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How to save money on clothes & stay fashionable

Erica Mayyasi is a Red Sox fan in Manhattan. After stints at various magazines she now works full-time in public relations, though she continues to write for a number of sites including her blog etsymay.blogspot.com.

Be a savvy spender

The funky economy isn't going anywhere soon, but that doesn't mean you can't ride out the recession in style. Refreshing your wardrobe on a shoestring budget means shopping smart -- and we have some tips to help you out along the way.

Woman with Sale BagWait for sales

It's no big secret that waiting until the end of the season can save you some major cash. Stores need to clear out old merchandise to make room for the new, so they slash prices. Buying something you'll have to wait a while to wear might not sound fun, but trust us: The big savings make the delayed gratification that much sweeter. So don't just say you'll wait for the sales; do it. And just because you find something on sale at one store, don't automatically assume that it's the best price out there; shopping around always makes the best sense.

Hit the sample sales

Sample sales are the absolute best way to get your hands on designer duds at a fraction of the price. If you're in a big city, you can find sample sales all around you if you know where to look. Sites such as Top Button and Daily Candy list sales in major cities. If you're in New York City, you're in sample sale mecca. Check out New York Magazine for in-depth listings.

If you're not in a major city (or even if you are), you're still in luck because, in this technological age, everything is digital -- and that includes many sample sales. Sites such as Hautelook and Gilt will get you in on the action, no matter where you're shopping from.

>> More advice on hitting online sample sales

use Online coupons

Shopping online is often a great money saver, but a few tricks can save you even more money. Check out these online coupon database sites to see if there are any active codes for the online vendor you're shopping:

 

If that doesn't work, Google "coupon + code + [name of vendor]."

Reduce, reuse, recycle

Just like any other product, clothes are cheaper when bought used. Get past the stigma of secondhand clothing as ratty hand-me-downs; even the shabbiest consignment shop has treasures if you are willing to look for them. That said, many consignment shops are quite the purveyors of duds. One to check out: Buffalo Exchange, a chain of fabulous secondhand stores with more than two dozen locations.

More money-saving tips

How to save money on beauty products
5 wardrobe staples for 2009
Build a wardrobe on a budget

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