Cheap Womens Clothes: You Don't Have to Spend A Fortune to Look Like a Million Bucks

Cheap womens clothes do not have to be poorly made or lack style. The trick is to shop wisely.

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Women's career clothes and pant suits – often three-figure items – can be found for less than $50.

The World Wide Web makes it easier than ever to find sales and a wide variety of styles and sizes.

Don't Sacrifice Quality for Price

Consignment and resale shops in your community may be good sources for cheap womens clothes.

Wealthy women donate expensive items that can be integrated into your women's career clothes wardrobe.

You can even find really cheap designer clothes that you might not be able to afford any other way.

If you don't mind used clothing, this is a fine way to find high-quality cheap womens clothes.

Tailoring: What's Easy to Fix?

It helps to know a little about clothing construction and how much your local tailor or seamstress costs before buying something that does not fit.

Easy to fix problems include:

Hemlines. Women's pant suits may be tailored to shorten the legs. You may be able to take up a skirt or dress hemline on your own -- even if you do not sew. Try a good brand of iron-on hem tape.

Buttons. Switch out undistinguished buttons with a quick trip to your local fabric store. If you are crafty, you can paint buttons or even make your own from craft clay.

Good fit and upscale touches, such as nice buttons, ensure that your cheap womens clothes do not look cheap when you wear them.

Tailoring Waistlines to Fit

Remaking a waistline is time-consuming for the seamstress.

The waistband must be delicately removed by carefully tearing out the stitches one by one.

Extra fabric is removed by increasing the darts or reshaping the seams.

Then, the waistband is sewn back.

All of this involves close work that has to be done well to look right.

If there is only a small amount of excess fabric, the tailor may run some elastic through the back part of the waistline. I like this, because my weight fluctuates. True fashion divas scorn this.

Armholes and Shoulders Are Not Worth Fixing

Clothing that is too small cannot be made larger.

It is not worth having a tailor re-cut a too-large garment -- even if you love it. It is far easier to make an item from yard goods than to pull apart a garment stitch-by-stick to make it smaller. I tried having a silk skirt that was at least two sizes too big remade; it still does not look right after alteration and touch-up on that job.

Armholes are a trouble spot not worth tailoring. If your bra shows from a too-large sleeveless armhole, the dress or top is too large.

If the shoulder seam of a dress or jacket drops below the outermost edge of the curve of your shoulder, you will look like an orphan wearing someone's cast-off clothing.

Anything too tight is probably not worth fixing. Letting out anything is risky, because most likely the original seam will show in the fabric. There may not even be enough seam fabric to let out.

Moreover, you are going to pay for the tailor's time letting out all those stitches, a really dreadful task. Your savings on your purchase will soon be consumed by trying to fix something that never should have be bought.

One Woman's Cheap Is Another Woman's Affordable

One problem is defining what cheap means. One woman's cheap is another’s unaffordable.

For example, it's challenging to find well-cut, well-made women's pant suits for less than $150. Each of us must decide for herself what constitutes cheap women's clothes.

Here are some tips for purchasing cheap womens clothes. Most of the selections on this page are appropriate as women's career clothes.

Bargain Tips

Use basic wardrobe planning to get the most wear out of every item.

Don’t buy things on the spur-of-the-moment. Assess what you need and plan purchases to make the most of every clothing dollar.

Never buy a thing because you like the price, if you don't like the style or color or suspect it won't look good on you. Cheap womens clothes are not a bargain if you wear the garment once and never want to put it on again.

Invest in women's career clothes that will give you a professional image.

Save cheap women's clothes for gardening, cooking, crafting, and other activities that are hard on clothing. Or use up older garments this way.

Check for finishing. Loose and hanging threads on inside seams, loose buttons are signs of poor quality.

Uneven hems may mar skirts, dresses, and pants.

Make sure both sides of a collar are symmetrical, button front jackets and blouses hang straight, and that appliqués are properly centered.

Cut Corners on Trendy Accessories That Will Soon Go Out of Style

Sacrifice quality on trendy items or colors-of-the-season that soon will be out of style.

Save clothing budget dollars for wardrobe staples, such as women's career clothes, that must last for several years.

Consider swapping clothing with gal pals and family.

When you are tired of an item that someone else loves, give it away. It will be your turn for the cheapest of women's clothes – the free gift – the next time around.

Buy clothes out-of-season and save them. Be sure to choose figure-flattering classic styles. For example, buy cheap summer clothes during fall and winter clearance sales.

In summary, following simple guidelines will ensure that your cheap women's clothes never look cheap or dated. Even women's career clothes and pant suits may be found for less than $50 at Fashion After 50.

More Ways to Build Your Wardrobe Economically

Charity stores, resale and consignment shops, and online auctions that sell gently-used fashion can be a way to buy high-quality clothing that otherwise might be out of your price range.

Here are some suggestions from readers about how to maximize your clothing budget, where to find high quality resale clothing and really cheap designer clothes

Use this form to share your tips for finding cheap womens clothes and bargains.

How Do You Find Fashion Bargains? Share Your Tips

Do you have a favorite place to shop for really-cheap-designer clothes and quality fashion? Are you willing to share?

What is the best -- or the worst -- resale item you ever purchased? Do you have a story or suggestion that will help the rest of us?

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