If you’ve been to the mall lately to do a little clothes shopping, you may have experienced a bit of sticker shock. That’s because retailers are raising clothing prices 10% on average to offset rising costs of materials and labor. The bottom line is, you’re paying more, but you’re getting less. According to Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch, some manufacturers are cutting down on the quality and extras, and instead applying inexpensive tweaks to con shoppers into thinking they are getting more for their money, when in fact they’re not. They’re using less material, cheaper fabrics and different items on the clothing to make it less expensive.
Some examples of this are:
Skinny Jeans and Pants – these are promoted as a hot new trend for fall and back to school, but what you will notice is that they are softer and there is less material. Although the softer denim is a lot less expensive, there is a subtle price increase.
Unfinished Clothing – yes, believe it or not, many items are not completely finished such as hems on pants, skirts, and jackets. Also, cheaper quality stitching is used on pockets to save on thread. These are being marketed as a new look, but according to Woroch, the real reason is because it costs less to manufacturer unfinished clothing.
Zippers vs. Buttons – surprisingly, zippers are less expensive than buttons, so when it comes to mass production, manufacturers save a lot by making little tweaks and using zippers in clothing instead of buttons.
Use of alternate materials to replace cotton – with the rising cost of cotton, more clothing is being made with rayon. It’s a soft fabric and many people like it, however, the real reason it is becoming popular these days is simply because it is a less expensive to manufacture.
Less fabric in clothing – this is especially noticeable with many of the women’s clothing. For example, blouses and shirts are low cut and more revealing, once again saving on manufacturing costs.
So, how do we combat “con-flation”? According to Andrea Woroch, here are some tips to help you get more for your money.
Coupons – look for coupons online that are printable. Many stores offer them.
Swap, don’t buy – this is a great way to save money on clothing for youngsters who quickly grow out of their clothes. Visit treadup.com and swap.com
Hold out for the holidays – this is when you will find the best deals on fall and winter merchandise.
Wait for Online Sale Days – Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Free Shipping days will offer the best deals.
Shop off season – the fall is the best time to shop for summer clothing when the left-over items are on sale. Likewise, late winter, early spring is a great time for winter clothing sales.
Outlet Malls – this is a great place to shop for brand name items at discounted prices. Factory outlet malls are the venue manufacturers use to sell their items directly to the public, saving you money.