21 Money-Saving Fashion Tips Every Millennial Should Know

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Let’s talk to you about something that I have struggled with for the longest time: fashion.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Vineet, why are you talking about fashion? Isn’t this a personal finance blog?”

But hear me out, because fashion can be a significant expense for young people, especially those of us who are trying to save money and build a solid financial future.

In fact, did you know that the average American spends about $1,800 a year on clothing and accessories?

That’s a lot of money, especially for those of us who are just starting our careers.

And if you’re like me, you want to find ways to save money on fashion without sacrificing your style or your self-expression.

Plus, this article is heavily collaborated with my wife, who has taken it upon herself to ensure that I am always dressed in something other than rags :P.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of 21 money-saving fashion tips that every millennial should know.

You can save money but maintain style by shopping at thrift stores and consignment shops, investing in versatile pieces, and accessorizing creatively. You can also sell or donate old clothes to make room for new ones and invest in quality basics that can be worn in different ways. 

These tips will help you save money on clothes, accessories, and even special occasion outfits, without compromising your personal style or breaking the bank.

Whether you’re a college student, a young professional, or just someone who wants to save money and look great, these tips are for you.

So, let’s get started on how you can save money on fashion and build a solid financial future at the same time.

1. Tips for Smart Shopping

Smart shopping for saving money on fashion

1.1 Tip#1 Shop off-season for discounts

One of the best ways to save money on fashion is to shop off-season for discounts.

Retailers often discount items that are out of season to make room for the latest trends.

For example, you can save a lot of money on winter coats by buying them in the spring or summer.

Here’s a quick table to show you how much you can save by shopping off-season:

Season Item Regular Price Off-Season Price Savings
Winter Coat $200 $100 50%
Summer Swimsuit $50 $20 60%

1.2 Tip#2 Use discount codes and coupons

Another way to save money on fashion is to use discount codes and coupons.

Many retailers offer discounts to customers who sign up for their email lists or follow them on social media.

You can also find coupons for specific stores or items by searching online.

Here’s a list of some popular coupon sites:

By using these sites, you can save anywhere from 10% to 50% on your fashion purchases.

1.3 Tip#3 Buy second-hand clothes

Buying second-hand clothes is not only a great way to save money but also a sustainable option.

You can find gently used clothing at thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like Poshmark and ThredUp.

Here are some benefits of buying second-hand clothes:

  • Affordable prices
  • Unique and vintage styles
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly
  • Less likely to contribute to fast fashion

And don’t worry, second-hand clothes don’t have to look worn out or outdated.

With a little bit of creativity and effort, you can transform them into stylish and modern outfits.

1.4 Tip#4 Shop at thrift stores

Thrift stores are a great place to find unique and affordable clothing. You can often find high-quality items for a fraction of the price of new clothes.

Plus, shopping at thrift stores is a sustainable option that reduces textile waste.

Here’s a list of popular thrift stores:

  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army
  • Value Village

By shopping at thrift stores, you can save money and support a good cause.

1.5 Tip#5 Look for sales and clearance events

Another way to save money on fashion is to look for sales and clearance events. Retailers often hold these events to clear out inventory and make room for new products.

You can save up to 70% on clothing by shopping during these events.

Here’s a quick table to show you how much you can save during a sale:

Retailer Item Regular Price Sale Price Savings
H&M Sweater $50 $15 70%
Nike Sneakers $100 $75 25%

 By being patient and waiting for sales, you can save a lot of money on fashion.

1.6 Tip#6 Buy in bulk to save money

Buying in bulk is a great way to save money on fashion essentials like socks, underwear, and t-shirts. You can often get discounts by purchasing multiple items at once.

Here’s a quick table to show you how much you can save by buying in bulk:

Item Single Price Bulk Price Savings
T-shirt $10 $8 20%
Socks $5 $3.50 30%

 By buying in bulk, you can save money and ensure that you always have enough of the basics.

2. Fashionable Wardrobe Essentials

Wardrobe essentials for a budget-friendly closet

2.1 Tip#7 Invest in timeless pieces

When you buy clothes that are classic and versatile, you’ll get more wear out of them over time.

You won’t have to keep buying new clothes every season to keep up with the latest trends.

