Updated: Feb 3, 2020
I often get complimented on my wardrobe. For the most part, I dress with style and, at work, professionalism. There are a few good ways to handle clothing purchases when you don't want to devote much of your budget to it.
The 3 Best Methods
Purchase: selectively at a thrift store Sell: Poshmark, Mercai, or other similar used clothing platform
This is the most financially savvy way to do it. I have often made a significant profit doing it this way. The drawback is the time and effort to prepare, photograph, sell, and ship your clothes.
Purchase: TJ Maxx or consignment Sell: consignment
In this scenario, you are never going to make a profit, but you will slow down the large plummet of depreciation that usually takes place when you buy clothing full price. The benefit is that you will have lots of good options in your size still at a discounted rate.
Purchase: selectively at a thrift store Sell: consignment
This is my personal favorite. I think it is a good middle ground between the two. Sometimes you make a profit, sometimes you don’t, and it evens out. The stress of selling online was not good for me, but we don't have the funds right now to support buying regularly elsewhere.
I also LOVE that this method does not feed into the consumerism machine in the same way. You are reusing what is already in the world. If you do it this way correctly, you can actually shop throughout the year and never spend a penny (or at least very many of them....) .
The key with thrift store shopping is to never buy it unless you love it and would have purchased it even new in a store. It's tempting to try to "make it work" because it's cheap, but if you keep bringing things home that you don't love, it will put a bad taste in your mouth. You also have to have the gumption to actually look through each piece in your size. The clothing doesn't "jump out" at you when shopping at thrift stores in the same way it would in a typical retail scenario. I think of it like a treasure hunt and usually really enjoy it....unless I'm trying to do it with 3 kids...
The “break even” method
Ann Taylor skirt: Purchased: $5 Sold: $12.60
(my consignment sells at 40% of its value and then gives you 40% of that, so $79 new x .4 = $31.6, and 31.6 x .4 = $12.60)
In this case it generated a profit, but that would not always be the case.
What’s your feedback? How do you typically save on clothing?
Note--All of the examples of outfits included were purchased at the thrift store for roughly $5 total each outfit. The shoes are the exception, which were purchased at consignment.