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How to Buy Clothes Wisely

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We’d all prefer to have some money left in our wallets after paying for clothing. These handy tips will make your dollars go further when shopping for clothes.

In the Swim

Spending more than $100 on a woman’s bathing is criminal considering you’re paying for little more than a yard of fabric. If you can’t afford such prices, buy your new suit in the summer. By the time July rolls around, stores are looking to unload their bathing suits (and the rest of their summer stock) to make room for the fall clothing. Shopping for summer clothing when other folks are at the beach can save you 50 percent or more.

Likewise, wait to shop for your winter gear—boots coats, sweaters—until the dead of winter. If you can make do with what’s already in your closet until then, you’ll find some hefty bargains.

Good Things Come in Small Sizes

If you buy petite clothing, are you tired of the meager choices and high prices at your local specialty or department store? Try stepping next door to the children's department. Often a size large boys T-shirt or girls jacket will fit just fine—and the price is likely to be a much better fit for your budget.

Mom! Gimme My Sweater!

Even if you’re not petite, you can take advantage of the price difference between women's and men’s/boys clothing. Search the men’s and boys department at your favorite store for great deals on basics such as T-shirts, polo and rugby shirts, and sweaters. And ladies, boxer shorts and a T-shirt make great pajamas for women.

Can I Interest You in a Howitzer?

Are you in the market for inexpensive—but durable—clothing items such as sweaters, coats and pants? How about a duffel or tote bag? A dead hand grenade? The answer may be just around the corner, at your local army surplus store.

Army/Navy stores get their merchandise from big suppliers that buy surplus clothing (field jackets, woolen pea coats, and heavy woolen trousers) and equipment (canteens, knapsacks, and other camping stuff) directly from the government—and pass the savings on to you.

About The Author

Earl Proulx

When Earl Proulx died in March 2002 at age 88, he’d written Yankee Magazine's “Plain Talk” advice column for 22 years. Read More from Earl Proulx

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