How to get cheap clothes
This page is the definitive guide to getting cheap clothes. Scroll up to see the latest clothing deals and bargains shared by our community of deal hunters. Below, you'll discover:
- How much do British households spend on clothes?
- Why shopping online is cheaper than in-store
- Which online retailers are best for cheap clothes
- How to find cheap designer clothes (Secret Sale Groups, Outlets, Charity Shops, Depop)
- How to buy cheap clothes on ebay
How much to British households spend on clothes?
As a reader of Latest Deals you may be scratching your head at that figure. I don't spend £23 a week on clothes... And you're right to do so. The ONS report, which the UK Government uses to dictate policy, is based on a survey of just 4,918 households.
There are over 23 million households in the UK, so this survey is a representative sample size of just 0.02%. What are the chances that those households are also deal hunters like us? Not much.
On this page, you'll find all the cheapest clothes deals shared by fellow bargain hunters. For men, women and children you can save money in the latest sales, discover discount retailers, and use voucher codes to get more for your money.
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Why shopping online is cheaper than in-store
You can save money on clothes by shopping online. Mintel, the business research agency, published a UK Clothing Retailing market report which found,
- "ASOS, Boohoo and Amazon are seeing strong growth and are rapidly growing their share of spending on clothing. The way consumers are shopping for clothes is changing, there is a buy-now, wear-now mentality and retailers have failed to adapt to this fast enough, with the majority of women aged 16-44 finding it hard to find clothes that suit unusual weather for the season such as warm clothes in summer."
Online fashion retailers have lower costs: no physical shops, no expensive business rates, no sales assistants. They can pass these savings on to you with lower prices.
As more people shop online, internet retailers are able to offer cheaper delivery (such as New Look's Delivery Pass) and the cycle continues. While Primark, TK Maxx and Next will continue to have a presence on British high streets for years to come, you can expect the bigger discounts to move online.
Which are the best online retailers for cheap clothes?
Online stores with a discount focused marketing strategy are the best for you in terms of saving money. Brands such as Boohoo and La Redoute compete on price. They always have a sale on, a discount code, an opportunity for you to stack - and its these brands where you can get good value for money.
The companies which focus on creating a luxury brand image are the ones to avoid. For example, Abercrombie & Fitch. They sell the brand image at a premium. In other words, you're buying the label not the clothes. However, if it's the label you want keep reading as this article covers that as well.
Cheap online fashion retailers:
- Amazon Fashion
- Peacocks Clothing
- TK Maxx
- Miss Rebel
- Pink Boutique
- Used Clothing Outlet
These online clothes shops are favourites of Latest Dealers. They offer good value for money from a variety of brands and in multiple categories (see here for sportswear). Some, such as Next and Peacocks have both a physical and an online presence.
Be sure to take a look at their clearance sections and permanent sales pages. Here they flog last season clothes for big discounts.
In recent years there's been a trend of online fashion retailers buying clothes from wholesalers in weight (KG) and selling them on to you for cheap. This is similar to old thrift shops. Also, like Approved Food for supermarkets, some shops buy unsold clothes from high street brands, cut out the labels, and then sell them on to you for less.
In our Facebook Group members are always posting pictures of the bargains they've found, along with how much its still selling on the original brand's website.
When are the fashion sales?
Fashion brands have sales throughout the year. The best way to find out if one is on is to search for the retailer on Latest Deals, and take a look at the latest posts.
Some brands, such as Next, have several very big sales throughout the year. Its known for the VIP sale for members, and also the Summer clearance sale in July.
Other clothing retailers, such as La Redoute, have sales continuously in different categories. Dresses one week, shoes the next, bags after that.
When brands offer continuous discounts you need to re-adjust your expectation of what makes a good price. For example, if something is always half price, then you should take that as the new norm. Now, you're really looking for a discount beyond that price. Stack a big discount code on top of the sale reduction, and that's a deal. Here are some past examples:
- La Redoute Summer Sale 50% Off + Extra 10% with Code
- GAP 50% Off Sale + 25% Voucher Code
- Boohoo Swimwear 70% Off + 20% Off Discount Code
Retro 80s Swimwear Reduced By 70% + 20% at Boohoo
When researching fashion sales, it's actually difficult to find a moment when there isn't one. You're almost unlucky to be paying full price - which breaks the cardinal rule of Latest Dealers: Never Buy Full Price (NBFP).
