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The Cardinal Press is a lifestyle blog about living beautifully and creatively, every day.

Buying Efficiently: Ways You're Wasting Money on Clothing

Buying Efficiently: Ways You're Wasting Money on Clothing

This is a guest post by Cassie Brewer.


It’s no secret that looking great involves a killer wardrobe and a keen fashion sense. While we know how to pair outfits with our favorite shoes, clothes on the other hand, cost money. Sometimes, a lot of money. In fact, just a few years ago the average Canadian spent 6% of their income on clothing alone. When you crunch the numbers, over time that adds up to a really large pile of loonies and toonies. While it’s not realistic to forgo wearing clothes, we can try creative ways to save money and keep looking our best while avoiding unnecessary costs or waste when it comes to clothing. 

To help you buy more efficiently, we have compiled the following guide to help you identify ways you’re wasting money on clothing: 

Buying Too Many Items 

Instead of buying clothing that we’ll never wear or items that create only one outfit, opt for versatile pieces that combine in a variety of ways for more wardrobe options. Before purchasing clothing ask yourself if it can be worn with other items you already own. A great example of this philosophy is the versatile and timeless little black dress. Even if it’s on sale, it’s only a bargain if you actually wear the item. This approach prevents wasting money on clothing and frees closet space for pieces that get worn regularly.

Purchasing Clothing That Doesn’t Fit Correctly

Many of us avoid trying clothes on in the store only to get home to realize they don’t fit properly. This can cause serious cases of buyer’s remorse and adds to the collection of unworn clothes in our closets. Try on items before purchasing so you know they fit. Also, consider spending more for quality pieces upfront because they often last longer. If needed, get items altered or tailored so they fit perfectly. Over time, you will not be wasting money on clothing you won’t wear or that won’t fit you correctly.  

Washing Away Money In The Laundry

This never ending chore costs us time, but it can also drain our budgets. Our favorite detergents are pricey and too often we add too much in each load. While soap is generally a good thing, overuse actually traps dirt and bacteria in our clothing. This ruins our clothes, holds in smells, and makes them dingy. Consider halving the amount of detergent you use and add vinegar instead of overpriced fabric softeners. Another thing to consider is that dryers consume almost 10 percent of household electricity. Reduce this cost by running full loads of laundry, using clothes lines, using dryer balls, and upgrading to an energy efficient dryer model. These little changes really add up and will help save money on clothing.

Overusing The Dry Cleaner

We spend roughly $500 a year on dry cleaning. Thankfully, by implementing a few hacks we can reduce this expense without sacrificing cleanliness. Purchase an affordable at-home dry cleaning kit to use in your dryer to refresh garments in-between visits to the cleaners. Finally, avoid getting dressed until right before you leave the house to prevent unnecessary stains and wrinkles. 

Only Purchasing New Items

Many of us enjoy a little retail therapy every now and then, especially when buying new clothes. There is a special thrill that accompanies wearing a new outfit; it boosts our confidence and makes us feel better. Unfortunately, we often waste money on clothing when we don’t shop the sales or look for a used option first. Often, we can snag designer brands, vintage finds, or a nearly new item that is gently worn at an affordable price by shopping online second-hand sales, thrift stores, consignment shops, or yard sales.

Buying Only Designer Or Name Brands

We all have our favorite brands, but we don’t need to buy everything for the label. Instead of paying extra for a black t-shirt or another cami, head to discount stores to find these items. You can save money to put toward a more pricey purse or pair of shoes. No one will be any the wiser and you will still look great!

Keeping Too Many Clothes

Far too often, we hold onto outdated clothing or items that no longer fit and this can actually cost us money. These items fill up our closets, hiding clothing that still fits. Over time, we forget we have these items and will often buy duplicates. Clean out your closets and storage spaces to find the clothing you actually wear. This will save you money by preventing unneeded purchases, paying storage fees, and allowing you to properly maintain the clothing you own. As an added bonus, you can probably donate your unused items to a charity or have a yard sale!

What tips for buying efficiently can you share to avoid wasting money on clothing?

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