One of the areas in which I save money is in clothing. I only buy clothing when it is necessary, such as when a clothing item shrinks, becomes hopelessly stained or just plain doesn't fit anymore because I have gained some weight. As you know, I'm working on the weight issue. I buy solid-colored, classic-styled clothes that stay in fashion for long periods of time. I stay away from fad items which will look horribly dated the next year.

It has been a while since I purchased a suit, and after accidentally washing a pair of dry clean-only suit pants, I found myself needing a new suit for an upcoming company Christmas party. Luckily, there is a Stein Mart near my home.

Stein Mart is a lot like T.J. Maxx or Burlington Coat factory. It sells name brand clothing at closeout prices. Even in these stores, I stick to the clearance racks to save even more money. It was there that I found my new suit today: a dark gray, pinstriped men's Claiborne three-button two-piece suit. Normally, this suit retails for $400. The Stein Mart price was $239. However, I got it from the clearance rack, and today there was a 50 percent off sale. My price, after tax: $113. Total savings: $287 off retail.

Whenever possible, NEVER pay full retail for clothing. You CAN get nice, name brand clothing which will last you for years for a very low price, if you know where to look.

Bottom line: always check clearance racks.

5 comments

  1. BeachNerd // December 9, 2007 at 5:50 PM  

    I too was happy this weekend. At a local "high end" consignment shop, I got lined wool Anne Taylor Loft pants in a current style, a like new Jones New York two piece pantsuit, a blazer (needs the buttons moved, but it was on the dollar rack), and a cool necklace, for a total of 42.00. Higher end consignments shops are great for work clothes!

  2. Mike // December 9, 2007 at 7:26 PM  

    Stein Mart is NOT a lot like TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat Factory. Those stores tend to sell seconds, irregulars, and out of season merchandise. Stein Mart sells current season merchandise at lower prices because they are able to partner with designers without additional cost for advertising specific names. You'll notice that Stein Mart rarely advertises specific names, but the names can be found once you visit the store. Hence their old tagline, "Once you go, you get it." The aforementioned retailers are slums compared to Stein Mart.

  3. SavvyFrugality // December 9, 2007 at 8:49 PM  

    Hi Beachnerd,

    Great find at the consignment shop! I like consignment shops, too. However, the ones near my house tend to be very overpriced. In fact, I can often find things on sale at regular retail stores for the same price or less than what I find at some of the better consignment stores in my area.

  4. SavvyFrugality // December 9, 2007 at 8:54 PM  

    Hi Mike,

    Well, I'm surprised that my comparison of Stein Mart to TJ Maxx or Burlington Coat factory would elicit such a strong response. Quite frankly, we have a very nice Burlington Coat Factory in Oklahoma City, and it is not full of out-of-season, irregular merchandise. The suits and blazers I find there are every bit as nice as those I find at Stein Mart. T.J. Maxx...well, I'll give you that one. I really have to pick and choose when I shop there, but I do still find nice stuff.
    As an aside, I was incorrect about the price I paid for my suit at Stein Mart. There was an in-store coupon applied to the sale, and I also filled out an application for a "preferred customer card" (it is not a credit card), which saved me even more money. After checking my receipt, I see that I actually paid only $70 for my suit. Even better!

  5. BeachNerd // December 10, 2007 at 9:22 PM  

    Our consignment shop is also overpriced, but they have certain days of the week for discounts, i.e. Military Day, Seniors Day, Student's Day, Manager's Choice. Plus they have a frequent buyer's card, I don't use it but many ladies do. The discounts make the trip worth it.

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