Ask the Readers: How Do You Save on Winter Clothes?

by Ashley Jacobs on 29 November 2011 154 comments
Photo: Janna Wages

Winter is upon us and the cold weather has set in. It’s time to break out the coats and other warm clothes. For many people, that means pulling winter clothes out of storage. For others, it means heading to the mall to update their winter wardrobe.

How do you save on winter clothes? Do you shop in the off-season? Instead of hitting the mall, do you shop at thrift stores?

Tell us how you save on winter clothes and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, December 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after December 5th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.

Good Luck!

0
No votes yet
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

154 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Guest's picture
Diane

I like you on facebook!

Guest's picture
kristina

I bought a really nice wool pea coat from a thrift shop and saved a bundle.

Guest's picture
Sara

I use a 3 fold strategy. 1. I buy things like gloves, snow pants, hats and scarves at yard sales, especially gloves. Because gloves are so easy to lose, I always have a box of replacement ones, usually purchased for $1 or less. 2. I buy things like winter coats at yard sales or the thrift store, especially for outdoor activities like walking, hiking and shoveling snow or making snow men. I don't care so much if they get beat up and I wear them out. 3. I purchase quality outerwear for work and social situations when it goes on sale in the mid to late winter. Last year I bought a coat originally marked $240 for around $50. It is a very nice coat to wear for work and is a style that should work for me for a number of years. I also follow these same tips for my children.

Ashley Jacobs's picture

That sounds like a great strategy! :)

Guest's picture
debbie

layering

Guest's picture
bryan

I shop when end of season clothes are on Clearance.

Liked on facebook.

Guest's picture
debbie

i liked wise bread on facebook

Guest's picture
Sara verma

I am new to cold I came from very hot weather all the time of the year (india). So deal with cold I wear thermal wear and thin layers after that . So I look kind a little bit fat but okay I am not getting cold so that is important. And at the end of winter I buy stuff discounted prices so no need to spend lot of money.

Guest's picture
threadbndr

Thrift stores, suplus stores and yard sales for kid's coats and boots. They outgrow them so fast, that there's usually less than a season's worth of wear. Hand-me-downs from siblings, cousins, co-worker's kids help, too.

When shopping for kid's outerwear early in winter, buy the next size up (see above re outgrowing before the season ends). When shopping off season, buy two sizes up.

If you have a knitter in the family, ask for caps, mittens, scarves for gifts. Your knitter gets pleasure from the making and you get warm winter woolies. Natural fibers are best.

Two pairs of socks in your boots - thin, soft inner pair, outer wooly, tough pair. Wool insulates even when wet.

Guest's picture
Brandon P.

I usually save on winter clothes by buying them in the summer. I won't usually buy that many jackets and pants but if I find something that I know I can use in a few months later then I'll definitely buy them.

Guest's picture
Amy

Definitely shop in the off season. "Spring" in Michigan doesn't really start until the end of April, but that doesn't stop department stores from putting outerwear on deep discount long before that. My husband and I both got great deals on Columbia jackets w/ zip-out fleeces at Kohl's. They are great for winter but since they are 2-pieces, you use it almost all year.

Guest's picture
Alex

My key to saving on winter clothes is treating the winter clothes with care to keep them lasting. One winter jacket I have is around 15 years old. Not bad considering it represents half my life.

Guest's picture
Guest

I don't buy anything that can't be washed easily, and I don't have any heavy winter coat.
Instead I layer different items to keep warm.

Guest's picture
Guest

I live in South Dakota so warm coats are a must. I try to save money by buying quality coats on sale and then keeping them in good condition (clean, buttons reattached, etc.) for several years.

Guest's picture
Kayla K

I have a pretty basic wardrobe of fitted Gap t-shirts, casual pants, and skirts. Over the winter I add cardigans, jackets, tights, and scarves.

Guest's picture
Genny

I live in the cold midwest, and find that thermal undershirts under shirts and lightweight sweaters work well. I also love ruanas (shawls) to put on over my clothes at work and at home.

Guest's picture
Michelle W

I live in the Pacific NW AND I run cold all the time so "winter" clothing is often "year-round" clothing for me. Anymore, I buy almost all of my clothes at second hand stores. It can be pretty time-consuming and I have to pick through a lot of junk but I usually end up with some killer deals on quality clothes. It's practically ruined me for retail!

Guest's picture

A great way to save money on clothing is to shop at high-end stores in off seasons like shop for summer in the winter and shop for winter clothing in the summer I save all the time this way and save big.

