Guest Post: Frugal Women’s Clothing

by Merissa on September 4, 2012

in Featured, Frugal Clothing

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This month here on Little House Living we are talking all about cheap and frugal clothing! Enjoy this guest post today from Sarah!

If you've ever been to a garage sale or kids' consignment sale, you know that it's not very hard to find great deals on gently used children's items. After all, they grow out of them so quickly. Finding items for women that haven't been worn to death, fit well, and conform to your style is quite a bit more difficult.

Here are some Dos and Don'ts to help you get high quality items of clothing frugally.

1. Do Garage Sales, but know which ones to check out. Check out Craigslist or neighborhood groups to find which sales might have high end adult clothing. An upscale neighborhood near me has a HUGE bi-annual sale that I always hit up. I've found like new items by J.Crew, Free People, and more. If you're using Craigslist, sort by town or neighborhood to find the best items.

2. Don't overlook consignment shops! Goodwill stores operate several high-end boutiques throughout the country. You can often find nearly new items of clothing for prices up to 80% off retail. Also, you can feel good since you're supporting a great organization and re-using textiles that might otherwise be discarded.

3. Do use what you've got! If you're anything like me, you have items of clothing in your closet that still have the tags on that you totally forgot about. Go shopping in your own closet. Here's what to do: Take everything out of your closet.
Make three piles:

  • A) stuff you always wear
  • B) stuff to try on
  • C) stuff to donate

Try on everything in the "stuff to try on" pile and then either put it in your regular rotation or donate it. Even if it has tags on it. Even if it's in your "target" size.

4. Don't forget your Girlfriends! Organize a Girlfriends Clothing Swap at your house. Create a cocktail party by serving appetizers and wine or sparkling juice, and ask everyone to bring a few items of clothing that are in great condition but never get worn. Set up a small changing area (could just be a bedroom) with some floor length mirrors, and start swapping.

5. Do try a service like Rent the Runway or Bag Borrow or Steal for high-profile, one-time events. You'll get designer bags and dresses for up to 90% off, and the company takes care of the cleaning and storage.

6. Don't always buy the cheapest thing. I've been guilty of this many times -- being seduced by low prices for everyday apparel at discount stores, and 3 washes later the item is pilling and falling apart. That's not a good value. I'd rather spend more on something I won't need to replace every season.

7. Do Check out daily deal sites. One of my favorites for women's clothing is Pure Citizen. They often have 100% organic clothing for prices as much as 80% off. Zulily is another daily deal site that often has 100% organic women's clothing.

Find even more money saving tips!

Sarah White writes at Mindfully Frugal Mom and devotes her time to creating a frugal and healthy lifestyle for her family. A former high school English teacher, she enjoys MLA and iambic pentameter more than is probably normal. She lives in upstate NY with her husband, 2 children, and black lab.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jan Jentz September 4, 2012 at 9:13 am

I am a firm believer in thrift store clothing; especially those items you may not wear every day; like heavy wool sweaters etc… I live on the edge of a pretty affluent area; amazing what these women hand over to the thrift stores!


2 marci357 September 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

Let’s not forget church rummage sales – usually very good women’s clothing there – and usually a bag sale the 2nd day of it or in the late afternoon… A bag of great clothes for $2 ? You bet!

And… Sewing! Not only sewing from new material, but sewing from used material from above bag sales, OR resewing something already made by updating, altering, or adding to it! The sewing machine is your best friend when thinking about frugal clothing!!!


3 Victoria Killian Gibson September 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Thankfully we have swap shops at each of our recycling centers here. People leave things that are still good but they don’t want. Then it’s first come first serve, for free. I find most of our clothes here. And bunches of T-shirts! I cut them up for rags and towels, haven’t bought a towel in five years! 🙂


4 Amish Author Teresa Ann September 5, 2012 at 9:26 am

I was looking at wedding gowns at Goodwill, as my daughter is getting married, and three of them still had the price tags on!!


5 Rosie February 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I organized a Clothing Exchange at a church I attended and the people that brought could take no matter how little or much you brought.

I do most of my clothes shopping for myself and husband at the thrift store. Know your brands and you can get really nice stuff for next to nothing.


6 Pamela March 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Capsule wardrobe. Less stuff, more combinations. Three tops to every
one bottom. Two different colored bottoms with same colored shoes.
Have a “few” scarves and necklaces that work all year long. One formal
outfit with shoe, and you are done shopping for many years!


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