I love getting new-to-me clothes. After all, it’s fun to play with style. Shopping itself can be a form of entertainment as can dressing up. A new season of the year is a great excuse to get some new clothes. But I also don’t want to break my budget on clothes shopping. So here are my tips for buying frugal summer dresses and other affordable clothing for this sunny time of year.
Shop Secondhand for Frugal Summer Dresses
I try to do all of my clothes shopping secondhand. First of all, it’s cheaper than buying new clothes. More importantly, however, it helps reduce fashion’s damaging footprint on the environment. Fast fashion is associated with human trafficking, environmental waste, and many other problems that I don’t want to support with my money.
When possible, I like to shop with retailers that I know are sustainable and ethical. However, secondhand shopping helps as well. It adds life to clothing, keeps it out of the landfills, and many thrift stores give jobs to people in need. Plus, it’s obviously a lot cheaper to buy used clothes than to purchase new ones. I love to wear dresses and my favorite frugal summer dresses have all come from thrift stores.
Local Thrift Stores
I prefer to shop at local thrift stores whenever possible. There are a lot of great benefits to shopping locally. For example, you get to know your local cashiers. Sometimes, they’ll really help you find the types of items you love because they’ve gotten to know your style. Additionally, you keep the fashion from traveling from one city to another, reducing its environmental damage.
So, head to your local thrift stores to find frugal summer dresses. Like with any other shopping, take the time to shop around. Go to a variety of different stores in different neighborhoods. Each one will have their own style and selection. They also have varied prices. Take the time to find the stores that are best for you. Then visit them regularly, as they’re always getting in new stock. You might not find what you want on the first go but those frugal summer dresses will show up soon.
Online Thrift Stores
You can also find online thrift stores. For example, I recently purchased a bunch of items from thredUP. It’s a great site/app that allows you to easily shop secondhand clothing in all different types of categories. If you’re an online shopper then this is a great way to get new clothes without spending a lot of money.
As of the writing of this post, they’re running a deal on wedding guest dresses. You can shop various categories such as “up to 90% off” or “maxi dresses.” Alternatively, you can shop all clothing, then select just dresses. For a real deal, select the “under $10” price filter. There are some stunning frugal summer dresses in there in a variety of different styles. In fact, I have a handful of them arriving at my own house in a few days.
New Frugal Summer Dresses
I hope that a lot of you are like me and enjoy shopping secondhand. However, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people like to go to a store that has the same item in a variety of different sizes. That’s okay if that’s your thing. You can still get frugal summer dresses at a great price when shopping new. Here are some tips:
- Shop locally at your favorite discounted clothing stores.
- Head to the fashion outlets for reduced prices.
- Make the most of summer sales. Look for graduation, Independence Day, and Back to School sales this summer.
- Shop online. Limit yourself to shopping the clearance and sale sections of your favorite online stores.
- Always use price filters when shopping online.
- Buy a few key pieces rather than a whole armful of frugal summer dresses.
If you don’t need new summer dresses just yet, then you have another option as well. Wait until the end of the season. Hit up the stores when all of the summer clothing goes on sale. Purchase it then. You can wear those dresses layered with other items in the fall. And you can make the most of them next summer, of course.
Offset Your Clothes Shopping Costs
Hopefully you’ve worked it into your budget to purchase summer clothing. After all, you don’t want to put those dresses on a credit card. They’ll just end up costing you a fortune if you do. In addition to a proper budget, though, look for ways to offset the cost of buying new clothing this summer.
First off, see if you have items in your closet that you’re ready to get rid of. You can sell those to secondhand stores, sites liked ThredUP, or privately in order to pay for your new clothes.
Other ways to offset your clothes shopping costs include:
- Get a part-time job at a clothing store where you can enjoy an employee discount.
- Make shopping your entertainment. In other words, use some of your usual entertainment budget on shopping time.
- Become a clothing reseller. Don’t shop just for yourself. Also shop to stock your inventory.
- Do a clothing swap with friends instead of buying clothes.
- Gear your social media towards fashion. You might be able to become an influencer and get some clothing in exchange for promotion online.
- Look around for opportunities to model in exchange for clothes. Make friends with local fashion designers.
- Learn how to knit or sew. You can make some of your own clothing!
Shopping for new clothes is fun. Dressing up in new clothes is fun. And of course it’s great to enjoy long summer days in comfortable dresses. Plus, this year, many of us are especially excited to get out more now that COVID restrictions are lifting. Therefore, it’s totally okay if you want to shop for the summer. Just make sure that you do so with frugal budgeting in mind. If this year taught us anything, it’s that the people we’re with and quality time together matter more than what we wear or do together.
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