Here’s how I buy name-brand clothes for cheap


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If you didn’t know, I’m all about saving money in every way possible while still living a meaningful life. However, I have learned over the years that just because something is “cheap” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea to buy it.

While I would love to take credit for this post, in reality, my wife is the one who influenced me to understand the importance of spending a little more money on “quality clothing” to save money overall. Actually, I can hear her saying, “I told you so,” as I write this. Either way, I’m willing to admit that I was wrong when it comes to cheap clothes.

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Generic clothes can be too expensive.


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I don’t really care about fashion or the latest styles, but I strive to spend money wisely. I have never been one to search out and wear name-branded clothes either – because frankly, I don’t care.

When I first started working as a detective in an office, I needed to go shopping and buy brand new business clothes. I had worn a uniform for the previous ten years and never really needed to buy business clothes. And, since I was cheap, I usually just wore my uniform to court instead of going in a shirt and tie.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I went to Costco and bought a bunch of business shirts and pants. Why? Because they were much cheaper than going to a name-brand store and getting fitted for brand-name clothes.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Costco because most of their stuff is high quality. However, if you’re looking to impress a boss and get clothing that will fit well and last a long time, Costco is not the place to go. I learned this the hard way.

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My experience with cheap generic clothing

The first year I was in detectives, I wore those warehouse business clothes every day, and they never seemed to fit right. The sleeves were either too short, or the shirts were baggy if the sleeves were long enough for my arms. They were nowhere near “fitted” and certainly didn’t look professional.

I didn’t know any better, though. The truth is, I looked like a slob, and those business shirts quickly started to fade. All those discounted generic clothes I bought that first year quickly wore out, and I needed to buy all new ones in my second year.

You may think that a year is a pretty good life span for a business shirt, but I clearly wore them longer than I should have. I still have some in my closet, and the collars are frayed and definitely didn’t stand up to the test of time.

I learned the hard way that “saving money” by purchasing cheap generic apparel didn’t actually save me any money. They needed to be replaced at a much faster rate than quality clothes. I now regularly purchase name-brand clothes for work that cost a bit more but last way longer and hold up better.

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Why do some generic clothes fall apart?

In our high-consumption society, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to mass-produce items as quickly and efficiently as possible. Quality and durability aren’t always at the top of the priority list when it comes to generic.

Even with Insider studies that claim generic apparel can hold up better than the name brands, these examples certainly are in the minority.

However, not all designer brand clothes are of high quality either. Sometimes you are paying for a name rather than a quality product. Avoid the temptation of buying clothes just because of the brand they are associated with.

This video shows how you can feel if a shirt is of high quality or not.

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Don’t buy a name; buy a product.

As stated earlier, there are plenty of name brands that will cost you an arm and a leg but are definitely not worth the price tag. Many of these clothes fall into the 10 best-selling name brands in the world.

Just because an Italian luxury name is well known doesn’t mean it’s the best product for the money.


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The 10 top name-brand clothing companies in the world

As a financial blogger, I can’t possibly justify the prices of any of these companies. The incredibly inflated price tags and the quality don’t go hand in hand. According to CorD Magazine, here are the ten best selling name brands:

10. Armani
9. Fendi
8. Versace
7. Burberry
6. Ralph Lauren
5. Chanel
4. Prada
3. Hermes
2. Gucci
1. Louis Vuitton

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Top 15 name brands millennials prefer

Luckily, millennials are a bit smarter with their purchases. Some of these brands are a much better choice because they balance quality with their price tags. According to Business Insider, here are the top 15 name brands millennials buy:

15. Aeropostal
14. Under Armour
13. Chanel
12. Levi’s
11. Victoria’s Secret
10. Forever 21
9. Ralph Lauren
8. Vans
7. Converse
6. JCPenney
5. Macy’s
4. Adidas
3. Jordan
2. Target
1. Nike

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The places I buy name-brand clothes for cheap

Since I have found that spending a little more money on name-brand apparel saves me money in the long run, I have found several ways to get these clothes at a discount for work and my family. Here are the best places to get brand-name clothes on a budget.

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Secondhand online stores? Yes, please!

Most of us are familiar with secondhand stores, but the normal process of showing up in person and digging through piles of clothing are a thing of the past. Now you can get secondhand clothing by shopping online.

The only negative is sometimes you will be required to pay extra shipping that you would otherwise avoid by shopping in person.

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The RealReal

The RealReal is a good place to get designer clothing, shoes, and accessories for much less than you would pay at a retail store. I still wouldn’t recommend spending $500 on name brands like Armani, but you can find some impressive deals on quality clothing if you search around the site.

