Get Cheap Clothes Online or Elsewhere With These Tips

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2010-03-1518

You can achieve a great wardrobe makeover even if you’re on a budget. Here are some ideas on where to get cheap clothes online and anywhere else.

My clothing budget is one of the lowest you’ll see around. I simply do not spend much money on clothes. I figure — if it’s functional, I’ll use it. Brand name or not, generic items or clever copies, I don’t really care just as long as I don’t pay much for it. As a true geek from Silicon Valley, I feel that trade shows are just as likely to be a source of new attire as anywhere else ;) . It’s one budget category that can easily yield savings, if you know what to do. Surprisingly, you only need to be resourceful to make sure you continue to look your best despite not spending a fortune in the process.

Also, one way to save a bunch of money on clothes and your appearance is by finding clever replacements for the more expensive stuff. Some time ago, I wrote about how to save money by buying replicas and the issues we face when we buy fake goods. But when it comes to clothing and accessories, “fake” seems to be the way to go in order to rake in some great savings — take the humble cubic zirconia, for instance.

So why not check out a few wardrobe makeovers which don’t seem to take that much work or money to achieve (images are from ABCNews.com)?

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The takeaway here? Less skin = classy, especially when we’re talking about work attire. :)


There are certainly many more ideas for lowering your clothing costs. As promised, following are several steps that you can take to ensure that your wardrobe looks great and is budget friendly.

Tips To Get Cheap Clothes Online or Elsewhere

1. Shop at outlet malls.

Outlet malls offer the same quality clothing as retail stores but at deeply discounted prices. They typically feature outlets for the big name brand clothing stores like Liz Claiborne, Gap, Old Navy, Adidas, and more. I found a great pair of Adidas tennis shoes at an outlet mall for $20. These shoes normally sell for $75 at a retail store, but at the outlet mall, I got a significant discount.

2. Earn rewards when you spend.

If outlet malls are too far to travel to, then do some comparison shopping in the comfort of your own home. A lot of times, you can get great deals on apparel and other merchandise through deal sites and online shopping retailers. A deals portal like Ebates can help save you money when you shop (for more on how to earn cash back when you shop, check out our Ebates review). Always figure out how you can earn rewards or cash whenever you have to fork out anything: doing so will help soften the blow of your spending.

3. Look for coupon codes that you can use at online retailers.

Be a wise or shrewd shopper. Another great tip is to simply search for promotional codes before you visit an online store. As an example, you can get great deals for shoes by securing a Shoebuy coupon code or a Macy’s promo code prior to dropping by these sites to comparison shop or place orders.

4. Check out Freecycle.org.

Freecycle.org is a web site where members can give away and receive free items. Visit your local Freecycle.org and get to know the members in your community. It is very surprising to find what people are willing to give away: as they say, one person’s junk can be another person’s treasure. Some of the things you’ll find here include brand new or gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories as well as many other items.

5. Shop for seasonal items after the season is over.

This is essential to adding new items to your wardrobe. For instance, if you wait until after the holiday season, you can find great deals on holiday dresses and outfits. And to make sure that your purchases get a lot of mileage, you should try to stick with classic designs rather than trendy items. Classic styles and colors will still be appropriate the following year. This way, you have something new and different to wear every year, and you get it at a clearance price. Remember that timing could make a huge difference — just check out this article on the best time to buy stuff.

6. Use accessories to change the look of outfits.

You can essentially wear the same basic underlying items, and change the entire look of the outfit with accessories. Find stores that offer great prices on necklaces, earrings, scarves, hats, and belts. Each of these types of accessories can transform an outfit from business casual to a date night outfit. I personally love the accessories at New York and Company. They offer a variety of colorful necklaces, earrings, and handbags that jazz up any outfit and just bring the whole look together.

7. Shop at thrift stores and Goodwill.

I know it does not sound glamorous, but thrift stores and Goodwill often offer some of the most basic items that you need for your wardrobe. Black slacks, white shirts, cute tees, and jackets are just a few items I have found at the local Goodwill. I also found my favorite pair of jeans here. You do have to rummage through the place for a while, but when you find that piece that you absolutely love, the search pays off. On my most recent trip, I found two cute t-shirts and a pair of jeans, and my total cost was all of $8! That is less than I would spend on a pair of earrings at a store at the mall. Look for the basics at these stores, and spice them up with new items. For more tips, check out these great places to earn and save money on used items.

8. Hold clothing swaps or exchanges.

So you may own a few nice pieces while your friends do as well. When you find yourself in such a serendipitous situation, could it be possible to conduct a trade or clothing/item swap with your friends? I think that clothing exchanges are an awesome idea. And don’t worry about having unmatched wardrobe sizes either since you don’t have to limit these trades to clothing. After all, you can also decide to trade accessories and shoes (okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea). Get a list of all your friends and/or family members and find out who among them would be interested in a clothing/accessories trade. Not only does this help you find new items for your wardrobe, but you get to declutter your closet as well. In my case, I’ve receive a countless number of hand-me-downs from my generous sister and mother who both have excellent taste in fashion. I have them to thank for what’s in my closet!

