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9 handy ways to save money on fashion

by

Look great while spending less

legs of a woman holding ten multicoloured shopping bags stood on a cobbled street

Credit: The Independent

If you love clothes shopping, then you are probably aware that it's a pretty costly affair. Whether you love to keep up with the latest trends, are a sucker for a sale or have an unearthly obsession with shoes, fashion shopping is a (very) expensive business.

We're all looking for ways to cut this cost down, but preferably without compromising on our shopping habits. Luckily, here at Magic Freebies, we've pooled together all our top tips to help you save (and even make) money on that perfect outfit.

Let's get going!

So you want designer goods...

...but your bank balance won't stretch? Make sure you check out sites Zalando and Get The Label. They offer the same high-quality, designer branded clothes but for a discounted price. The world of high-end designer clothes is closer than you'd think!

Sales

Sales are your first stop for scoring great discounts on clothes. Gone are the days where shops had sales twice a year (post-Christmas and Summer): we're now treated to mid-season sales, special discounts and random warehouse clearances making it almost foolish to pay full-price for an item of clothing.

Make sure you sign up for all your favourite shops' mailing lists, so you're the first to hear about new sales.

Sample sales are a fantastic way to pick up some bargains. Designer Sales UK holds five fashion sales a year selling menswear, womenswear, childrenswear and accessories. You can subscribe to their newsletter or follow them on twitter to keep up to date.

Discount clothes websites

Discount clothes websites are a pretty open secret in the bargain fashion world. It sounds too good to be true - brand new stock from big named brands, at a reduced price? Amazing!

LoveFashionSales is a great website offering personalised discounts for women and men. Upon sign up, you select your favourite brands, your sizing and the sorts of products you're interested in. Your homepage is then set to present you with the sort of discounts you're after, with products in your size and from brands you like.

You can choose to sign up for email alerts of discounts suited to you, or you can just check online when you fancy something new!

CrazyClearance offers up to 60% off on fashion, swimwear and accessories for men, women, kids and even homeware. Shop by product, size or brand and score yourself some great bargains!

dress-for-less give you amazing discounts on all things fashion, including accessories and underwear. You can get big discounts on some top brands, including Calvin Klein, Converse and French Connection.

Don't miss eBay off your list either! If you have a particular piece of clothing in mind, or just fancy having a browse, you might be surprised at all the goods eBay has to offer from sellers just like you.

Outlet Stores and Villages

Outside of Gunwharf Quays shopping outlet centre

Credit: Gunwharf Quays

Outlet Stores, shopping villages, factory shops, factory outlets are all geared towards bringing you designer products and discount prices. You can find as much as up to 70% off the retail price of some products, you just need to know where to go.

Here are just are just a few of the designer outlet places around the country:

  • Clarks Village - in Somerset you can find a delightful little shopping village has plenty of great brands available such as Adidas, Cadbury, Calvin Klein and more.
  • Bicester Village Outlet Shopping - head to Oxfordshire where you can get up to 60% reductions in over 120 luxury outlet boutiques such as Luella, Ted Baker and Vivienne Westwood.
  • Swindon Designer Outlet - just 25 minutes drive from Portsmouth, they have many brands to choose from such as Hobbs, Jaegar, Aquascutum and lots more.
  • Lakeside Village - head to Lakeside Village Outlet to enjoy up to 60% off over 45 famous named shops. There's something for the whole family, so make sure you swing by next time you're near!
  • Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet - take a trip to Chester where you will find an incredible 145 stores all offering the labels you love permanently reduced by up to 60%.
  • Gunwharf Quays - enjoy picturesque views of Portsmouth Harbour and pick up some bargains at Gunwharf Quays. You can get heavy discounts on lots of shops, including All Saints, Next, Jack Wills and Joules.

Shop for style, not fashion

Instead of buying the latest fashion trend that everyone seems to fawn over, start getting into a habit of only buying things that you like.

By developing your own sense of style and not following fashion crazes you'll find yourself saving money, as you're only buying items that you will wear for years to come.

Leading me to my next point...

Shop for quality, not quantity

It may sound counterproductive to advise spending more on clothes to save money, but there is logic behind the madness.

Cheap clothes are cheap for a reason. They tend to be made from poor quality material, that will discolour, sag and need to be replaced far quicker than a better quality alternative. By investing in clothes that will last you'll find yourself saving money in the long run.

Gossip Girl character Blair Waldorf out shopping holding designer shopping bags

Credit: Harpers Bazaar - psst, take this fun quiz to see how your online shopping habits compare to everyone else!

Shop out of season

Another great way to save money on fashion is by shopping out of season. Get your summer swimwear in the depths of December and your big winter coat in the heights of Summer!

It may feel a bit strange, but the logic makes sense. Brands know that shoppers will be after seasonal items, so it's a great time to pre-buy clothes you'll need for the next season.

Charity Shops

No longer the graveyard of the high street, charity shops are on the rise! 

There are plenty of great items to be found in charity shops, you might just have to do a bit of digging around. Make a day of it and visit all the charity shops your local town has to offer.

Don't forget to look out for winter jackets - you might find yourself a beautiful jacket without having to pay crazy prices. Then all you have to do is dry clean it and it will be as good as new!

Hold A Swap Party

If you've got clothes that you want to get rid of then why not hold a Swap Party? It's a great way to clear out all the clothes you have never worn, don't fit or you simply dislike.

  1. Invite all your friends. Get plenty of people involved: remember, the more people - the more clothes! Give everyone plenty of notice so they can gather together lots of lovely clothes, hopefully in a variety of shapes, styles and sizes.
  2. Food and drink. Ask if people can bring a dish and some drink, this way it won't end up costing you the earth to host the event!
  3. Have a great time! 

Think Before You Throw

In the UK alone over a million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year. Do your bit to help reduce this ridiculous figure and think before you throw away your clothes.

Instead of mindlessly throwing away old clothes, think about different ways you can use them. Why not turn that worn pair of jeans into a pair of denim shorts? Or restyle an old dress into a fun new top? Get creative with your sewing kit and you can save your tired clothes and transform them into brand new items.

If you really want to part with an item, there are lots of options other than the bin. Donate to a charity shop, sell on eBay, give to friends in need or gather up a load and host a swap party.

Want even more? Take a look at how to get free makeup, our blog post jam-packed with useful tips to help you curb your beauty spending!