Clothes are an investment. Not just in how you look, but in how you feel. And thanks to Cost Per Wear, cheap flimsy bargains are rarely worth it. But even the chicest Frenchwoman hits up the twice-a-year sales. Scoring a fabulous piece for a great price is so much better than throwing money away on the latest disposable fast fashion.
Whether you don't have a huge clothing budget or just want to get as much bang for your buck as possible, strategy is critical.
Watch For Sales
Let's start with the obvious tactic. Sign up for the email mailing lists of all your favorite clothing sources. Some people like to automatically send promotional emails to a specific folder or even a different email address than their usual one. And if you remember to actually look in those places, that's fine. I prefer to skim through all the sales along with the rest of my email. You do you.
You can also bookmark your favorite websites and check out their sales when you're bored, have a few minutes to spare, or just need some retail therapy.
The great thing about this approach is that there's no urgency. You're not looking for an outfit you need for next month's school reunion (a fashion emergency if ever there was one). When the pressure is off, it's a lot less upsetting if you discover that an amazing top is sold out in your size.
This is an especially good tactic when it comes to Sheer Toppers and Novelty Jackets. You can always use a new one and there are so many to choose from. (But if you see a piece you absolutely must have in your life, pay full price. True love should not be denied.)
Know Your Fabrics
A heavier, more expensive material will drape beautifully. But that doesn't mean lighter or less expensive fabric is garbage. Some fabrics are less costly than others and just as lovely. Take jersey, for instance. It can be soft as butter and moves nicely. And it costs less than other fabrics, such as the acetate/spandex blend we use in our Classic Collections. We don't think of our Jersey Collection as lesser versions of the classics, they're just different. Jersey is an excellent choice for warm weather, and it's budget friendly.
Bamboo is another gem that doesn't cost as much as other materials. It's soft, durable, sustainable, wicks moisture away from your skin, and keeps its good looks in the wash. It's a luxurious fabric that simply costs less to manufacture than other luxe materials, so it's inexpensive but not cheap. (Like, seriously, I cannot even begin to describe how our Bamboo Collection feels against the skin. It's like hugging a unicorn.)
Thrift stores aren't known for carrying plus sizes. I suspect that's because we plus size women hold onto our clothing like dragons hoard gold. But you can sometimes get lucky, and fabulous scarves and vintage purses know no size.
There's a saying in software development: Fast, good, or cheap. Pick Two. If you take your time shopping (which I recommend no matter how strict or flexible your budget is), you can great clothing inexpensively.