Do you ever find yourself looking at your closet and wishing you had more options? Do you feel like you can’t afford to buy new clothes?
Or maybe you just don’t have the time to go shopping. Well, never fear! There are a few ways to get quality clothing for cheap or free.
When it comes to clothing, most people think that you have to spend a lot of money to get quality pieces. However, there are a few ways that you can get quality clothes for cheap or even free.
Getting clothing brand new is nice, but do you really need brand new clothes all the time?
After all, many of today’s fabrics, styles and fashions are very cheaply made and wear out before their time.
For example, I bought a brand new shirt 3 months ago, and with normal wear and tear, washing and such, it’s already threadbare. That $15 shirt was definitely not a bargain, was it?
In this blog post, we will discuss some of those ways.
So, whether you are on a tight budget or just looking to save money, keep reading for tips on how to get great clothing without breaking the bank.
More often than not, you will find name brand clothing that is a good quality construction here.
They are usually picky on what they will sell, so you are more likely to get clothing without tears or stains.
I have found that in our area, clothing goes for about 30-40% of what it will sell for brand new. I have found jeans, shorts, jackets, shirts as well as shoes at consignment stores.
As a matter of fact, this is the only place I have been able to outfit my oldest son, as he is growing so rapidly and thrift stores don’t usually have his size in anything.
Another bonus for consignment stores is that you can take gently used clothing to sell for cash or credit on other stuff. Decluttering and saving money on clothing? Win-Win!
This requires some careful digging to find good quality. We have an array of different thrift stores, with different quality in clothing. Some will just “hang and sell” whatever is brought in, no matter what the condition.
Others will actually inspect the clothing, make any minor needed repairs, and wash before moving out to the sales floor.
Finding quality takes a bit of time, and knowing what you want. Sometimes, you may have to replace a button, or fix a hem, but you can really get some good bargains at thrift stores.
Again, digging for quality is the key here. I have seen many people put out worn out and stained clothing at a premium price.
Of course, if you are looking for rags, or quilt blocks, or “chore clothing” you may be able to get them to come way down on the price. Other yard sales I have seen great clothing at a great price.
Since you are most likely NOT going to be able to try the clothes on, it’s helpful to have an idea of sizes you need, and even know if those sizes vary by designer.
or example, I can get a “5” in Abercrombie, but a “3” in Guess. Knowing what you or your family’s needs and sizes are will be extremely helpful as you navigate the myriad of sales.
Host a Clothing Swap
A clothing swap is a great way to build your community while getting quality clothing. It’s basically trading outgrown, gently used clothing with friends and family.
It’s not hard to set up and the benefits are amazing! Check out full details here.
There’s not much that you can’t find online – and that includes clothing.
I’m not a huge fan of buying a ton of clothes online just because I don’t feel great about buying brand-new clothes and having them shipped across the country to me (not really the best for the environment).
However, we’ve all been in the situation where we have a function to attend and need a certain piece of attire to complement the outfit – and just can’t find it nearby in thrift stores or at consignment shops.
Therefore, online stores can sometimes be the right choice.
Some of the best stores to shop online for cheap clothing include:
- Dress Up
- Rue 21 (also has in-person stores in case you want to shop at a brick and mortar location and actually be able to try things on)
- Clothing Under 10
- Old Navy
- TJ Maxx
- Nordstrom Rack
There are also online thrift stores you can check out. Some of my favorites include:
Now, I will admit – sometimes the quality of these clothes that you buy online isn’t the best.
You’ll want to read customer reviews very carefully to make sure you aren’t going to
- a) have to wait months upon months for shipping (something that’s often the case with foreign clothing retailers like Wish) or
- b) have a piece of clothing that falls apart as soon as you wash it the first time.
Read reviews – reviews are everything!
Refer a Friend
Many retailers – even some of the more “posh” and expensive ones – have referral programs that allow you to earn free clothes.
All you have to do is refer a friend by sharing an online link or by word of mouth. You’ll get rewards points that you can use toward free clothes.
Some online retailers that do this include:
- Stitch Fix
That’s right – you can share the joy of thrifting with your best friends and get rewarded in return!
Look for Online Giveaways
Every now and then, you may encounter free online clothing giveaways. There are a couple of good places to do this.
