How to buy clothes

First of all, see if you need to buy anything at all. This should happen less often if you have a disciplined wardrobe. You could also try:

  • Laying out all your existing clothes and see what you have. Play around with putting outfits in different combinations, and you may well find that you have more than you thought.
  • Doing a clothes swap with your family or friends. Sometimes one girl’s mistake is another girl’s favourite item, and this way you can both save money and avoid waste.
  • Making or adapting your own clothes. Even with very simple sewing skills, you can change a button or add a trim.

This website has lots more ideas to help you make the most of the clothes you already have.

Shop with a plan

If you do need to buy clothes:

  • Decide what you can spend and work out the best way of spending it. If you already have lots of tops, perhaps you should buy the best pair of jeans you can afford? If you already have some good trousers, perhaps you could give yourself different looks by buying two or three cheap-ish tops?
  • Sometimes, it is worth saving up for one particular item that you really, really want or that you know will make everything else in your wardrobe come to life – a stunning pair of shoes, a fantastic bag, a luxurious scarf.

Try to try everything on

  • Clothes can sometimes look very different on your body than in a picture or on the hanger.
  • Trying on clothes can be an emotional experience
  • If you find yourself trying on lots and liking nothing, postpone your shopping to another day.
  • You generally know immediately if you put on something you like; you just feel better and cannot help smiling at yourself in the mirror.
  • But take your time. Look carefully from all angles, think what it goes with, check that it’s washable and you can afford it.

You might also be interested in our pages on:

Good shops and websites for teenage girls' clothes
Where to buy clothes

Get the right fit and balance in your clothes

budgeting advice for teenagers