How to find cheap designer clothes
Deal hunting is not about being frugal. Being a frugalista is about cutting back. Having and doing less. Deal hunting is about having more. More experiences, more fun, more money. It's about making the same amount of money go further. So in the context of clothing, the ultimate deal would be getting the most luxurious dresses, suits, shoes etc., from the most premium of brands, for Primark prices (or less).
Premium brands such as Vivienne Westwood, Michael Kors, Modalu, Emporio Armani and others don't like to do their own discounts. This is because it knocks the value of their brands. As reported in the Financial Times, Hugo Boss had an identity crisis when retailers in the USA kept discounting its suits. It started to be seen as cheap, rather than premium, so it stopped working with those retailers.
To get the balance right between cheap prices and maintaining the appearance of a luxury brand, designer fashion labels offer secret sales. Either on hidden pages of their own websites, or through other outlets, they have discounts and special offers that are behind walls.
- Join Secret Sale Groups
The basic approach to finding cheap designer clothes is to join secret sale groups. Some examples include:
Michael Kors bags reduced 35% in SecretSales
Dolce & Gabbana reduced 75% in Cocosa
These secret sale groups are free to join and once you're in you'll see all the offers, or they'll send you a daily email (so use your alias details).
- Watch out for sales fatigue - When you first get into these secret sale groups, it's very exciting. Designer fashion brands become within your financial reach. However, with new flash sales and "last chance" discounts coming every day, you may get sales fatigue. Be aware of buying something just because it's discounted, rather than if you really need it.
- Shop at discount distributors - Some companies buy designer clothes from wholesale and pass the saving on to you. Examples include TK Maxx, Get The Label, The Outnet and BrandAlley. You can often get basic designer clothes such as dresses and polo shirts for less. There is of course, ASOS which sells its own clothes as well as designer labels although the discounts aren't as big.
- Find Designer Clothes in Charity & Vintage Shops - Oxfam has an online charity shop with a designer fashion boutique section. It's not huge but you can find luxury brands there. And of course, in the many in-store charity shops have tonnes of options available. Then there are online vintage shops (which usually just mean second-hand and selling for profit but sometimes refer to a retro style). ASOS has a vintage marketplace where independent sellers feature designer clothes; Rokit London is a vintage store with an online presence (Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and more);
- Buy Cheap Designer Clothes on Depop - Depop is an app (iOS, Android) where you can buy, sell and share clothes from each other. It has over a million users, mostly younger people, and there's plenty of opportunity to buy cheap designer clothes or even get it for free. Many members swap similarly valued clothing with each other, for example a Nike jumper for a Adidas hoodie, or high-top trainers for heels. There are very expensive items selling for bargain prices, plus people's own creations. Members model the clothing themselves so you can see how they look.
People buy and sell clothes on Depop.
How to buy cheap clothes on ebay
Many retailers have outlet stores on ebay where they sell clothes for up to 80% less (or sometimes more). Plus, ebay tends to have free delivery and have partnered with Argos for click and collect.
It's a good place to browse and when you're getting excited about a sale such as during Black Friday, it pays to double check you can't get it cheaper on ebay first.
Other ways to save money on clothes
- Primark, Poundland, Aldi, ASDA etc. There are many high street stores which offer cheap clothes. New on the scene is Poundland which in some of the bigger shops you can now get clothes including school uniform; Aldi often features clothes in the SpecialBuys section and increasingly sells these online (Latest Dealers often say they must be selling at a loss as the prices can be very cheap); ASDA George and Sainsbury's Tu Clothing have big sales throughout the year and are great places to get basics; Marks & Spencer has a few big sales such as 50% in the Summer and is favourite with LD male members.
- Sample Sales - Found in cities, sample sales are a great opportunity to get discounted designer or boutique clothing. Traditionally, it's when fashion designers can get feedback on new lines of clothing. Now however, it's grown to an industry in itself and you'll find many pop-up stores and independent labels doing their own thing.
- Swishing - Rustle clothes from each other at a swishing event. This is where you meet other people and swap clothes. Usually it's a like-for-like swap, but some are a little bit more sophisticated where you hand in your items, get tokens for the value of it, and then exchange those tokens to get something else. There are many swishing events, again mostly in cities.
- Learn to do your own alterations - Sometimes you may find a bargain but it's just not quite the right size. Fear not! Alterations are a great skill to learn and can save you hundreds in repairs, as well as tweaking clothes to get that wow effect. As a general rule, it's much easier to make something smaller than it is to make something bigger. And if you're tapering, remember to keep the cloth inside and not to cut it away so that you can make it bigger again if needed. P.S. Did you know I used to be a suit tailor?