Your hunch is right: Thanks to all the layers you need to stay toasty and dry, your winter wardrobe really does cost more than other seasons. But these five easy tips can save you money on winter clothes and shoes.
Get your jeans here.
Frustrated when you buy a perfect pair of jeans only to have your weight change a few months later and they no longer fit? Pick up your next pair at Maurices. The clothing store’s Fit Freedom Jean Exchange program allows you to exchange their regularly priced private brand M jeans by Maurices (they start at $29.99) at no cost if your pants size goes up or down within one year of purchase. Just visit one of the retailer’s 895 locations across the US and Canada or log on to Maurices.com, join their free MyMaurices loyalty program, make your purchase, then keep your receipt. If within the following 365 days you need to exchange the jeans for a different size, just bring them in to the store for the exchange.
Look for look-alikes.
Fell in love with a down coat or snow boots while shopping at a store online or in person? Before you put the item in your shopping cart, it’s easy to check to see if a similar one is being sold elsewhere for less: Simply search for the name of the product you like (such as LL.Bean Women’s PrimaLoft Packaway Hooded Jacket) at Bing.com/shop and shopping.Google.com. You’ll get a list of options that have similar features, along with their prices and where you can buy them so you can spot the best deal in seconds. These search engines scour dozens of major retailers, resale websites like eBay.com, Mercari.com and Poshmark.com, and discount retailers like 6pm.com and Walmart.com.
Tip: Love to save money by knitting your own gloves and hats? The price of cotton yarn is now dropping due to an overabundance of inventory, which can save you big.
Nab free alterations.
A growing trend among apparel companies? Offering complimentary repairs, hemming or customization. For example, Patagonia (visit Patagonia.com/start-repair) allows you to mail in coats, sweaters, and other apparel for free mending, and all you have to pay is the $5 round-trip shipping. Madewell gives members of its free Insider loyalty program free jeans hemming and free stamping and embroidery personalization on all denim and leather products. When buying pants at LandsEnd. com, you can also have them cuffed or hemmed for free.
Score pre-owned treasures.
Consignment and thrift stores aren’t the only places to shop gently used gems. Major retailers are now selling pre-owned apparel, making it easier to find bargains on pullovers, parkas, and more. For example, URBN brand clothing (Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropologie) recently launched Nuuly.com, where you can rent pre-owned clothing from over 300 brands for a fraction of their original price. Other retailers offering pre-owned items: The North Face (TheNorthFaceRenewed.com), H&M (rewear.HM.com), and Walmart.com (type “ThredUP” in the search bar).
A simple way to save on winter boots and shoes: Buy them in a kid’s size. Many brands create similar shoes for adults and children, but charge 20 to 50 percent more for the adult size — even though the kids’ version fits most adult women’s feet. For example, at LLBean.com, the child’s Trail Model Hiker boot sells for $70— way less than the adult version of a similar shoe. The general rule of thumb for converting sizes: big kids’ sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7 are equivalent to women’s sizes 6, 7, 8, and 9.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.