How I Never Pay Full Price for Fashion

I never pay full price and I’ll show you how to save money on fashion. This began way back when I graduated college. I had a very limited budget and found some of the best fashion at AmVets and the Salvation Army. I learned I could get chic looks for less at resale shops.

But several years later, when I wanted to buy new clothing (and to stop sneezing from visiting resale stores) and began to make more money, I still waited for the best sale. It’s become a part of me now. It’s ingrained in me and I have developed a method to sales shopping. I have collected a lot of fashion over the years, and today I am better than ever at stalking out the best deal on everything from designer fashion to fast fashion. There is no reason to ever pay full price and I’ll show you how to save money.

Tips on How to Save Money on Fashion

How to Save Money on Fashion sales fountainof30  


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1. Wait

The number one tip to save the most money is to be patient and wait for the sales. Wait behind your computer screen and be ready to attack at the right moment! Yes, the fresh new merchandise is so appealing and you may want it immediately. But what is in the stores now is way ahead of when you actually will wear it. Usually it will be on sale when you actually do need it.

It’s true that some sizes in some items will sell out, but I really don’t look seriously at making any purchases until the fashion is on sale. Keep a blind eye to full price. Something similar or that same item may come back in stock (returned by someone else) and go on sale. If an item is really hot, stores may replenish it or pick up similar items to fill their inventory so don’t worry too much about sell outs.

My tip is to try not to look at the “new arrivals” and new season pieces when you shop online. Skip ahead to the sale or clearance section – that is the only place to shop! Or search for what you need and scroll to sort “by price low to high” and you may find that hard to resist designer deal that way.

2. Jump Ahead

Wait didn’t I just say to wait? Well my jump-ahead strategy is more about shopping off-season. I know it is hard to purchase a faux fur when it is 90 degrees outside, but thinking ahead to the next season is a good thing. That’s how I have found my favorite coats for 70% off …in April.

The Fall Collections are shown in February, so you will learn about what be in style for the next year. Usually designers are cutting edge so many of the runway trends will still be in style next fall. The same is true of the Spring Collections. They come out in September so you may be able to buy spring and summer pieces on sale that match up to to the runway looks to wear the following spring. Get it? Buy off-season.

3. Flash Sales

As much as you may not like to sign up for a bunch of newsletters (except ours. Did you sign up for ours?) it is worth it to sign up for your favorite designers and online boutiques to receive special notifications of flash sales, sample sales, exclusive friends and family sales or to be the first to know of a sale. I have had great success with newsletter alerts from Intermix, GILT and Shopbop.

How to Save Money on Fashion extra percent off fountainof30

4. Extra % off Clearance

Do the math! Whenever there is an extra 50%, 60% or sometimes 70% off the sale price, you will be getting the lowest prices. Retailers mark up fashion 55-65%, so you will be getting it for less than they paid for it!

5. Designer Outlets

You love Banana Republic? Well check out their outlet, or the outlet of any store or brand you like. Sometimes you will find inventory on exact items from the store as well as their own exclusive outlet fashion. These items may not be as well made so I suggest waiting to buy them when they are marked down even further. That way you can get an even better price than the already low outlet price.

How to Save Money on Fashion Target

6. Fast Fashion

Even on low price or fast fashion like Target, Walmart, Amazon, Kohls, H&M and Zara you should still wait for the sale. Do you love that Who What Wear top and think $29.99 is a good price? If you wait a few weeks it will probably become $19.99. That’s even better! Another tip: Check out fashion collaborations and designer lines at discount stores to find the most stylish items. I like Who What Wear at Target, Scoop at Walmart and Elizabeth and James at Kohl’s. If you see an item on sale at a store but they don’t have your size, check their websites for your size and have them ship it to the store (to save more money).

7. eBay

Look for fashion at greatly reduced prices (when people clean out their closets and realize they will never wear something). I only shop for “new with tags” items. I also notice how some sellers try to outsmart fashion collaborations and charge a high price on pieces from a really hot collaboration like H&M x Giambattista Valli, for example. But many times you can get actually find something for an lower price after the frenzy is over.

My Favorite Stores: Where to Save Money on Fashion

Here are some of my favorite stores for the best sales and discounts on fashion. I only wish that Barneys Warehouse was still around! It was always at the top of my list.

Ann Taylor

Banana Republic Factory




Kenneth Cole


Last Call

Nordstrom Rack

Saks Off Fifth



The Outnet



What is your favorite store for fashion sales shopping? Do you have a sales shopping strategy?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read The Best 9 Spring 2021 Fashion Trends For Women Over 40 and The Best Sweats For Women Over 40 To Wear Now.

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6 thoughts on “How I Never Pay Full Price for Fashion”

  1. Love this! My grandma was always a fashion plate, but as a young widow (in her 50s- which I am now that age!), her money was tight. She taught me to shop sales, and always look for a bargain. I miss calling her with my success stories…

  2. Great article….very good information. Confirms my buying habits 99% of the time Thanks for the additional links to shopping sites.


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