Without further ado, here are some of the best ways to get the most bang for your brand-hungry buck:
- Sales: Although it's tempting to toss all your junk mail into the trash, those advertisements often have great information about upcoming sales. Be sure to keep an eye out for online-specific sales, too.
- Coupons: You don't have to be an extreme couponer to save some extra dough on new duds. Again, plenty of print ads feature coupons good for certain dates and items. In addition, Web sites like RetailMeNot.com are quick and easy ways to find discounts on in-store and online purchases.
- Thrift Stores: Think thrift stores are smelly, dusty places? Not anymore. Today's thrift stores are often geared toward higher-end items that are gently used. It might take some time to rifle through the racks before finding those designer jeans, but chances are good that you'll discover a hidden gem or two.
- Discount stores: Stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall's have long been known for name-brand fashion at bottom-of-the-barrel prices.
- Outlet Stores: Outlet department stores such as Saks Off Fifth, Nordstrom Rack and Neiman Marcus Last Call offer significantly lower prices than mall versions of the same stores. These popular shopping destinations have even gone digital, and online designer outlets are now the destination of choice for bargain hunters who wish to skip the crowds and compare prices between sites.
- Off-Season Deals: Consider purchasing items off-season at better prices. You might be slightly behind the times, but unless you clean out your entire closet and start from scratch every season, it's a great way to save money. For example, buy coats in January or February when stores are itching to clear space for bathing suits. By the same token, shop for a swimsuit in July or August when the season is winding down.
- Internet Auctions: If there's a pair of designer heels that you must have but simply can't afford, check out a few Internet auction sites. For example, auctions on sites like eBay often reward the highest bidder with an excellent new or slightly-used item at a fraction of the normal price. All you need is a computer and some extra time to monitor the sales you're interested in.
- Sample Sales: Traditional sample sales have limited hours and stock but often feature great designer deals. To find them, all you need to do is peruse some of the fashion blogs serving your general area. Online sample sales are ideal for those who can't break away to attend one of the physical events.