10 ways to reduce your winter wardrobe costs

Published by Nathalie Bonney on 07 October 2011.
Last updated on 22 December 2014


1. Get money off

Printing off and downloading vouchers for restaurants is standard practice now. But it's also possible to get reductions on clothes and shoes. Some vouchers are for in-store use only while others are for online orders. Look on specific voucher websites like vouchercodes.co.uk and vouchercloud.com as well in magazines for offers.

A quick glance at current offers on vouchercodes.co.uk offers shoppers a 20% off bootss at Clarks stores and up to 60% off French Connection purchases bought through its website. Vouchers have limited time periods so check on the various sites to see the most recently updated offers.

Find more savings in our top 10 voucher codes feature

2. Avoid delivery costs

Although ordering online is convenient - especially if it means you get money off your final bill, don't forget delivery charges that apply. Unless you urgently need an item opt for the cheapest delivery option available - this may not be the one that is automatically selected.

3. Sign up to newsletters

Have you got a favourite shop? If so signing up to its newsletter could be a good idea. Online shoppers will receive emails and discount codes for future shopping trips. Even if you haven't yet shopped with a store sign up to its e-newsletters so you can also hear about future promotions.

Keep up to date with all the latest deals and discounts by signing up to the Moneywise newsletter

4. Beware the Primarni effect

Who hasn't heard of the juggernaut that is Primark? The budget store's low, low prices has had a knock on effect on the high street with shops like New Look and H&M also seemingly producing more – and cheaper clothes.

Take advantage of these lower prices but try and avoid the temptation to binge buy so many items of 'cheap' clothing that you still spend a fortune.

5. Clothes swap

Formal clothes swapping parties have emerged in popularity over recent years. Guests are asked to bring along a specified number of items of clothing, in good condition. They can then swap these with other guests wares. Arranging a more informal affair yourself, be it with colleagues, family or friends, is one way of getting new clothes without spending -  provided you share similar tastes.

6. Charity shop

Noticed how second-hand is now referred to as ‘vintage'? Also noticed how this subtle name change has resulted in a significant mark up on the price tags?

If you can bear to not shop 'vintage' or 'retro' and head to your local Oxfam or Barnardos instead, charity shop threads could be a cheaper bet. Shopping in less popular or exclusive areas, for example steering clear of Kings Road, in expensive Chelsea, will also be reflected in lower prices.

7. Rediscover your wardrobe

Despite having a chest of drawers that no longer closes or a wardobe with a rail about to snap, many of us still complain we have nothing to wear. Go through your clothes at the start of each season.

Undoubtedly you'll find a few horrors that Gok would throw straight on the fashion scrapheap. But you might also discover a few items, buried away, that you'd happily wear again.

8. Store card discounts

Got to the till and been asked by the sales assistant if you want to sign up to a store card and get a reduction on your day's shopping as a result?

It's a bit of a faff and Moneywise would never advocate taking out a store card if you don't have the money to immediately clear the balance. Failing to clear payments within the interest-free period could see you pay significant interest – with many cards charging typical APR of 19.9%.

But if you are organised about it and able to pay off the bill as soon as you receive the statement then you could get 10-20% off your purchases.

9. Go indirect

The shopping phenomenon that is asos.com lists its own clothes online but is adding more and more high street labels too. Following in its smartly fashioned footsteps are the likes of very.co.uk and my-wardrobe.com, which is the same premise (but the latter with designer labels).

Due to voucher discounts it could work out cheaper to buy some items via these sites instead of directly from the retailer. They sometimes lists other shops clothes for less too.

10. Cost-per-wear

Instead of judging how good value an item of clothing is by how many noughts are on the price tag, apply the cost per wear principal. For example, a £300 winter coat that you wear from November-February would only cost £3 under cost per wear calculations (£300 divided by the number of times worn – which is 100 days).

An ill-advised £30 cropped sleeve jacket that is too cold in winter, too hot in summer may only get a few outings, resulting in a higher £10 cost per wear.

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