I Only Rock Designer When I Pop Out: How I Purchased $1000 Worth of Clothing for $250

By Kimberly Edwards

I’m about to turn 25 and I told myself I wasn’t going to buy “not good” clothes anymore.

What do I mean by this? I’m talking about the quality of clothing that I buy, which often times correlates to the brand, and certainly the price.

My mom told me that I was born bougie. We never had money like that to buy nice things, but for some reason it always seemed that the nice clothes that I did buy ended up fitting so much better than the cheap clothes. This went for jeans, shoes, dresses, etc. I could go on, but in few words, they were just better.

Alas, my finances humbled me. For quite some time I relied on places like H&M (which I like to call Hit or Miss) and Forever 21 to stock my wardrobe, but then I realized something…

I was spending more money more often buying clothing from those stores than I was when I purchased something that I actually invested my money in. It was the truth. The jeans from these places had bleeding dye, so my legs (and my car seats) would always turn blue or black. The shirts would tatter or threads would loosen within months.

And the worst part – going to these stores gave me so much anxiety. The clothes were f***ing everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Shit everywhere. Customers rummaged through racks thinking they were getting great deals, but I only got headaches and a few basic tees.

I knew I needed to upgrade my wardrobe and shopping experiences. Now that I’m grown, it’s time to make my clothing and money worthwhile. I’ve been shopping with a critical eye, and an even more critical point-of-view of how I’m going to spend my money while getting the best value possible.

Here are a few tips to how you can get over $1000 worth of clothes for $250.

  • Know What A Sale Really Means: This one might be the most valuable of all the tips that I’m going to give you. If it’s an extra 10-20% off because it’s your first time shopping online at a particular store, then it’s not a sale. If it’s 30% off regular price, it’s not really a sale. I hunt for the closeout sales…the 50-70% off entire store kind of sales. They do happen a few times a year, even from your favorite retailers. So keep an eye out.
  • Buy Clothes When They’re Out of Season: Don’t buy a coat in November. Don’t buy a bathing suit in May. Instead, buy your winter coat (for next season’s preparation) in May, and buy your bathing suit (for next year’s vacation) in November. They’re almost always available online, and you might just luck out and get an extra percentage off of your bill.
  • Really Assess the Value: I shop at places like Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx ALL THE TIME. It’s addictive. But if there’s anything that I learned about math, it’s how to calculate money. For example, I bought a genuine leather jacket, MSRP ~$400 for $60. How?! Because I know money. I know that I probably wouldn’t have found a better deal. That’s an 85% discount. I had to jump on it, and now I have this bomb ass jacket that I’m going to keep in great condition for years to come.
  • Know What to Buy in “Name Brands”:  Why are you buying an $85 ripped up Yeezy Season shirt?! It’s not like anyone can see the tags. I don’t purchase anything that is ostentatious and lacks longevity. Instead, I could use that $85 to buy a pair of $385 jeans on Hautelook, or put it toward a bag that I really like and know that will last for a long time. It’s not worth it to have name brand everything, just certain things. I’m also not saying don’t go to thrift shops, H&M, etc…I definitely encourage it for basic items and things that I know I won’t keep for long, like t-shirts.
  • When the Shoe (Shirt, Jeans, etc.) Fits, Get It: Sometimes I have to buy something that’s not on sale because it’s so great. I ask myself if I really want it/need it/can use it for a while, and then if the answers apply, I’ll take the plunge.
  • Take Care of Your Clothing: I take it back. THIS is the most poignant takeaway about shopping. Read the care labels. Learn how to do your own laundry. If the tag says, “hand wash only or dry clean,” do it. Don’t throw everything in the same batch of laundry thinking that it’s convenient. You’ll find yourself wasting clothes, time, and money.

Happy shopping and saving! ☺


Photo Credit: Danny Sellers