Guest's picture
Jesort415

I buy mine hubbys and the kids clothes off season. You should see the closet full of name brand stuff they have for summer for like 75-85% off. Plus SIL always gives me hand me downs since our kids are a year off from each other (her son 5 mine 4, etc).

Guest's picture
vicki wells

My coats have a life span of 3-5 years. I wash them separate and dry on hanger. a few coats i have added new buttons or arm patches to up date a look get my scarfs at yard sales during the summer for a quarter i initially buy a good quality boot with thick soles-usually ugly looking but dry and warm and i don't skimp on socks-cause if my feet are warm so am i!!

Guest's picture
TrishB

Clearance racks and sales. Thrift stores sometimes, but the pickings seem to have gotten slim and the prices have gone way up.

Guest's picture
vivian

i go shopping the day after xmas- EARLY and print out coupons for each store . you save a ton of money! and i go with a list, a friend, and make sure i eat a good breakfast that day. i try not to stray from the list and just get the necessities for the winter. i try and get out before the mall gets too crowded!

Guest's picture
Becca

I do most of the suggestions of prior posters, including mainly buying used winter wear, making it last, repairing zippers, patching kids snow pants and so on. But some of these strategies don't work well in all cases. Outdoor clothing for older boys and men is difficult, if not near near impossible, to find used. Sometimes older kids who play winter sports need specialized winter wear. For these cases we use a different strategy.

We have a Cabela's Visa credit card, which has no annual fee. We always pay off the card every month. Through normal credit-card use we accumulate a couple hundred dollars worth of points each year that can be redeemed for the Cabela's goods, including high-quality outdoor wear. For example, a daughter who works outdoors wanted a set of thermal underwear that usually cost about $60 for the set. If we buy enough stuff with these points, the shipping is also free. Every year we usually satisfy some of our Christmas gifts using Cabela points.

Guest's picture
Rebekah

I shop at thrift stores and most of my Christmas wish list is clothes.

Guest's picture
Rebecca B. A. R.

I buy off-season and get this on clearance during the year before winter starts for winter clothing.

Guest's picture
debbie

although i am a very feminine female...i buy a very large sweatshirt jacket in the men's department at wally world for under $15 ...these wash well and hold up just fine...after several years of getting 1 per year, i now have a colorful collection to coordinate with my outfits. Why men's?...better construction, longer and cheaper than those flimsy ones in the women's dept.

Guest's picture
Hollie

I have a coat that is a few years old, but still in good shape and not completely outdated. For my kids, I try to buy on sale after the season for next year or periodically check a local consignment shop for snowbibs, pants, etc. Heavy coats are used for only a couple of months down here, so it seems silly to pay full price for them.

Guest's picture
Guest

I look through thrift shops and sales in stores. I also shop for winter clothes at the end of the season to save for the next year.

Guest's picture

Since we live in Phoenix and see the snow only if we travel to Flagstaff in the winter months we usually shop at the local thrift shops. Our children grow out of clothes quickly and it doesn't make sense to buy new clothing for one trip to snow country per year. We do purchase new snow boots for them, buying the next larger size to get a couple years use.

Guest's picture
abovemind

I usually shop at goodwill or consignment shops. If I do have to buy something new I usually know way ahead of time, i.e. when I packup my winter clothes in the spring. I then just shop around in the spring when things will be cheaper, and when people will be getting rid of those clothes and donating them.

Guest's picture
abovemind

Just liked you on facebook

Guest's picture
dahbou

My sister has older kids and always passes on their outgrown winter clothes. I also hit up the local thrift stores and yard sales in the summer.

Guest's picture
dahbou

I Liked you on FB (Terri Winsome).

Guest's picture
dahbou

I follow on Twitter as @didyouyarnthat and tweeted:
https://twitter.com/#!/didyouyarnthat/status/142200372939857920

Guest's picture

I've been "lucky" enough that my son is outgrowing clothes that are my size, and I love the style/color/feel to them. New clothes for me without an additional price tag! Of course, it usually means he needs some larger clothes, too. Between consignment shops, thrift shops, clothing giveaways, and the occasional mall purchase, we're doing pretty good. :)

Guest's picture
Julie

We shop at thrift stores! We find very nice items that are brand name, like new. Adding a few pieces like this to our wardrobe, we can make new outfits with what we already have. I just found a new pair of Clark shoes that I can wear to work. They were less than $5 & are beautiful!

