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5 Tips To Buy Quality Clothes On A Budget

Have you ever been to a nice retail clothing store and stumbled across (on purpose) the “out of my budget” section? Did you happen to see a beautiful pair of shoes or the “perfect” suit and you said to yourself, “Man, if this was about $500 cheaper, I could totally afford this.”  Then you get tempted to reach for your credit card, and your spouse or significant other says, “Don’t even think about pulling that credit card out!” And then you walk away empty-handed, feeling defeated by the world?

Sound familiar?

Remember the saying, “You get what you pay for?”  Well, this does remain true for the majority of things in life, even nice clothes. But every now and then, if you’re smart about it, you can get those high quality items you want for about half the price! I use these tips all the time, and they have saved me so much money and time spent on shopping.  What are these magical tips? Keep reading…

Capture11. High-End Outlet Stores are Hidden Gems.

Brick & mortar outlet stores are not as easily accessible as in previous years, especially for those of you who do not live in major metropolitan areas. However, there are online outlet stores you can shop at. Think of an outlet store as the warehouse version of the retailer, which sells their inventory directly to the public at a discount, due to items that have been over or under produced. You can find lots of high-quality items discounted anywhere from 30 percent to 50 perfect off. There are also the occasional flash sales, too! You do need to look out for return policies as these differ from their retail counter part.

Here are some of my favorites outlets for menswear:

  • 6PM (The outlet for Zappos)
    • 6 PM is the online outlet of Zappos and have insane prices.
  • Nordstrom Rack
    • The high end department store, Nordstrom, is known for their quality clothing around the bar. Nordstrom Rack offers many of those same designer brands for 30-40% off
  • Last Call (Neiman Marcus Outlet)
    • Similar to Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus is a close competitor. Last Call is their online outlet store and offers similar deals.
  • J. Crew Factory
    • J. Crew is one of my personal favorite stores. Their style is timeless and always great quality. Their online outlet is a gold mine for opportunities.

 

1A. BONUS TIP: Flash Sale siteJack Threads

    • Similar to outlets, flash sale sites buy the leftover inventory from brands for really cheap and sell them at KILLER prices. The quality is a little bit lower than a retail store’s outlet counterpart, but if you know what to buy when, you can get insane deals and good quality. Personally, at JackThreads I find their linen suit options to be good quality. A cool thing that they offer is notifications set up on their app with coupon codes sent directly to you so you don’t miss the flash sale. Things sell out QUICK!
Za2. Shop at the End of Seasons

Did you know that retailers and outlet stores have leftover inventory at the end of every season? Well, they sure don’t want to keep it for a year and sell it when that season comes rolling around again because it will be “so last season” by then.  So what do they do? They put them on the clearance racks! They discount all those items you paid retail price for when the season started. And if you live in the north, south, east, or west, chances are your state’s “seasons” don’t match up exactly with the incoming and outgoing seasonal flow of inventory. That gives you a couple extra months to shop at the clearance racks and still have a usable wardrobe for a little while. If you use that time to buy staple and timeless pieces, you can wear them for years to come too. 

coupon3. Subscribe to Your Favorite Stores for Coupons

Outlet stores, and flash sale sites love to reward their loyal shoppers with coupons. Pick your favorites and subscribe to their email list. If you don’t want to get spammed to your main inbox all the time, create a separate email account just for coupons & subscriptions. This photo was in an email sent to me for discounts.

Disclaimer: Make sure you read the fine print of the coupons, because online and in store coupons are different.

Wilson-leather-JacketRetail-499.00Thrifted4. Thrift Stores are Your Best Friend

I can’t tell you how many times I have stumbled upon diamonds in the rough and buried treasures when thrifting. I’ve personally bought an originally priced $400 leather biker jacket for $50 because I found it in a thrift store. I’ve also bought vintage boots that were sold retail at $125 for about $30.  You can find steals in thrift stores! They are also great because a lot of the items are vintage, meaning you’ll be the only one who is wearing that item. You won’t see 75 other people rocking the exact same blazer that you bought because it’s “in right now.” Talk about originality! If there are no thrift stores in your area, you can shop from THIS LIST of online thrift stores.

5. Combine Tips 1 & 2 OR 1 & 3

I would recommend to combine tips 1, 2, & 3,  but you will rarely find a place online or in store that allows you to use coupons on clearance items. If you have ever been somewhere that allows this, leave a comment in big bold letters so everyone can check it out! However, you can knock off extra dollars if you:

  1. Shop at Outlets (Tip 1)
  2. At the End of the Season (Tip 2),

or if you:

  1. Shop at Outlets (Tip 1)
  2. With the Coupons They Email You! (Tip 3)
6. Bonus 6th Tip: Shop at High-Quality, Affordable Stores

There are special stores who occupy an amazing niche. They have managed to sell equally high quality products for cheaper than their name brand competitors. They do this by selling quality, instead of a name. When you pay lots of money for designer clothing you are really just buying a name. The places who push quality first and name second have found a beautiful harmony of affordable and high quality items. These are some of my favorite menswear stores that are decently priced and high quality:

Southern Gents (Accessories)

Zara

Asos

Suit Supply

Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these tips and if they worked for you!

 

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