You can also sell your old fashions that went out of style in the 80s if you need a couple of extra bucks.

Surf The RealReal here!


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eBay is a great place to find name brands for less than you would pay in-store. If you know your specific measurements, eBay will give you options to find those designer items that will last much longer – on the cheap! Trendy and stylish no longer needs to be expensive.

eBay is also an easy way to sell your old dresses, jeans, tops, and jackets that probably should have been sold or donated a long time ago.

Check out eBay clothing items here!

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Poshmark is one of my favorite places to get the best affordable deals for my family and me. The site sells cheaper brands such as GAP, Nike, UnderArmour, etc. that are perfect for our family’s needs. While many sites are gender-specific, this website has a large selection for men, women, and children.

While you may not find the latest trends, you certainly will find much more affordable clothing that will last longer than the cheap generic stuff you have been buying.

If you’ve never been to the Poshmark site, check it out here.

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Craigslist is another website to get quality designer clothes for less. However, I will offer a word of caution. There are a ton of counterfeit items for sale on craigslist. These items may “look” like the originals, but their quality is usually terrible.

Don’t waste your money buying counterfeit items – spend a few extra bucks to get the real deal.

Shop on Craigslist here.

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The best cheap clothing websites

Sometimes the selection at second-hand stores leaves much to be desired. Fortunately, there are other online locations to find designer clothing at a discount.

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T.J. Maxx

My wife loves T.J. Maxx because their prices are usually 20% – 60% less than the name-brand store prices. We love T.J. Maxx because they also don’t have make-believe sales or offer coupons for their items. What you see is what you get.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the shipping policies. If you spend a certain amount by combining orders, you may qualify for free shipping.

Shop deals at T.J. Maxx here!

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Zulily is high on the list and regularly has the largest selection of deals that last for about three days. You can find many designer items that will stand the test of time by regularly checking the website first thing in the morning.

I have made several purchases from Zulily, and the transactions are easy with quick shipping and delivery. If you time it right, you can usually find free shipping deals and coupons for your orders.

Check out Zulily here!

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6PM is a unique website owned by the popular company Zappos. Similar to the discounts at T.J. Maxx, 6PM regularly offers deals that are 30% – 70% off the regular brand-name store prices.

They also have a large collection of fashionable and formal items to match just about any occasion.

Check out the great deals at 6PM here!

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Ross is by far one of my favorite stores to find brand names sold at a steep discount. However, Ross doesn’t have their inventory online. Because of the constantly rotating brand names they have in store, you need to go in person and check their inventory regularly.

The last jacket and workout clothes I bought were from Ross, and they were brand names for more than 50% off regular retail store prices.

The only negative to Ross is you never know what they have. For the best results, you need to browse the store regularly to discover various hidden gems. And don’t forget to bring a little patience.

Find your closest Ross store here.

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My top tips to save money on name-brand clothes

There are several other strategies I use to get brand-name discounted designer clothes on a budget, to save money on my kids’ clothes, and my own. Some of these techniques can be risky, especially if you have a problem with overspending — so be careful.

Signing up for a credit card reward program is a terrible idea if you have a problem staying on budget.

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Shop wholesale outlet stores – (use caution)

Outlet stores can be a great option to get high-quality clothes for a discount. However, outlet stores can also be a great option to get low-quality discounted clothes. Like Black Friday deals, some manufacturers produce lower-quality products specifically to be sold at wholesale, retail stores.

Just because an item is at a big outlet store doesn’t mean it is the same quality as the other brand items.

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Use a store credit card.

Beware: store credit cards can be a slippery slope. If you are great at sticking to a budget, signing up for a store rewards credit card can be an excellent strategy to save a bunch of money.

However, racking up thousands of dollars on a store credit card is a sure way to get behind on your bills.

If you have trouble with overspending, avoid store credit cards at all costs.

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Price match to be a savvy shopper

Most of us know that stores will price match if you locate the same item cheaper at another retailer. But did you know that many stores will actually beat the competitor’s prices, if you ask?

The average retailer will not only price match, but they will also beat the competitor’s prices by 10% to 20% if you ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts – many companies offer them if people have the courage to inquire.

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Sign up for store email newsletters

If you are willing to give your email address to a store, they will usually reward you by periodically sending you coupons. If you can deal with all the spam they send you regularly, you can save money using manufacturer coupons.

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Check the clearance racks.

Just about every retail store has a clearance section. Some have larger sections than others, but it’s worth asking for the clearance area. These sections are often hidden in the back of the store but are worth including in your search to find the lowest-priced products.

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