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Off-Season Shopping Tips

I’m a thrifty shopper, always have been and always will be. I pride myself on finding designer digs for always at least half the price and I never buy something unless it’s on sale. It might sound silly, but chances are I have more outfits in my wardrobe than those who buy full price, and more money in my bank.

There are many tricks and tips to buying high quality items for less, but the best one is off-season shopping. It may feel dumb buying a pair of boots when the temperature outside is reaching 100 degrees, but when those boots are only $40.00 compared to the $180.00 they were, you will be feeling smart in the snow.

When to Shop

Shopping off-season is not as simple as you think; you can’t just go to the mall in the middle of the winter and expect to find bathing suits on sale. There are specific times within the seasons when stores start discounting their past season fashions to make room for their new season trends.

The best time to purchase summer clothing from bathing suits to flip flops is the last weeks of August and first weeks of September. Summer may still be on the consumers mind but the fashion world is already thinking about selling fall outfits, and planning winter ones to come. Summer items will drop their prices by at least half and special coupons will come out.

Unfortunately there isn’t a perfect time to shop for fall clothing because fall is so short and goes into the holidays. During the Holiday’s you may see some fall items hit the sales wrack as stores push for winter trends as gifts.

The best time to buy a winter jacket, boots, gloves, tights and anything else that keeps you warm is the last week of February and the first weeks of March when spring outfits start popping up. Spring clothing will go on sale right around June/July, but again because it is a short season you must be quick with purchasing since these deals don’t last too long.

Your favorite little boutique or large department stores are not where you want to head for off-season sales. Boutiques create a limited amount of clothing, so sales are rare and department stores usually send their off-season clothing to discount stores like TJ-MAX and Macy’s (two great places to shop on a dime anytime of the year).

The places that will offer the best off-season deals will be online stores and brand name clothing stores, think Urban Outfitters, Armani Exchange, Express, Abrecrombie & Fitch, H&M etc. If you sign up for their newsletters you will know when their sales start and will receive extra coupons too.

Pros & Cons

The biggest con to buying off season is that you will be buying last year’s trends, and if you care about those things, it will suck. However, when you shop off season you should try to ONLY buy key pieces, like black blazers, solid colored items, and shoes that aren’t funky. This way you can wear the pieces no matter what season. If you are a trend follower, my advice is to revamp your cheap clothes when the new season starts and turn it into a DIY trend project. If studs are popular, stud out that winter jacket from two seasons ago, if lace is popular; sew lace onto your 10.00 dollar bathing suit. Be creative and make it your own.

The positives outweigh the cons, you save money, you will build an awesome wardrobe with a little bit of everything, you will get those hot items you couldn’t afford earlier in the year and you can create new pieces without feeling guilty because they will be so cheap.

Winter is almost here, but that means you can buy a swimdress for an off-season price!