Dress for less – fashion doesn’t have to cost a fortune!


For years my mother had the amazing ability to recycle her clothing and make it look like she just stepped out of the pages of Vogue Magazine.  I always envied that about her but with three children and being a stay at home Mom she didn’t have the luxury of spending tons of money on her own clothes each year.  My parents sacrificed many things for many years for my siblings and I.  They seldom treated themselves to even a movie, we always came first.  So my Mom had to get creative with what she had and she did a great job.

Fashion doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  I buy designer clothes and pay a fraction of what others pay for them by shopping off season.  This means buying clothing and shoes at the end of each season and putting them away for the following year.  I’ve been doing this for years and I get just as many compliments on my clothing and shoes as I am sure the person who paid full price for their’s does. I save a fortune doing this each year and you don’t have to compromise style or designer favorites.

If you have small children it is not that difficult to figure out their size for the following year – just go up a size in clothing and shoes. You can save up to 90% off the retail price of an item if you shop at the end of the season for next year.  If you are apprehensive about sizes only buy from stores like Kohls that have no time limit on their returns and always save your receipts for returns or exchanges. You can return some internet purchases from internet stores locally if they have a physical store in your area so you do not have to spend the money to ship it back.  Just make sure that the brick and mortar store will take your return before making your purchase.

Check clearance merchandise on internet sites like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, JCPenney.com, and Kohls.com on a regular basis for some great deals. Target is great for finding things like socks and undies for the entire family at mark down prices.  They clear out older stock quite frequently.  I have gotten these items for my family at up to 90% off at Target stores.  The key is to go frequently and check out the clearance section; most times you will find it on the end caps. I save my receipts for any purchase for 1 year from the time of my purchase. Get a shoe box and use it to keep your receipts safe.  Taking items back without a receipt today is a big hassle!  However always be aware of that particular store’s refund policy.  Some stores limit you to a 30 day return policy even with your receipt.  Other stores will only give a store credit – these type stores that will not refund my money are stores I do not shop at.  What good is a store credit if you are not going back to that store any time soon?

Target seasonal holiday merchandise is a great resource for bargains.  Each holiday (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, New Years, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day) Target stores carry a select number of products that have the holiday theme (clothing, candy, linens, household cleaning products, paper goods, etc.) that they will mark down up to 90% off after each holiday.  Learn the Target markdown schedule and use it to pick up some great deals.  Go into the store when they first put up the holiday merchandise and check out what they have available.  Make a list of the things you would like to pick up once they start marking them down after the holiday.  Now, you will not always get these items at the discounted prices because they could sell out before the holiday is even over but if you are willing to wait you may just be successful.  I wait patiently for the holiday items to reach 90% off especially the clothing.  I buy anything I can get my hands on for donating to my favorite charities . Even with the holiday theme on the clothing these charities appreciate anything I can give them that is clean and new. Sometimes you can find holiday clothing with out holiday themed sayings on them that can pass for everyday clothes.  I found baby bibs from Easter at Target that said “Some bunny loves me” on them which I felt could be used all year round.  I also found girls argyle socks in pastel colors that had nothing Easter on them at all so I grabbed all I could find at 90% off!  I especially love the candy.  Candy is expensive and if you can get holiday themed candy bags at 75% off grab them and just take the individual candy out of the holiday themed bags and use them for other occasions. There are websites that list all of these Target bargains for free.  Unfortunately many will not allow me to print their web address but if you Google this you will come up with the actual site links.

Target also has a toy clearance two times a year (July and January) where they will mark down seasonal toys at up to 90% off.  They usually don’t last past 75% off and if you don’t know what day they are going 75% off they can be all gone within hours of the store opening.  I have seen women come in packs with multiple carts and clear the shelves in 10 minutes at this toy event so you have to be on your toes to succeed.  I know women that wait all year to stock up on toys for gifts.  It’s a great money saver and as we all know toys are expensive.

Amazon.com is another of my favorite resources for clothing and shoe bargains!  Each year at the end of the summer I can pick up designer sandals at up to 75% off the retail price for myself.  I do it each year and have a great time buying up all the latest designers (Carlos Santana, 9 West, Fergie, Steve Madden, Fila, Nike, Keds, and many more) and put them away for the following year.  I get more compliments on my shoes and sandals than I did when I paid full price for them.  Amazon doesn’t normally advertise their end of season sales; you have to do some investigating on your own.  I spend hours just clicking on different categories at Amazon looking at the clothes, shoes, linens, household items, etc., trying to find deals and most times I do.  Never turn down the opportunity to buy clothing and shoes at deep discount prices and put them away in a closet for the following season.

Both my husband and my son wear a work boot for their jobs (they prefer Timberland) and they are not cheap.  I look for discontinued styles and colors from Timberland all year long and if I find them at a great price I buy them for future use.  I check in retail stores and on the internet as well all the time.  Patience is the key to finding what you want at the price you want to pay but as always if you need it now do the best you can to get the cheapest price.  With the recent economy crisis major retailers are running sales every week on these items so do your homework before you buy.

Last summer I got my son designer denim shorts for 90% off the original price buying them at the end of the season on Sears.com.  These carried a $19.99 and $29.99 original price tag.  I got them for $1.99 and $2.99 each and I’m not kidding you.  Well worth my patience to wait for a sale.

So be patient, shop at the end of the season and save big!


Posted in Consumer Tips, Fashion.


  1. Wow great tips!! I am love that you’re a bargain hunter. It’s so thrilling to find a good deal. My only issue is tht when I buy something new I cannot wait a year to wear it lol

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