The cost of clothes and shoes is rising even faster than other consumer goods, making it even more important that you stay budget-savvy when you're updating your wardrobe.
Inflation rose to 5.5% in January, according to the ONS, but clothes and shoes were up even more, costing 6.3% more than the same month last year.
When Which? ran a Twitter poll, the vast majority (80%) of the 166 respondents said they usually spend under £30 on clothes each month, while 16% spent between £30 and £100.
So if you're similarly budget-conscious, how can you keep yourclothes spending down despite rapidly rising prices? Read on for 15 expert tips on how to save money on your shoes and clothes.
Many big brands including Adidas, Nike, Converse and Dr Martens do children's versions of their most popular styles.
You don't pay VAT on children's clothes or shoes, so there are great savings to be made if you're a size 5 or under.
For example, a pair of Dr Martens 1460 youth white boots are £70 on the children's section of Schuh and go up to a size 5, but a pair of white 1460 'bex' boots in a size 5 retails at £159 - so you could potentially make a saving of £89.
These schemes all reward you for recycling old clothes:
'Swishing' means swapping items of clothing or footwear with other people.
It works best if you arrange a 'swishing party', where you can lay out all the clothes you're willing to swap and eye up anything that has caught your eye.
Even if you're not the same size as your friends, it can work really well for children's clothes.
Buying second-hand clothes is an obvious way to save money - we've rounded up the best ways to buy them.
|Where to buy||Benefits||Drawbacks|
|Car boot sales||You can haggle on price and check quality before purchasing.||They start very early and are held outside so can be wet and windy. No refunds. You may have to pay an entry fee.|
|Charity shops||All the money goes to charity to support good causes.||Can't guarantee the item you're searching for will be there.|
|Depop app||You can search for specific items and haggle on price. All sales made via the Depop BUY button are covered by seller protection.||Can't view the quality of the item before buying. You'll often have to pay for delivery.|
|eBay||You can search for specific items and bid, which means you could get a great deal, or sometimes 'buy it now' if you're in a hurry. Protected by eBay money back guarantee.||Can't view the quality of the item before buying and will often have to pay for delivery.|
|Facebook Marketplace||You can search for specific items and pick up for free if the seller's local.||Local transactions aren't covered by purchase protection so any refund would be at the seller's discretion.|
|Vinted app||You can search for specific items and haggle on price. All purchases have buyer protection.||Can't view the quality of the item before buying and you'll often have to pay for delivery. You have to pay for buyer protection, costing 3-8% of the item price plus 30-80p.|
You can often save 10% just by referring a friend or signing up to a newsletter.
You can also get offers by signing up to a loyalty programme. For example, the is free to join, gives all members free delivery and you can build up points for every purchase which eventually leads to money-off vouchers.
Getting value for money doesn't always mean going for the cheapest option. You may have to spend a little extra for a higher-quality item in order to save in the long run. However, that's not to say that the most expensive items are always the best quality.
A good way to check the quality before buying is to read the reviews and remember that if you are unhappy with the quality of clothes, you may be able to get a refund under the consumer rights act.
Toluwa Akindele-Ajani from Essex saved £1,384 by renting rather than buying clothes in 2021 - it's ideal if you need something to wear for a one-off occasion.
She said: 'I was looking for ways to consume less. Once I realised I didn't need to own everything I wore, I jumped right in.'
Renting a dress from By Rotation costs from £9. The minimum rental period can be as low as one day and the app charges 15% commission. You can also rent skiwear.
If your smart shoes have seen better days, consider taking them to the cobbler before buying a new pair.
A pair of men's smart shoes on John Lewis can cost anything from £70 to £450 depending on the brand and quality of leather, but you could replace the soles for as little as £30.
And you can buy a jumper debobbler for as little as £5 on Amazon to make your wool jumpers look new.
Washing your clothes too often could shorten their lifespan and wear them out quickly.
Levi's advises jeans be washed every 10 wears, and says they should be dried on a line (rather than a tumble dryer) to preserve the fit and avoid them shrinking.
It also says turning your jeans inside out and hanging them in a shady space will prevent them from fading and avoid soggy pockets.
High street shoe chains Schuh and Office both have specialist websites which sell reduced, ex-display shoes that may have minor wear-and-tear - and you can get big brands including Birkenstock, Adidas, Timberland.
The best way to approach sales season is to set a budget and make a list of any particular items you want and their current price - you could save them in your online shopping basket or take pictures in the store. This means if they go on sale, you will know exactly how much you will be saving, and whether it's really a bargain.
You may also be able to sign up for early access to discounts. For example, Zara offers shoppers that use its app first dibbs at the sale.
Black jeans are notorious for fading, but you can re-dye them for as little as £3.
You can buy Dylon pods of dye for your washing machine for around £6 on Amazon, or £3 for hand dye - this is much cheaper than buying a new pair of jeans.
If your jeans are beyond the stage of re-dyeing, they can still be used for other purposes before being thrown out. For example, old jeans can be cut into denim shorts, and can be handy for doing DIY around your home.
It's also worth checking your credit or debit card provider's app to see if it offers any specific cashback deals on a service you want.
Even if you don't have any bricks-and-mortar outlet stores near you, many brands have outlet stores on eBay, where you can save up to 70% on clothes.
Brands include Crocs, Sports Direct, Superdry, Office, Joules, Oliver Bonas. Once on the eBay website, just select brand outlets at the top to see what is available.
If you notice a missing button or stain on the item you want to buy, you might be able to haggle to get the price down.
The worst that can happen is they say no, and if they do, would you really want to be paying full price for something which is faulty? Buttons can easily be resewn on and stains can be removed - depending on how severe it looks in the store.
Watch out though - many shops will only offer a discount on the basis that you can't return the item if you change your mind.
Households across the UK are struggling right now with the rising cost of living.
Which? is dedicated to offering tips and advice on how to cut the cost of your household bills and make the most of your money.