2.2 Tip#8 Build a capsule wardrobe

To start, you can build a capsule wardrobe.

This is a collection of essential items that you can mix and match to create many different outfits.

By investing in these key pieces, you’ll have a foundation for your wardrobe that you can build upon with trendier items.

Timeless Pieces:

  • Little black dress
  • White button-up shirt
  • Classic trench coat
  • Dark wash jeans
  • Leather jacket

2.3 Tip#9 Choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched

Another great money-saving fashion tip is to choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched.

This way, you can create multiple outfits using the same items.

For example, a simple white t-shirt can be dressed up with a blazer and dress pants or dressed down with jeans and sneakers.

Here’s a list of versatile pieces you can add to your wardrobe:

  • White t-shirt
  • Black leggings
  • Denim jacket
  • Black blazer
  • Neutral-colored flats or heels

By investing in timeless pieces and versatile items, you can save money in the long run and still look great.

Remember, fashion doesn’t have to be expensive.

With a little planning and creativity, you can build a stylish wardrobe on a budget.

2.4 Tip#10 Buy high-quality clothing that will last longer

First, you should buy high-quality clothing that will last longer.

Although it may be tempting to buy cheap clothes, they often fall apart after a few wears and need to be replaced.

In the long run, investing in high-quality clothing that lasts longer will save you money.

High-Quality Clothing worth investing in:

  • Cashmere sweater
  • Leather boots
  • Wool coat
  • Silk blouse
  • Raw denim jeans

2.5 Tip#11 Avoid trendy pieces that go out of style quickly

Next, it’s important to avoid trendy pieces that go out of style quickly.

Although it’s tempting to follow the latest fashion trends, buying trendy pieces can be costly in the long run.

Trends come and go quickly, and you don’t want to be stuck with a closet full of clothes that you’ll never wear again.

Here’s a list of trendy pieces to avoid:

  • Chunky dad sneakers
  • Off-the-shoulder tops
  • Micro mini skirts
  • Plastic accessories
  • Animal print everything

3. DIY Fashion Ideas

DIY fashion ideas for saving money

3.1 Tip#12 Repurpose old clothing into new outfits

First, consider repurposing old clothing into new outfits. By doing this, you can save money and create unique pieces that no one else has.

For example, you can turn an old T-shirt into a crop top, or cut up old jeans to make shorts. The possibilities are endless, and the only limit is your creativity.

Here’s a list of items you can repurpose into new outfits:

  • Oversized shirts into dresses or skirts
  • Scarves into tops or headbands
  • Jeans into shorts or a denim jacket
  • Men’s button-up shirts into a wrap top or dress
  • Sweaters into a cardigan or crop top

3.2 Tip#13 Embellish plain clothing to add personality and style

Another way to add personality and style to your wardrobe is by embellishing plain clothing.

You can add patches, embroidery, or fabric paint to plain T-shirts, jackets, or jeans to make them one-of-a-kind.

Not only is this a fun and creative activity, but it’s also an affordable way to add some personality to your outfits.

Here are some embellishment ideas to get you started:

  • Iron-on patches or pins
  • Embroidery or cross-stitch designs
  • Fabric paint or dye
  • Beading or sequin appliques
  • Lace or trim accents

3.3 Tip#14 Learn basic sewing skills to make repairs and alterations

Learning basic sewing skills is an essential DIY fashion tip that can save you a lot of money in the long run.

You can make small repairs to your clothes, such as fixing a hem or a missing button, instead of throwing them away.

You can also alter clothes to fit you better or give them a new look.

Sewing classes are available online or in person at community colleges, craft stores, and even through YouTube tutorials.

With some practice, you’ll be able to save money by making repairs and alterations to your clothes.

3.4 Tip#15 Make your own accessories to match outfits

Making your own accessories is another great way to add a personal touch to your outfits without spending a lot of money.

You can make your own jewelry, hats, or bags that match your outfits perfectly.

Not only is this an affordable option, but it’s also a fun and creative activity that can help you develop new skills.

Here are some accessories you can make yourself:

  • Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets using beads or wire
  • Hats using felt or fabric
  • Scarves using fabric or yarn
  • Tote bags using canvas or denim

There are many tutorials available online that can guide you through the process of making your own accessories.

