As a fashion lover one area of my budget – clothes (I say budget – I never budget for clothes there a passion!) anyway this is an area that can get really out of hand if your not careful. It all adds up to a disaster if your not careful.

If you want to save money on clothing, here are some things you should do before you buy new clothes:

Forget about what other people think – If you’re a slave to fashion, you’ll be a slave to debt.  Ignore the fashion trends and stick to classic items that never go out of style.  If you’re not worrying about the latest trends, you won’t feel the need to spend money.  Look for clothing that makes you feel good about yourself, like the right colour’s or flattering shapes that fit you’re your lifestyle and bodyshape.

Check your wardrobe first – How many times have you found that must have item in the sake and then returned home to find one almost identical hanging in your wardrobe – but buried under other unworn items?  Save yourself some time and money by looking in your wardrobe first – or doing a detox. My bet is that you have items in there that you haven’t even worn – maybe with labels on?  Dig deep and bring those lesser worn items into circulation. Look at different ways to style or wear those items and you won’t need to spend anymore money on new clothing.

Hit the Sales – If you have the time and the energy you can find some fantastic items when shops or onlines stores have a sale. My favorite sales are the end-of-season clearance sales when stores offer bigger discounts on this season’s items to make room for the next season.

Think outside your department – People often get stuck on a style rut and end up shopping for the same items from the same shops. But you may be able to find some great deals on clothing in other departments.  For example, a petite friend of mine often shops in the girls section for some clothing items. Obviously we are not all this lucky to be a size 4-8 and pick up these half price bargains, but if your are they are a steal. Another friend of mine has tiny feet and can find kids’ trainers at a fraction of the cost of women’s.

Pay attention to the labels – A great deal of clothing isn’t a deal if it requires dry cleaning or is poorly made.  Pay attention to the durability of the fabric, how the garment is sewed and what types of fasteners it has.  Pay attention to whether the item has to be dry cleaned, hand-washed or ironed.   Skip the clothing that doesn’t seem like it will withstand much washing or has expensive care requirements. Remember it might be cheap, but if you have to replace it all the time its not.

Try it on – You may think you know exactly what size you are, but every item of clothing & make fits differently. Try the clothing on and make sure it fits right and feels good.  If it doesn’t don’t buy it, even it if it is a good deal, because it will just end up languishing in the back of your closet. Any doubt – don’t buy it!

Consider the cost per wear – Before you make that purchase, consider how often you are planning to wear the item.  If it’s a designer evening dress, and you’re a stay at home mum chances are your not going to wear it very often! But if you find an item on sale that you truly love and you will wear constantly, the cost per wear makes it totally worth the investment.

You can be comfortable and fashionable on a budget.  But if you really want to save money, you need to put a bit of thought into each and every clothing purchase.  The more intentionally you shop, the more you’ll save.

Saving money has never looked this good.