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How I Get Brand Name Clothes on a Not-So-Brand-Name Budget

The following post is from Tiffany of Mommy Goes Green: How I Get Brand Name Clothes on a Not-So-Brand-Name Budget

While I’m no fashion trendsetter, I have always been the type of girl that likes to be dressed up. You won’t often find me in jeans and tennis shoes and my go-to winter outfit is skinnies paired with boots and layers up top – it’s still cold in our little mountain town! As you might imagine, I love dressing up my littles, too.  And hubs? He’s jeans and tennis shoes kind of guy. Opposites do attract, in our case.

Some of my favorite brand namess include J.Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Boden but when we became a single income family years ago, I had to get a lot more creative about how I was going to keep dressing in the brand name clothes I like and feel good in.

Don’t get me wrong, we also wear clothes from Target, Walmart, and Old Navy. But I’ll be honest with you, the difference in quality is noticeable once they’ve been worn as hard as my kids like to play. I do not mind paying a few more dollars for clothes to wear longer and are then able to be passed on to others.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to find high-quality name brand clothes I love at a price I can afford:

1.  Outlet Malls

Once or twice a year, I take a few hours to go to the largest outlet mall in the state. It’s two hours from home so we usually hit it up as we are passing through the area.  The best deals to be found are usually during holiday weekends and I make sure to print and take lots of coupons (subscribe to the store outlet emails several weeks before you go). Banana Republic Factory, J.Crew Factory, Nike, Gap, and Carter’s are some of my favorite outlet stores.

2. Online Consignment Stores

I’ve found some great pre-owned brand name clothes at online consignment stores for both women and children. Like Twice (get a $10 credit for signing up) carries women’s brand name clothes and I recently got a very cute Banana Republic silky ikat tank for $2.80 shipped! ThredUp (get a $10 credit for signing up) carries all children’s clothing where I scored a Ralph Lauren button down for my preppy little boy for $4.00 shipped.

3. Children’s Resale Events

When I had babies, I SCORED at children’s resale events like Just Between Friends.   I picked up some of the cutest new and pre-owned clothing and shoes for $1 and $2 apiece.  Now that my kids are older, I’ve found the selection to be more limited, but if you are pregnant or have kids under 3, I would find a couple of events to attend per year. Get in line early or volunteer a few hours so you can go to the pre-sale, it’s worth your time.

4. eBay

eBay is my hidden gem for shopping. I create a few saved searches for items I am looking for such as my favorite jeans or a winter coat.  When one pops up on my radar at a great price, and they always do, I purchase it. Some of the best deals to be had are in the off-season, so start looking for winter clothing in June! (I keep money in my Paypal account just for this).

5. Store Credit Cards

I know credit cards do not work for everyone, but I would be remiss to pretend that I don’t use them. I have a Banana Republic card that regularly gives me discounts of 30-50% off all my purchases at Old Navy, Gap, and the Banana Republic, and I get free shipping on every order.  I pay it off every time I use it; it works for us.

6. Discount Retailers

T.J.Maxx and Nordstrom Rack are two of my favorite places to find jeans and shoes that I could not otherwise afford. I often comb through the clearance racks at these stores to find off-season clothing for even less.

7. Local Resale: Facebook Swaps, Craigslist, and Freecycle

When I lived in a larger city, Craigslist and Freecycle were a great way to get pre-owned clothing for cheap and free. Now that I live in a smaller town, I am part of several local Facebook groups where moms buy and sell to each other. Once you find a few moms with a style you like, you can connect outside of the group to sell each other your stuff.

8. Garage Sales and Thrift Stores

I certainly couldn’t make a list like this without mentioning these as I have found a few things at garage sales and thrift stores, but it’s not often enough to make it worth my time. Honestly, eBay is my choice for the most efficient garage sale/thrift store.

What creative ways have you found to get your favorite brand name clothes on a budget?

Tiffany is a wife and mom of two, living simply to indulge her family’s love of outdoor recreation and travel. You can find her contributing at Simple Homemade, The Creative Mama and her personal home on the web, Mommy Goes Green.