Inflation, high unemployment, stock market crashes and home repossessions. Is it any wonder that fashion retailers are suffering?! Many of you will be forced to make sacrifices this year, and the temptation is to let style take the back seat.

However, you needn’t put your wardrobe on the backburner.

You can still find a wealth of designer fashion bargains and discounted clothes if you know where to look. Here’s a quick run-down of six cost-effective buying decisions to make it through the financially tougher months ahead:

1. Buy in the sales. A resounding, “well, duh!” may come to mind, but rest assured there’ll be at least one garment that seems irresistible at full price, tempting you to part with your cash pre-reduction. Sign up to in-store newsletters to get the inside track on exclusive one day events and ‘blow-out’ sales.

2. Go Vintage. For those not in the know, ‘vintage’ is the new buzzword for ‘second hand’. Charity stores are a potential treasure trove of good quality fashion pieces. While I wouldn’t recommend buying your next suit from a garage sale, you may find a barely-used jacket for a fraction of the price you’d pay new.

3. Explore Outlet villages. Where end-of-line, end-of-season stock eventually lands. Outlet villages are notoriously unreliable when it comes to sizing and ranges, but you can at least be guaranteed a bargain even if it means sacrificing what you want for what you need.

Image: Roger Kirby

4. Friend Swaps. Friends come in different shapes and sizes, but scarves and ties are typically ‘one size fits all’. If you have a good friend with great taste in fashion, why not suggest an exchange program – you get something from their collection you like, and they get something from yours.

5. Freecycling. On a similar note to friendship swapping, freecycling is a great new opportunity to get hold of some freebie wardrobe pieces. Log on to a reputable freecycling website and take a quick look at what’s on offer in your local area.

6. Hit The Net. For sales that never sleep, the World Wide Web is your savior; great bargains to be had 24/7, with some retailers offering huge discounts on designer brands. Even when you’ve found the garment of your dreams, you should still put off clicking the ‘buy’ button until you’ve checked a price comparison website and scoured Google for money off coupons. Don’t forget the power of social networking sites like Twitter either…

Hopefully this post has given you a few ideas on how to snap up great clothes on the cheap. In the next post I’ll be taking a look at how you can save even more money by getting top ‘Hollywood’ looks from high-street retailers. As always, feel free to leave any comments.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

One Response