You can also find affordable supplies at craft stores or online retailers such as Etsy.

With some creativity and a little bit of effort, you can create your own accessories and save money while doing it!

4. Sustainable Fashion

Eco-friendly and money-saving fashion tips

4.1 Tip#16 Shop for eco-friendly and sustainable clothing

We’ve already talked about buying second-hand and investing in high-quality pieces, but there are other ways to shop sustainably.

Here are a few tips:

  • Look for organic cotton: Conventionally grown cotton uses a lot of pesticides and water, which can harm the environment. Look for clothing made from organic cotton, which is grown without harmful chemicals.
  • Choose sustainable materials: Materials like Tencel, bamboo, and recycled polyester are more sustainable than traditional materials like polyester and nylon.
  • Support sustainable brands: Many clothing brands are working to become more sustainable. Do some research and choose to support brands that prioritize sustainability in their production and sourcing.

4.2 Tip#17 Rent clothing for special occasions

Renting clothing is a great way to save money while still looking stylish for special events.

Here are a few more reasons why renting is a good option:

  • It’s convenient: Many online rental services offer free shipping and returns, making it easy to try on and return clothing.
  • It’s sustainable: Renting clothing reduces the need for new clothing production, which can be harmful to the environment.
  • It’s cost-effective: Renting clothing is often much cheaper than buying new clothes, especially for one-time events.

4.3 Tip#18 Support ethical fashion brands

Ethical fashion brands prioritize fair labor practices and environmental sustainability in their production processes.

While these brands may be more expensive upfront, they often provide higher-quality products that last longer.

Here are a few ways to support ethical fashion:

  • Do your research: Look for brands that prioritize ethical production and sustainability.
  • Invest in high-quality pieces: While more expensive upfront, high-quality clothing will last longer and save you money in the long run.
  • Choose timeless styles: Classic styles never go out of fashion, so invest in pieces that will last for years to come.

4.4 Tip#19 Recycle clothing and textiles

Rather than throwing away old clothes, consider recycling them.

Here’s why:

  • It’s environmentally friendly: Recycling clothing reduces waste and the need for new clothing production.
  • It’s charitable: Many organizations accept clothing donations, which can benefit those in need.
  • It’s convenient: Many cities offer clothing recycling programs or have clothing donation bins available.

5. Accessories for a Budget-Friendly Look

Fashionable accessories for a budget-friendly look

5.1 Tip#20 Invest in quality accessories that can be worn with multiple outfits

Accessories like belts, scarves, and hats can add interest and style to your outfits.

Here are a few tips for choosing accessories:

  • Choose classic styles: Classic accessories like a leather belt or a simple scarf never go out of style and can be worn with a variety of outfits.
  • Invest in high-quality pieces: While more expensive upfront, high-quality accessories will last longer and save you money in the long run.
  • Choose versatile colors: Neutral colors like black, brown, and beige can be worn with a variety of outfits, making them a good investment.

5.2 Tip#21 Look for discount and clearance sales on accessories

Accessories can be expensive, but there are ways to save money.

Here are a few tips:

  • Shop end-of-season sales: Many retailers offer discounts on accessories at the end of each season to make room for new inventory.
  • Check out discount stores: Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls offer designer accessories at discounted prices.
  • Shop online: Online retailers often offer discounts on accessories, and you can compare prices across different websites to find the best deal.

Did you know that the global jewelry market is expected to reach $291 billion by 2025?

With so many options out there, it’s important to find ways to save money on accessories.

By investing in quality pieces and shopping for discounts, you can elevate your outfits without spending a fortune.

Bottom Line…

And there you have it! 21 practical, money-saving fashion tips that every millennial should know.

By following these simple strategies, you can look good and feel good without breaking the bank.

Remember, fashion is all about expressing your unique style, so don’t be afraid to mix and match and experiment with different looks.

The great thing about these tips is that they not only save you money but can also help you make money.

By selling or donating old clothes, you can free up space in your closet and potentially earn some extra cash.

So, next time you’re tempted to splurge on the latest fashion trend, think twice and consider these money-saving tips.

Your wallet (and future self) will thank you.

As always, stay financially savvy!

An MBA, and avid reader and follower of personal finance for decades, and have worked with professionals and people from varied fields.

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