Save Money On Clothing This Autumn

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

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Now that summer is officially over, the cooler days focus our attention on clothing and the new styles hitting the stores. When confronted with the new season’s fashions, it’s easy to succumb to an impulse purchase and end up overspending. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some tips to help you dress well on a budget.

Clothing on a budget

Firstly, have a look in your wardrobe and take stock of what you have.  Divide your clothes into three main groups: casual, work and special occasion.  Think about the type of lifestyle you lead and this will dictate the number of items in each category.  If you are on a very limited income, only purchase clothing that will be worn at work and weekends.  If you have a special function to attend, consider borrowing items from family friends or purchase something from a second hand store.

Presenting at job interviews can be daunting, especially if you're unsure of what to wear.
The Dress for Success charity is a worldwide organization that helps women gain employment by providing professional work clothing and career advice.


There are branches throughout the main centres of New Zealand, and can be located though work and income.  They provide a selection of fashionable clothes in a range of sizes, as well as shoes, makeup and accessories.  To see if you are eligible for this scheme phone work and income on  or go to the following link.

When shopping for clothes look for classic styles in basic colours like black, navy or taupe. Denim is a good choice as it is hard wearing and is always in fashion.  Try to avoid gimmicky colours and patterns, as these date very quickly.  Generally skirts and trousers are the items to spend more on.  By choosing a classic style you will ensure that this garment can be worn for many years to come.  If you want to keep up with trends, but still be within budget, focus instead on tops and shirts as these are the items that alter each season. Try to purchase these in sales or at second hand clothing stores, such as those listed in the Yellow Pages.

Before embarking on a shopping trip, formulate a plan and stick to it.  Decide what clothing you need and set a price limit for each item eg. socks $3,  shirts  $15.  Thrift shops such as the Salvation Army and Save Mart are good options for the budget conscious shopper.

Striking up a conversation with your local shop assistant can be useful.  They can inform you of the latest sales and even sign you to the store’s mailing list to keep you up to date with specials and end-of-season clearances.

Why not try expanding your wardrobe with accessories.  Scarves, jewellery and hats can add mileage to your wardrobe and allow you to update your look without blowing your  budget.

Re-modelling old clothes is a great way of saving cash.  For example, old jeans with ripped knees can be recycled to make a pair of shorts.  Just cut off at the knee, sew in a seam and you have a brand new garment.

School uniform savers

Expensive items such as kilts and blazers can be hard on the wallet, so second hand should be your first choice.  Make sure you check with your school as to what the compulsory items are and prioritise those.  A number of schools also have second-hand uniforms available for purchase at greatly reduced prices.  Networking with other parents will help to establish whether they have older children who have outgrown their uniforms.  Uniforms can also be purchased off the Trade Me site.

school boyFor small children, whose feet are rapidly growing, good quality shoes are a must. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of buying overly large shoes, hoping they’ll  grow into them.  This has the potential to cause injury to the foot.  When fitting shoes, make sure the child can move their toes  freely and that there is adequate space between the end of the shoe and the tip of the longest toe.  Dowsons and Number One Shoe Warehouse offer a range of reasonably priced shoes.  Trade Me also has a good selection of second hand shoes.  Socks should be hard wearing with reinforced toes and heels if possible. Make sure you have a darning needle and thread to repair any holes ASAP.

Washing tips

If you care for your clothes by following the correct washing procedure, they will look smarter and last much longer.   A simple rule is to only wash undergarments on a regular basis and outer clothes only as needed.  If clothing is stained, try and treat and stain locally, rather than washing the whole garment.   Make sure zippers and buttons are done up if putting clothes in the dryer or washing machine as the constant motion can cause damage to fabrics.  Another tip is to ensure you follow the washing instructions on the tag and opt for slower spin speeds and cool water temperatures on your machine.

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