Thanks to the extra layers needed to protect from the chill, a fall wardrobe can cost up to three times more than a summer one. Ouch! These savvy tips will keep you warm and dry — without blowing your budget.
Try warehouse clubs for up to 80 percent off on sweaters.
For cozy sweaters, pullovers and hoodies, head to your local BJs, Costco, or Sam’s Club warehouse club. You’ll find high-quality brand names for a lot less than their original price tag. For example, the same wrap cardigan that sold for $69.99 at Eddie Bauer cost just $12.97 at Costco — a savings of 81 percent. And a John Paul Richards pullover knit sweater that sold for $48 at Macy’s cost just $9.98 at BJ’s — a savings of nearly 80 percent. These items are overstock that retailers sell to warehouse clubs at a steep discount to make room for new inventory, and the savings are then passed on to you.
Embrace your inner child for up to 40 percent off boots and shoes.
There’s a big secret shoe stores don’t want you to figure out: Many boots, shoes and sneakers that are for kids look exactly like the styles for adults, but cost 25 to 40 percent less. For instance, Hunter rain boots cost $145 for women and only $85 for kids — a 40 percent difference. For example, at Skechers, women’s Ultra Flex sneakers cost $70, while girls’ sizes are just $47. That’s a 33 percent savings! Since most kids’ sizes fit adult women’s feet, all you need to do is convert the size: A big kid’s size 4, 5, 6 and 7 are the women’s equivalent 6, 7, 8 and 9, respectively.
Shop consignment and spend 75 percent less on coats.
Want name-brand jackets, parkas and more for less? Online consignment store ThredUp sells pre-owned new and like-new items at select brick-and-mortar stores throughout the country for a fraction of their original price. And now you can score the store’s bargains at Walmart. com (type “ThredUp” in the search box). One example: A similar DKNY wool coat that sells for $210 at Macy’s costs $51 at Walmart’s ThredUp store — a 75 percent difference! To boost savings on your fall wardrobe shopping, Walmart offers free shipping on orders of $35 or more — and free returns!
Use coupon codes to score 50 percent off all fall staples.
New research shows that clothing retailers are offering 18 percent more discounts online and in-store compared to this same time last year. That means more sales and coupons that help you save 25 to 50 percent on corduroy pants, wool skirts, and other fall wardrobe staples. So, next time you plan to shop at Gap, JCPenney, Macy’s, or other retailers, take a close look at their sales circulars (which you can find on their websites and at SundaySaver) and search for coupons in the Sunday newspaper inserts and RetailMeNot to snag additional savings.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.