With the sun beaming its rays down on all of us, the summer is a time when you will want to get out there and show off your seasonal fashions… unless, of course, you’re struggling to afford any.
Here are our 10 failsafe tips for ensuring that you spend less on your summer clothes.
1. Buy a smaller number of items
It may seem like the most obvious tip of all, but bear with us. Buy just a small selection of essential items – including a couple of maxi dresses, shorts, tank tops and skirts – and you will quickly have enough combination possibilities for 10-12 or more great summer outfits.
2. Nab your friends’ wardrobe leftovers
It’s the ultimate cheap way to refresh your wardrobe – simply nick a few appealing items belonging to your friends after they’ve got bored of them. We don’t endorse actual stealing, of course! Why not organise a clothing swap between several of your friends so that you can get rid of some of your own unwanted pieces in the process?
3. Make the most of voucher codes and discounts
There’s no shortage of online voucher code sites out there competing for your custom, so why not help yourself to some of the many offers available for leading brands? From free delivery to percentage discounts, all manner of enticing voucher codes can be easily found online at any one time.
4. Stick to more traditional brands
It should go without saying that if you are constantly buying faddish fashions or ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ labels, you run the risk of that currently trendy item looking horribly dated by the following summer. It’s an expensive habit, so stick to brands – like Dickies Life – that offer the kind of timeless fashions you are likely to keep wearing for many summers to come.
5. Pick up charity shop bargains
Charity shops have long been a godsend for those looking to save money on clothing, although the downside is that you can’t guarantee you’ll find good quality items every time. To increase the likelihood of a classier selection of summer-ready clothing, target charity shops in more affluent towns.
6. Head to eBay
If you see a stunning piece on sale for the full retail price in your local department store, chances are that you will find the same item being sold for much less, second hand, by a reputable eBay seller. Just bear in mind that you can’t try on the item beforehand, while postage also has to be factored into the price.
7. Only buy items that you can pay for now
Putting everything on your credit card is so tempting if your bank account is looking low, but resist it – you’ll simply be storing up problems for later. Instead, only buy an item if you have enough cold, hard cash on you.
It’ll make you much more conscious of how your money is being spent.
8. Familiarise yourself with the sales calendar
There’s always a sale going on somewhere, but in the UK, the post-Christmas December and January periods, as well as the mid-season months of March and September, are the most opportune times to head to your nearest department store in search of a summer clothing bargain or seven.
9. Purchase clothing that will last beyond the summer
Whether it’s a T-shirt, pair of jeans or skirt, there are always certain items of clothing that make sense right through the year. Similarly, when buying swimwear, consider that versatile one-piece swimsuit over the string bikini that may dazzle on the beach, but be slightly too revealing for the local swimming pool during the winter.
10. Consider price-per-wear
Sure, that pair of jeans may cost £100, but if you wear them regularly right through the summer and the rest of the year, you’ll get greater value for money from them than a pair of £50 jean shorts that aren’t appropriate for use after August, and which you only wear on occasional weekends anyway. Think about price-per-use for every potential summer clothing purchase.
So, you’ve slashed the cost of your summer clothing – what about your holiday? We liked this advice from the Money Advice Service on how to save money for a holiday, and we suspect that you will, too. And don’t forget to check out our Holidays and Entertainment section for even more top tips.