saving money

How to Shop for Less: Where We Buy Clothes

shop for less, we buy clothes

Where do you buy clothes?  By nature humans are creatures of habit and if you think back to the last three times you wanted to shop for less did you visit the same stores? I know I did.  I am not one of those girls who lives for fashion or has to be wearing the latest trends.  Part of this is because I don’t have the energy to put in the effort and the other part is because I just can’t justify spending a ton of money on my wardrobe.

I know that some women think where we buy clothes says a lot about us as a person, but I just don’t believe that.  If your label doesn’t say Gucci does that make you less of a good person?  I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to look good and I do spend money to update my wardrobe twice a year in the spring and fall.  However I just can’t justify spending $100 on new black pants if I can shop for less and get them for $20.






This is where we buy clothes on a budget:

Forget the Pretty Woman syndrome

Have you ever wanted to go to the mall, walk out with a dozen bags in hand and strut down the street feeling like a million bucks while everyone stops and stares?  The need to turn heads during a shopping spree is what I like to call Pretty Woman syndrome.  It’s the epic part of the movie where Julia Roberts goes from being white trash to high society and it just brings a smile to your face.

Start with buying wardrobe staples

The thing to remember is that Pretty Woman Syndrome is a fairy tale.  You don’t need to shop on Rodeo Drive and drop thousands of dollars to get a new wardrobe. I like to start with stables such as a comfy pair of black ballerina flats (TJ Maxx in Harlem $14), three colorful cardigans (H&M in Montreal $17 each) and two pairs of skinny pants ($19 each H&M in Toronto).

You can shop for less and buy other staples such as black t-shirts and tanks for under $10 at stores like Aeropostale and Old Navy.  Now you have wardrobe basics that you can rotate to create new outfits.

Don’t be afraid of a sale day

I used to avoid shopping on big sale events like Macy’s one day sale and Black Friday because crowds really bother me and I’m not willing to shop for less if it creates stress.  However I’ve discovered the power of the internet and unless I’m on vacation exploring a new city I very rarely shop in store.  Shopping online is much easier and helps save money by avoiding impulse purchases in store.

Inexpensive doesn’t mean cheap

I LOVE shopping at H&M.  Keep in mind not everything in the store is high quality, but if you want to shop for less this is one of the best places to do so.  Business wardrobe stables like blouses and dress pants can be under $20 and that’s a great deal.  You can find a good blazer for under $40, I recently bought two boyfriend blazers here and they were only $37 each.

Even though I’m 35 years old I also frequently shop at Forever 21.  I find they have fantastic deals on jewelry, bags and other accessories.  I bought a gorgeous peach statement necklace from there and it only cost $12. I’ve had it for two years and it still looks brand new.  Now that’s how to shop for less.


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  • I shop secondhand as much as possible – better quality AND better prices! My mother is the queen of this (often buying thrifted stuff, wearing for a bit and then reselling to other thrift shops for MORE, managing to make a profit to boot….)

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