Money Matters: Saving cash on clothes

Reported by: Brittany Price
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Updated: 10/24/2012 9:43 am

With today's economy and fashion, saving money is the new hottest trend.

"Being in retail, I know the mark up on clothes," Deborah Fowler, Retail Management Associate Professor at Texas Tech said.  

Fowler said one money saver is shopping off season.

"I'm waiting until they take a pretty good mark down. A 15 percent mark down will not get me in a store. A 25 percent or 50 percent discount may and a 75 percent markdown will definitely. That's the only way to buy," Fowler said.  

When you buy, avoid overspending by ditching the plastic.

"With debit cards the problem is you'll end up with a lot of extra fees. With credit cards you can spend and spend and not really realize it," Fowler said.  

Instead, Fowler suggests carrying cash only.

"If you'll take the amount of money you want to spend, put it in your purse and when it's gone it's gone," Fowler said.  

Fowler also advises not to overlook discounters.

"A few years ago I did a study comparing clothing from discounters, department stores and some of the designer brands," Fowler said.  

The study tested garments for quality construction.

"A lot of time the discounters came out a little bit ahead. The price is where they really came out ahead," Fowler said.  

However, consumers should make sure to shop discounters carefully.

“Turn the clothes inside-out, look at the seams, look at the quality of construction and look at the details. Maybe you can save a little bit of money there," Fowler said.

Fowler noted another place to bag a bargain.  

"Lubbock is blessed with resale shops. They are great. I don't know why everyone doesn't go to resale shops," Fowler said.    

Le Chic Boutique is one local option.  

"They're marked down about 30 percent of retail," Le Chic Boutique Sale Associate Amanda Mendez said about the store’s items.   

That clothing discount can rollback even more.

"After they've been on the floor 30 days they go 25 percent off, then 50 and then eventually 75. So overall you're saving about 75 percent off retail," Mendez said.  

There's also an added benefit to resale shops.

"If you ever want to come bring in your clothes you can make extra money that way too. Once they sell you get some profit out of it, so even better,” Mendez said.  

Another way to save cash on clothes is to take care of the garments you already have.

"I keep them washed, I keep them pressed and they're hung in closets," Fowler said.  

Fowler also encourages people to have clothing swaps with friends and family to cut down on clothing costs.


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