Ashley Jacobs's picture

Wow, that sounds like a really good deal!

Guest's picture
Diana Foster

I buy very little winter clothing. Instead I buy clothes that can be worn year round and then chose a basic coat/jacket from my closet that I have owned for years over my outfit.

Guest's picture
Charmaine

I buy a good quality, well made coat that will last longer than 5 years in a classic style & neutral colour. I don't play into trends with outerwear because it's a big ticket item & I don't want it to go out of style, but I do have quite a few fun coloured scarves so the coat doesn't look boring & drab. And then I take care of that coat buy bringing it to the dry cleaners before I store it away for the summer.
Also, if I'm not in dire need of a winter coat I'll wait until spring when the coats are on sale.

Guest's picture
Dee Dee

This year I am going to make do with just wearing what I already. If I would have really needed new items I would wait for sales and a coupon to go with it at the local department store.

Guest's picture

Layer! I only have a handful of winter-only clothes. I have about 5 long-sleeves shirts (good for winter and fall) and 5 white longsleeve shirts. Just add a short sleeve tee or polo over the top and then I can also use my hoodie.
My BEST savings technique. Buy a Carhartt coat (thermal lined). Even paying full price wasn't so bad as it has lasted 7 years and will last at least another 7 (if not longer). It's a work coat so it's built to last and the thermal lined is so warm I could wear it with only a short sleeve shirt and be fine.

Guest's picture
Elizabeth S.

I Like (love) your Facebook page!

Guest's picture
Elizabeth S.

My husband and I are the same size we have been for years so we dont have to buy things every year. Our oldest daughter has always been right on track with sizes for her age so we buy things on clearance when the season is over for the next year and once she outgrows them we hand them down to our youngest or to someone who needs them.
The biggest way to save is to take care of what you have!

Guest's picture
gt0163c

Partly I live in Texas, so not only do I not need a lot of winter clothes but also the winter clothes that I have don't get a lot of wear, so they last. But when I do buy winter clothes, I try to shop off season. I also find that camping and outdoor stores (especially online...campmor.com, sierratradingpost.com, etc) often have some great deals. It might be last year's "model", but that doesn't really bother me.

Guest's picture
Sherrie

Both eBay and Amazon have given me access to brand new seasonal clothing at economical prices. I have access to direct-to-consumer wholesale prices on everything from socks to thermal underwear to gloves to coats. On eBay, I can narrow my search based upon price (low to high), color, brand name, U.S. addresses only etc. I would say 99% of my transaction experiences have been favorable. The other 1% I don't sweat over. ♥

Guest's picture
BRB

I usually only shop at thrift stores, but land's end and jcpenny along with kohls have been having some killer online sales for the Christmas season.

Guest's picture
renee

i buy at the end of the season :)

Guest's picture
renee

i like you on facebook

Guest's picture
renee

https://twitter.com/#!/ReneeAChapman/status/142806705133191168

Guest's picture
Becky

Nearby Goodwill & thrift stores provided me with coats, sweaters and some awesome Eddie Bauer boots for a fraction of the price of new. And most showed no wear.

End of season clearance for hats, mittens, gloves. I also crochet hats & scarfs from garage sale yarn finds.

Checking known clearance spots (like Target endcaps) for items like socks & thermal underwear after season. For the kids, I buy two sizes up.

Guest's picture
Carmen

I wear a lot of layered clothing at work - turtlenecks and sweaters in various colors. Every couple of years I either buy a couple new sweaters or ask for them as Christmas gifts. Then I take care of them so they last 10 years or more.

Guest's picture
Diana

I save by taking care of what I already have - I'm a champ at darning and reattaching buttons. You don't have to replace what ain't broke.

Guest's picture

I save on winter clothes by doing the following:

1-Maintaining my weight so I don't need different sizes all the time

2-Taking care of what I have, pay extra attention to details in laundering instructions, etc. When I was 12 I put a wool sweater (that was my stepmother's) in the regular washer and dryer. Lesson learned, never again.

3-Buying off-season, got a great brand-new lined navy blue wool blend suit on the clearance rack in June for yard sale prices, I think it was $17, great quality, will last forever.

4-Check thrift stores for sweaters, jackets and coats. Amazing how many you can find new with tags for only a few dollars, so many people get them as gifts and never wear them, especially here in the south.

Guest's picture
Mar

I shop off season...have been very lucky