How to Afford Expensive Clothing

how to afford expensive clothing
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There’s nothing as much fun as shopping for new clothes. It’s even better if you are shopping for expensive clothing. The problem, you might be thinking, is how to afford expensive clothing. Lucky for you, there are ways to do so. Here are some great tips to find designer clothing cheaper or even for free.

Top Tips to Afford Expensive Clothing

If you’ve been dreaming of stuffing your closet full of expensive designer clothing, you’re in luck. I’ll show you how to find designer clothing for less or even for free.

Buy Pre-Owned

This is kind of a no brainer. If you have champagne tastes on a beer budget (something I was always accused of) you should consider buying those luxury items used.

The truth is, there are plenty of places you can find slightly used designer clothing for 40 or even 60 percent off what you would pay new. Here are a few places to look.

1.Thrift Stores

If you live in the right part of the country, think cities with expensive neighborhoods, you can find used and even new with tags designer clothing at thrift stores if you are willing to dig around a bit.

For example, when I was going to graduate school at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, right next door was Scottsdale, Arizona. If you know anything about the area, it has very expensive neighborhoods with a lot of rich people living there.

There was also a Goodwill thrift store in Scottsdale as well. I would go there and find designer clothing, either new or used but looked brand new all the time. One time, I paid $6 dollars for a $600 suit (skirt and jacket) that looked like it was never worn.

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Keep in mind, a certain percentage of rich ladies don’t like to wear the same clothing more than once or twice no matter how much they paid for it, so take advantage of that.

Yes, you will have to do some digging and it will be hit and miss, but if you go weekly, you will be amazed at what you can find.

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2. Check Out eBay

Let’s face it, eBay is just an online thrift store. There are many good deals to be had. Also, eBay has a money-back guarantee, so if you get something and feel it may not be real, you can easily get your money back.

You can also set up alerts from eBay for select items, so you don’t have to search through hundreds of listings to find what you want.

3. Buy On-Line at a Speciality Second-Hand Store

There are more and more websites that are now specializing in pre-owned designer clothing. It’s kind of amazing what you can find. 

Yes, the items aren’t new, but the discounts range from 20 to 80 percent.

One of the better-known websites is The Real Real. They have new items every day and you get a $25 dollar coupon the first time you buy something.

Another online store you should check out is the pre-owned fashion shop – Vestiaire Collective.

4. Don’t Forget Pawn Shops

Now, you won’t find clothing at a pawn shop, but you can find jewelry and even bags from time to time. 

Even rich people can get in a financial bind and when they do, they sometimes use the services of a pawn store. 

This is a great place to get designer pieces for a great price. This, like thrifting, for designer clothes is a hit-and-miss kind of thing. You may have to go often to find something you want.

Not to mention, pawn shops in towns that have a lot of wealthy people will have better stuff.

Buy Designer Clothing and Bags on Sale

I know. It seems like designer clothing and bags never go on sale, but that’s not actually the case. 

Designers usually have sales about twice a year when seasons change. You can grab deals at 30 to 40 percent and even up to 60 percent off.

For example, Gucci has sales in July/August and December/January. Retail outlets tend to have sales at the same time as well.

So if you don’t mind wearing last season designer wear it is a great way to make expensive clothes a lot less expensive.

5. Check Out the Outlets

There are designer outlets as well. It’s true if you have your eye on a specific item you might not be able to find it, but if you are a bit more flexible, you can get some great deals.

The bottom line is this. If you don’t want to break the bank, never buy designer clothes at full price. You don’t really need to, and when you find the thing you want for less money, it makes it twice as fun.

So, be a little flexible and fill up your closet. 

6. Watch for Store Closings

This works better if you are in a larger city, but unfortunately, stores go out of business all the time. This is even true for stores that carry designer clothing.

Watch the paper for store closings and you can score some great deals. In the final days before the store closes, you can find deals of up to 80 or even 90 percent off.

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How to Get Designer Clothes and Bags for Free

The only thing better than getting expensive clothes for cheap is getting them for free. It is possible. You just need to know where to go and what to do. Here are a few ways you can get designer clothes for free.

7. Be Organized

One of my favorite ways to get free expensive clothing is to offer my services as a closet organizer for a wealthy person. 

When you are organizing the clothes, there is a good chance they will need or want to get rid of some of them. Who better to give them to than you?

For example, when I lived in Florida on the beach there were all sorts of multimillion-dollar homes around me. I knew someone that cleaned houses for some of those homeowners, so she could recommend me to help organize clothes when it was needed.

I ended up with some great items.

If you aren’t as lucky to know someone that can get you an in with the homeowner, you can always put up flyers in the area. All you need is one or two clients and word of mouth will do the rest.

Also, if the clothes don’t fit you, you can sell them and buy what you want.

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8. Offer to Be in a Fashion Show for a Non-Profit

These happen all the time in larger cities. Get involved and even if you don’t want to walk down the runway, you can help behind the scenes. Very often, you can keep the item you wore or take something home for your help and time.

9. Become a Personal Shopper

Now, this takes some work, but like the closet organizing, once you get a client, word of mouth will get you to where you want to be.

You will find that upscale stores will provide you with free clothing once you start to bring business into their stores. If you have clients that you shop for spending good money, free or discounted clothing for you is just one of the perks of the job.

It’s something I’ve always considered doing as I love to shop for myself or anyone else, and it can be a side gig as well, so you don’t need to quit your day job to do it.

Related Questions:

Is It Bad to Buy Expensive Clothes?

There is nothing wrong with buying expensive clothes especially if you get them on sale or for free. You don’t want to buy at full price and you do want to make sure that all your other needs are met first.

How Much is Too Much on Clothes?

There are some that say you shouldn’t spend more than 5 percent of your monthly income on clothes. 

That means if you make $4,500 per month, your clothing budget should be $225 dollars which doesn’t sound like much if you are buying expensive clothing.

What Net Worth Do You Need to Frequently Buy Designer Clothing?

This is tough to nail down as it depends on how much you want to spend. As mentioned, you should spend about 5 percent of your income on clothing each month, so here are some examples of how much you should make if you are buying designer clothing every month.

  • Spending $1,000 per month needs an income of $20,000 per month
  • Spending $5,000 per month needs an income of $100,000 per month
  • Spending $10,000 per month needs an income of $2 million dollars per month

Now, if you want to spend more than 5 percent of your monthly income on clothes, those numbers will decrease by quite a bit.

For example, if you increase your monthly clothes budget to 15 percent of your monthly income then you could spend $1,000 a month with a monthly income of $6,666 dollars.

How Many Clothes Does an Average Woman Have?

According to a survey of 1,000 US women, the average woman has 103 articles of clothing in their closet. 

To Sum it All Up:

There are lots of ways to afford expensive clothing. You can buy second-hand, on sale, or even check out pawn shops for jewelry and bags. Surprisingly, you can even get designer clothing for free with the right know-how. The bottom line is to never pay the full price. You don’t need to and you can fill up your closet a lot faster if you follow a few simple tips.

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