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How to Buy Better Clothes for Less Money

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How to buy better clothes for less money

I (Reachel Bagley of Cardigan Empire) have returned to answer the question, “Is it bad to buy cheap clothes? “

Yes. deplorable.

It’s probably very likely that you are attracted to the price tag more than the actual item.

You deserve to own the best quality you can afford while keeping the maximum amount of bank notes in your pocketbook.  Is there anything better than getting exactly what you want for exactly what you want to pay?

Purchase love doesn’t always happen on the first introduction. Maybe you first lock eyes online…flirt in the store window. Courting advances in the dressing room. But when your prize’s price is reduced; the productivity of playing hard to get has climaxed. You carefully remove your darling from its officious hanger station and take it home to cherish.  Now if an item isn’t worthy of this progression, why is it worthy of your closet?

First, throw away your mark down predicting tarot cards and read the predictable Annual Retail Markdown Calendar:

Annual Retail Markdown Calendar

January outerwear and winter accessories
February fine jewelry, boots, and cashmere sweaters
March linen suits and separates, handbags, and spring raincoats
April silk separates, spring raincoats, and dresses
May spring shoes, dresses, and suits
June swimwear, casual shorts, t-shirts, and summer dresses
July summer shoes, drastic reductions on swimwear
August summer clearance and fall season sales
September lined raincoats, wool blend blazers, handbags, and backpacks
October leather jackets, fall suits, career, and casual sweaters
November eveningwear, fall shoes, and boots
December clearance coats, cashmere sweaters, and fine jewelry 

Before we start the next Store Specific Markdown Schedule, I have to declare some legal stuff:

I do not speak as an officious representative of any of these companies.  The information I present here is based on personal experience and may or may not be  company policy.  Information is subject to errors and inconsistencies.  In consequence, your feedback is greatly appreciated.

STORE MARKDOWN SCHEDULE
Anthropologie
TUESDAYS
True for online and in stores.  Shop early for the best selection. New shipments Monday through Thursday.  Semi-Annual sales around Christmas and during the Summer.  Also I recommend adding your birthdate to your Anthro account.
Banana Republic
SUNDAYS
Not a rule (may not happen every Sunday) but definitely a good suggestion. 
New Shipments Mondays and Thursdays.
Dillards
1st OF THE MONTH
additional discounts announced on Wednesday’s.  Regular weekly shi
pment receipts.

Forever21
MONDAYS
Not a rule (does not happen every monday) but definitely a good suggestion.  Occurs regularly as dictated by corporate.  New shipments multiple times a week.
Gap/Gap Kids/Baby Gap
WEDNESDAYS
New shipments twice a week.
Gymboree
MONDAYS
Usually every other week.  Also watch for gymbucks and end of season sales. 
H&M
END OF EVERY OTHER MONTH
These are end of season sales, the current sale (Spring 2011) started on Tuesday, March 29th.  New shipments weekly.
J. Crew
TUESDAYS
Not a rule (does not happen every Tuesday) but definitely a good suggestion.
Janie & Jack
THURSDAYS
Usually every other week.  Also watch for end of season sales. 
Kohls
WEEKLY
Regular one days sales and weekend sales.  Also watch for lowest price of the season sales.
The Limited
SEASONAL
Markdowns at the end of season.  New shipments multiple times a month.
Loft (& Ann Taylor
SEASONAL
New shipments Monday and Friday.  Apply for an Ann Taylor Credit Card to earn $20 in rewards for every 2,000 pts of s
Macy’s
SUNDAY-WEDNESDAY
Macy’s starts their markdowns on Sunday, and work to be 100% marked down by Wednesday, close of business. 75% off, you should get it, as it will rarely go any lower. The next week they will box it up and ship it out to their clearance stores.  Also watch for “wear red” (extra 20% off) days and semi-annual sales in different departments.
Nordstrom
SALE SCHEDULE

  • Half-Yearly Sale for Women and Kids—starts Wednesday, May 25
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Men—starts Friday, June 17
  • Anniversary Sale—starts Friday, July 15 and ends Sunday, July 31
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Women and Kids—starts Wednesday, November 2
  • Half-Yearly Sale for Men—starts Sunday, December 25 online, and Monday, December 26 in-store 

Also shop for additional savings at Nordstrom Rack and Last Chance.

Talbots
MONTHLY

Sign up for e-mails to receive regular promotion notices.
Target
SALE SCHEDULE
Monday – Electronics, Kids Clothing and Stationary (Cards, GiftWrap, etc.)
Tuesday – Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
Wednesday – Men’s Clothing, Toys, Lawn & Garden, Health and Beauty items
Thursday – House Wares, Lingerie, Sporting Goods, Shoes, Music / Movies, Books, Decor and Luggage
Friday – Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, and Jewelry
50% off the day after holiday for three days
75% off the fourth day after holiday for three days
90% off the seventh day after holiday for 1-2 daysTarget rarely marks down non-holiday items below a 75% off discount. And if the price ends in the number 4, you may be looking at your last chance to buy.
Victoria’s Secret
ANNUAL & SEMI-ANNUALS SALES
January & July
White House | Black Market
AS NEEDED
Join Black Book (free customer service program):

Once your merchandise purchases reach a net of $300 you will obtain Black Book membership status. As a Black Book Member* you can look forward to these benefits:
Preliminary Black Book benefits include:

  • Be the first to know about newest collections, sales, and offers
  • Preview new collections via email

Black Book (once your merchandise purchases reach $300) benefits may include :

  • 5% off every merchandise purchase
  • Birthday bonuses
  • Double discount days
  • Invitations to special parties and events
  • Private sales

*To be eligible for birthday bonus benefits, Black Book members must have shopped with WHBM during the past 12 months.

In conclusion, if you like an item, it is your responsibility to watch over it. Checking in on it day by day to see how it is doing, and if it is ripe for purchase. When a discount has bloomed, you must snatch it up without reserve. Sale racks are not the place to meet and evaluate purchases. It is merely an area to pick up purchases long since acquainted.

My best to you as you acquire a closet worthy of you.

In the meantime, tell me about your best or latest fashion find.

About the Author: This post was written by our Fashion Contributor Reachel Bagely from Cardigan Empire in September 2011

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