
You have to keep replacing your staple pieces.
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If you find that you are constantly getting little tears in your favorite shirt or your work slacks shrink three sizes in the wash, it’s a sign that you may need to track down a higher quality version of your often-worn staple pieces.
“When it comes to investing in yourself, quality speaks volumes … how [the garment] maintains when you clean it, how it wears and lasts,” said Levine. She advises investing in high-quality staple pieces so you get the most value and wear for what you spend.
You don’t check the care label before purchasing clothes.
A guaranteed way to end up paying too much money for an article of clothing is by forgetting to check the care label. Pieces that typically need to be washed after every wear can cost you more in the long-run if they require dry cleaning.
Accidentally running a “dry clean only” piece through the wash or machine drying a “line dry” item can permanently ruin it, so always check the care label before investing in a new piece.
You never shop at consignment shops or second-hand stores.
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There is an infinite number of reasons as to why someone may sell or donate items from their wardrobe – and many have nothing to do with the items being damaged or out of style. There are a number of brand new and nearly new items that are still on trend and available at consignment stores.
Second-hand and thrift stores are also great places to find affordable vintage items and classic, long-lasting pieces.
You throw out your receipts too soon.
Keep your receipts for however long the store allows returns. This is especially important for purchases you still aren’t 100% sure about or something you picked up on a whim.
Having the receipt will make it much easier to get back what you paid, even if the item has gone on sale or clearance since your purchase.
Receipts are also necessary if your store offers price adjustments. How many times have you purchased an item at full price only to see it on sale a few days later? Levine recommends returning to the store with your receipt to ask to be refunded the difference.
“Always ask at the retailers about price adjustments. You’d be surprised how many times I have saved this way,” she told INSIDER. “Say you got a shirt for $75 and then they put it on sale for $35, you should absolutely go exchange it and get yourself that money back.”
You don’t inventory your closet before shopping.
Levine advises looking at your closet and thinking about what you need before you shop. Whether your closet is big or small, it’s important to keep track of what you already own before you go on a shopping spree.
By knowing what you have, you can avoid buying a third black sweater, or finally get a top to go with those cute pants you’ve owned for a year and haven’t gotten a chance to wear.
You buy expensive formal occasion attire that you will only wear once.
Wear for wear, one of the biggest fashion expenses is buying formal attire. Whether you’ve been invited to a black tie wedding or are going to a fundraising gala, there are some occasions when it makes more financial sense to rent your attire from a trustworthy shop or website than to purchase it outright. This is especially true if you will only wear the item one time.
Another way you can keep from maxing out your budget on special occasion clothing is to borrow something from a friend – you’ll only have to spend money on dry cleaning it after your event.
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