Copyright © 2010 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Funny about Money March 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Uh oh. Looks like i’m missing something here.

Her periwinkle blue cami hanging out from under her blazer (which incidentally doesn’t go or contrast pleasingly with anything) WORKS? why? she looks just awful…uhm…doesn’t she?

Second woman looks a little better in the “after” pic…but what are those things they have hanging from her ears? And drugstore headbands WORK these days? when did i fall off the planet?

Belly cover-ups definitely WORK….but why would anyone need to be told that? seriously?

Silicon Valley Blogger March 15, 2010 at 11:06 pm

@Funny About Money…
Okay, I chuckled. I think the point of the makeovers was to make sure that the women were covered up before they showed up at the office. What’s the right office attire? Could it be that in some circles, the vest or blazer over the longer shirt or blouse works? Then again, how would I know (sadly, I don’t have much of a fashion compass)… Perhaps in some situations, that sort of look may pass as trendy or “ahead of the curve”. ;) After all, I’ve seen some absolutely horrid outfits that were supposed to be bravely “bleeding edge”.

Also, I bet that every office out there has someone who stands out in some way or another because of their “interesting” attire.

Holly March 16, 2010 at 6:37 am

I had to laugh at the vest/skirt/no shirt combo. Interestingly enough, I was getting dressed after a workout at the company gym this morning and the woman next to me was wearing skin-tight capris with a red thong peeking over the top and a too-short t-shirt. Like you said…seriously?!

Inappropriate work attire aside, thanks for the tips! This is the area in my budget where I really need to do some work. I also recommend getting on email lists for your favorite stores. I have a separate email address I use specifically for this and I receive notifications when there’s a sale as well as coupons that can be used online and in the store. Certain stores also have a pretty good rewards program, either free or attached to the store’s credit card. As long as there’s no annual fee on the card and you pay it in full each month you can get some extra savings that way.

Now I just need to find the time and energy to check out the local thrift stores more often!

annk March 16, 2010 at 6:48 am

Actually, the quality of products at outlet malls is NOT equal to regular retail stores. Manufacturers produce items specifically for outlet malls, and they are not the same.

Frugal Duchess March 16, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Now I know your secrets for dressing well for less. Take care!

Silicon Valley Blogger March 16, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Hee :) . My family doesn’t appreciate my sense of style too much as I stick out like a sore thumb in family reunions, outings, you name it. Ok it’s not that bad…

Brandon Barnett March 17, 2010 at 1:16 am

Where can you buy cheap trendy clothing online?

Credit Girl March 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I love finding great ways to save money on clothes while still attempting to look fashionably coordinated! Another great thing is to swap clothes with your girlfriends! Throw a little get together where all of you bring articles of clothing that you no longer love and swap with them. Great money saving trick.

me in millions March 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm

How is that last “before” one remotely office appropriate? Her muffin top is hanging out and so are her boobs. Yuck.

Canada Hoodies March 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

Those are some really good tips, I have never actually heard of freecycle.org, I am looking forward to checking it out, I have 3 kids and we go through a lot of clothes. Another good tip is actually looking on ebay, I have found lots of deals for clothes on ebay. Many people sell kids clothes in lots, so you can get a ton of clothes for a cheap price.

Yuko May 11, 2010 at 2:39 am

How is that last “before” one remotely office appropriate? Her muffin top is hanging out and so are her boobs. Yuck.

Blancoartes June 26, 2010 at 5:42 pm

With this tough economy it’s getting harder to update your wardrobe, and also if you are losing weight, it’s a waste of money to buy new clothes, because you are changing from size to size in a short period of time, but you still want to look stylish. Wear trendy outfits and great quality clothes without spending a fortune!

Kevin August 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Good tips on buying cheap clothes, but I think that they are difficult to apply in practice. Now everything is expensive everywhere.

cheapclothesrule August 20, 2010 at 7:28 am

Great post. Ive been banging on about this for years but never managed to put it as clearly as this. Bottom line is you don’t have to spend huge wads of cash to look great, as you have demonstrated.

pimpong gwantes November 5, 2010 at 1:34 am

Good blog post… Nice pictures of before and after showing the biggest changes.

Micah November 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Great article, I’ll have to share this one on twitter :) I stopped buying new clothes years ago for the most part. I shop a lot of local thrifts (I like Plato’s Closet a lot), and online works well as long as I stick to going by measurements and not just tag size. Online shopping is especially good if you’re trying to replace a particular favorite shirt pair of jeans, or if you need a non-typical size. I used to shop Goodwill but not as much these days, their prices are kind of high for what they’re offering (at least around here).

Analise August 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

I definitely agree on the promo codes. Online discount codes are booming right now because competition is so high and shopping online saves so much time and effort. You can find all sorts of codes for top name retailers like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. Great tips all around!

Cheap Dude June 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Goodwill is awesome! You can sometimes find hugo boss and other high end designer blazers for under $20! Most are in great shape too!

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