The first is at the Community Clothes Closet. This is a company that works to help seniors, students, disabled people, the homeless, and people with limited income find inexpensive clothing.
You do need to be referred to this program – but if you are, you can get free clothing for up to one year.
Another site to check is Sweepstakes Fanatic. This online site has sweepstakes that you can enter to win clothing on a daily or weekly basis.
Check Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is another site where you can check for free or inexpensive used clothes. Many times, people want to get rid of their old clothes but are just too busy to have a yard sale.
They’ll often put clothing out at the end of the road and put a notice on Facebook saying whoever gets there first can have the clothes.
In other instances, you may just have to arrange a pick-up time with the owner.
You may not always get the exact kind of clothes you need or want at that very moment, but there are always clothes to be found for free on Facebook.
Like Facebook, Craigslist is another place people commonly turn to in order to offload their old clothes.
If you want to score free clothing, click on over to the “free” link in the “for sale” section. You never know what you’ll be able to find!
The only downside to using Freecycle is that its offerings are somewhat limited if you live in a rural area.
That said, Freecycle is a website that you can tap into regardless of where you live (you’ll just have less to choose from, of course).
Essentially, this website is just an online network with local chapters all around the world.
Everything has to be given away for free – that’s the rule – so you’re sure to find some free clothing here.
Register for Rewards
If you’re a brand junkie, you might want to consider signing up for your favorite store’s rewards program.
Some stores will let you redeem points for gift cards while others will give you cash or cashback points on a credit card. Either way, it’s a smart way to fill your wardrobe if you like shopping at one store in particular.
Consider Starting a Fashion Blog
Do you love fashion? Love to write? If so, you may want to start a fashion blog. This is a great way to get free clothing from companies.
After you’ve set up your blog and attracted a few readers, there’s a good chance that companies will mail you free clothing in exchange for a review on your site.
This is a long-term approach – but if you’re in it to win it, give it a try!
Get “Clothing” Back for Tasks
You’ve probably heard of being able to get cashback for doing things like completing quick tasks or filling out short surveys.
However, you can also get clothing back, in many cases. There are all kinds of websites that will pay you to shop for clothing – like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks.
If you do a lot of online shopping, you might want to consider downloading the Rakuten browser extension. You’ll get cashback whenever you shop online, and you can use that extra money to buy new clothes.
A Few More Tips for Finding Quality Clothing
Here are a few more tips for finding great clothes when you’re on a shoestring budget.
Quality vs Quantity
A mistake that so many of us make when shopping for clothes is thinking that we need to fill our closets -when really, we should be focused on quality
Buy clothes made out of solid materials that you can mend and hem yourself.
Rather than spending a few dollars apiece on cheap shirts that will wear down after a couple of uses, you can buy staple pieces for your wardrobe that will last you many years.
Shop the Clearance Rack
Don’t be afraid to hunt for sales! Take advantage of sales and become best friends with the clearance rack. By being aware of super steep discounts, you can save a ton of money.
Buy Interchangeable Items
Build a wardrobe around a framework of just a few interchangeable items.
For example, you can buy a set of black dress pants for work that you absolutely love – and then just get a handful of shirts to go with those pants.
Don’t Buy In Season
When summer rolls around, the first thing on your mind might be buying a new swimsuit.
However, in order to save money, you really need to be a couple of seasons ahead (or behind).
Buying out of season can save you hundreds of dollars. You’ll get clearance prices on things you’ll wear eventually – you just won’t wear them right away.
While you definitely don’t have to be loyal to just one brand, researching the brands that fit you best is a great idea.
Figure out which brands work well for you! You might fit great in Old Navy clothes and not so great in Banana Republic.
By knowing what works well for you and your body shape and size, you can avoid a lot of wasted time and money.
How Can I Get Good Quality Clothes for Cheap?
Get more fashion for your budget – even if your budget is…well, zero!
The next time you are in need of some new clothes but don’t want to spend a lot of money, remember these tips.
All of them will help you save money on clothing and get high-quality items that will last for years. What is your favorite way to get quality clothing at a low cost?
updated 03/28/2022 by Rebekah Pierce
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
Learn more about Heather and the rest of the writers on this page.