Fashion on a Budget: How to Save Money Shopping for Clothes

young women happy looking through a clothing rail
Published on May 05, 2022
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We all love to look our best and stay up to date with the latest fashion trends, but we know that it can be hard to do this on a tight budget.

However, sometimes buying a new outfit is just unavoidable! If you’ve got an event coming up that you want to look your best for, don’t worry, you can still find that perfect new outfit without breaking the bank. 

If you’re looking to save money while updating your wardrobe, read our top 10 tips below.

1) Buy Versatile Basics

As much as on-trend items seem like a great idea when they’re in fashion, remember this won’t last long!

Instead of only buying one-off, fashion statement pieces, look for versatile basics to update your wardrobe from stores like ASOS.

Sometimes the perfect pair of jeans with a plain tee and blazer jacket can create the perfect effortless look for an event. These are the type of staple pieces that you can mix and match to wear endlessly.

Keep an eye out for timeless silhouettes and key items rather than lots of random fashion purchases. This saves you having to buy a brand-new outfit for every single event!

We definitely recommend taking a look at GAP they have timeless basics that will be a great addition to your wardrobe and it isn’t lavishly expensive. 

2) Shop Second-Hand

You might be surprised at what absolute bargains you can find when shopping second-hand.

The obvious first stop for second-hand steals is your local charity shop! Not only are you getting a bargain but you’re also donating to an important cause – win, win!

Check out stores like Seasalt Cornwall where you can trade in your pre-loved clothing and buy pre-loved so you don’t have to worry if you’re on a strict budget.

Looking for designer on a budget? Check out online auction sites like eBay. The bidding function on eBay means you may even end up paying less for an item than you were willing to as you only need to bid enough to outbid the other buyers.

We would also recommend sites such as Depop and Vinted to get cool, one-off pieces to add to your staple wardrobe. This gets your fashion fix without the splurge!

3) Share with Friends

We all buy those outfits for special occasions that get their one day in the spotlight and then sit gathering dust in our wardrobe for months on end.

Why not share your clothes with friends!?

If you’ve seen your friend wearing something you love like a trendy dress from Superdry, try asking them if you could borrow it and vice versa. It saves you both money and means you get double the wardrobe to choose from!

You don’t even have to copy exact outfits. For example, borrow a dress but style it with different shoes and accessories. 

4) Wait for Discount Codes

If you know you have an event coming up that you need a new outfit for, shop in advance and get an idea of what you want. 

Once you see that shop post a discount code or start a sale, go on and buy your outfit for a fraction of the price.

Check out sites like Boden for all your tops and trousers - you can get 20% off your first order. They also share discount codes offering a range of discounts. 

You may also find with a lot of e-commerce sites that if you go on and add something to your basket and then leave... they will email you a discount code!

You have to be logged in and signed up to emails for this to work, it’s a way for them to secure a sale and for you to also get money off the item you’re looking at. And don't forget to check out all of our live discount codes on fashion.

5) Don’t Overlook Supermarkets

Now they may not be your first thought when you decide to go clothes shopping, but supermarkets like Tesco, Morrisons and Asda actually stock all the latest fashions!

With so many people now focusing on saving money and being more careful with how they spend, supermarkets have seen a rise in their clothes sales and have broadened their stock to reflect this.

You may not be able to find the perfect occasion dress, but supermarkets are great for day-to-day essentials, key pieces and even workwear.

6) Create a Budget

It's so easy to get carried away when we decide to go clothes shopping, especially when you’re not sure what you’re after.

That's why it’s so important to set yourself a budget. You can either decide on a monthly maximum for clothes shopping or budget your purchases per occasion.

For great budget clothing don’t forget to check out stores like Peacocks – they also have great sales on all year round. 

For example, we all know clothes for a special day like a wedding or party can cost more so set more money aside for this and try to spend less on the more basic items you may not need.

Also, make sure not to duplicate something you already own! You might be surprised at how many pieces you’ve forgotten about once you go through your wardrobe. 

7) Shop Out of Season

All the best sales happen as we transition from one season into another.

However, we know we’re always going to need a coat in the winter and dresses in the summer, so keep an eye out on the end of season sales. Take a look at Joules for end-of-season clothing.

A great tip is to buy for next year. You can always buy pieces you love and then store them away till you need them for that season!

Most key trends come back around each year so don’t worry too much about the items you buy going out of style. Stick to key pieces and you can’t go too far wrong.

Another great store we recommend taking a look at has to be Urban Outfitters, they have great key pieces that you can wear all year round.

8) Rent for Special Occasions

Renting outfits for special occasions is becoming increasingly popular as we’re looking to save a bit of money where possible!

Most occasion wear gets worn once and then forgotten about, so why not rent for a special day?

You can choose an item you love, just like shopping online, pay for the rental and then return once you’re done with it. Each item gets professionally cleaned and re-packaged so it is just like shopping online!

Especially for times like the wedding season and the holiday party period, this can be the perfect way to stay fashionable without spending unnecessarily!

9) Opt for Quality Over Fast Fashion

Fast fashion can be an easy go-to when we’re looking to update our wardrobe on a budget.

However, sometimes buying cheap means having to buy twice. For items you’re looking to wear frequently, we definitely recommend going for quality over quantity and checking out stores like FatFace for versatile clothing

Better quality items will both wear and wash better, meaning they won’t go bobbly or shrink after a few washes.

Things like workwear and coats are going to be in your wardrobe for a long time, so it’s best to spend a bit more on these items to save in the long run. 

Take a look at Jack Wills for long-lasting workwear and casual clothing, you’re bound to find some stunning additions for your wardrobe. 

10) Sell Your Own Clothes

Just like we suggest buying second hand, you should also sell items you no longer wear!

Sites like eBay, Depop and Vinted are a great way to have a clear-out and add some money into your clothes shopping budget.

They offer set sellers fees so you can take some pictures, upload and forget about them until you get a notification that you’ve made a sale.

With more and more people looking to buy on these kinds of apps, it’s a great time to start selling your old clothes online.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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