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Enhance Your Summer Wardrobe with $100 from Patch

Do you have a strategy for saving money while making certain you can still step out in style?

It’s hard to beat Florida’s heat when your wardrobe is anything but cool. The problem is coming up with the cold, hard cash necessary to outfit yourself and your family with the trendiest togs.

Patch understands!

That’s why we rolled out the contest. This week we’re giving away a $100 gift card one lucky winner can use to pick up some cool threads for their family’s wardrobe.

Entering our contest is easy, too! Just share your tips for stretching your clothes-buying dollars in the comments section below. Or, tell us how you save money in other ways so you can step out in style all the time.

We’re taking entries from all 19 of Patch’s Florida sites, so we expect to hear some great ideas from you!

We’ll select one winner randomly from the comments submitted when this week’s contest closes on Friday, July 13, at noon. The winner will be notified directly and announced on the sites as quickly as possible.

We know you’re expecting some fine print from our legal department, so here it is:

* Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia who are 18 and older. * To enter, post a comment on this story.* All entries must be received by July 13, 2012, 12:00pm Eastern Time.* You may enter once.* 1 winner will be selected in a random drawing for each week’s drawing.* One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive the $100 gift card for Week One of the contest.* Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Shay Doerner July 09, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I always hit the sale/clearance racks first, and love getting sale notifications/coupons via email from places like Kohls.
amy tolcser July 09, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Swapping clothes in good condition with a friend has helped a lot of people I know!! Kids and adults alike. Also have a family garage sale and use the cash to but new threads. Easy! The barter feature on Craigslist is good too.
Regina @ Stroller Strides Tampa Bay July 09, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I love shopping sales at Beall's and stacking the sales with coupons! I also coupon a lot and shop online. Consignment stores are awesome, too.
Shannon Custin July 09, 2012 at 05:47 PM
I also tend to shop off season, and I try to buy stuff for my kids to grow into when I see items on sale.
Vicki July 09, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Ever since being a single mom, many many years ago, I have always loved thrift store shopping. I can not even comprehend spending $20 on a single item of clothing! My biggest secret is my favorite thrift shop changes tag colors every Sunday for those items that are a $1.00... I have gotten some amazing articles for that $1, including a beautiful satin sun dress. Equally I enjoy visiting the Gulfport fresh market, the second Tuesday of each month for their clothing swap. Limit 5 articles to swap. For the hundred dollars I would splurge on some items that my be full price at my favorite thrift shop and not have to hope and wait they are still there when their color comes up to be $1.
Tracey Suits July 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Outlets, sale racks, no need to pay retail. Also, wait until tax free/back to school shopping when buying clothes for the kids.
Kim Randall July 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Pay attention to the sales! Also, I visit the Midwest in September and always stock up on tanks and summery clothes that are on clearance there. Another way is to pay attention to retailers Social Media promotions (Facebook, Twitter etc...). Some places have really amazing discounts if you know what you're looking for.
Elizabeth July 09, 2012 at 08:42 PM
There are a few things I do to update my wardrobe for less. Signing up for rewards or loyalty programs; opting for children's sizes when possible; shopping outlet malls, discount stores like TJMAXX, Marshalls, Ross, Nordstrom Rack & consignment/resale stores and the sales racks for everything else are my local go-to's for savings. But I think I've saved the most money by waiting to shop until I visit family in colder climates. I find more options on the sales racks when I travel out of state since the need for warm weather options isn't as high as it is in Florida.
Jodi Adams July 09, 2012 at 10:05 PM
I buy a lot of my children's clothes at consignment shops and sales. They grow so fat and especially during the summer when they are outside a lot this comes in handy.
Melissa Burtless July 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM
I use the reward points on my store card after purchasing work clothes to select fun, casual items.
Jayne Krakowiak July 09, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Since a FL wardrobe is a casual one, I vowed to shop only at resale, consignment and thrift shops and have followed that vow (pretty much!) for the last 7 years. I like the worn look in jeans so I go to GOODWILL. Also, thanks to the tailoring clesses Mom signed me up for, I have the skills to repurpose/resize clothes.
Jennifer Lamont July 09, 2012 at 11:04 PM
1. Go to thrift stores! They often have vintage and brand-new clothes that didn't fit, not because they were ruined. 2. When at the mall, go to the cheapest stores first for stand-out and standard pieces and buy your clothing out-of-season. Plus, most stores post sales online so you can plan your shopping trips accordingly. 3. Subscribe to make-up and clothing brands on Tumblr and Twitter to get free items. Also, go to websites like heyitsfree.com, or feedthepig.com for other samples and tips. 4. Host a swap meet with family and friends to make room in your closet and get new outfits. 5. Learn how to sew, darn, or mend instead of wasting money by sending ripped garments to tailors. Any stains or rips can be covered with lace or any other fabric. 6. On the same note, vintage dresses can be used as new fabrics or covered for a fierce look. 7.Sticky zippers? For metal, use a graphite pencil and rub over the teeth. Nylon, use a similar-colored wax candle. 8. Always keep replacement buttons for a quick swap when the original button falls. When re-sewing a button, place a matchstick underneath for a looser fit. 9. When a garment becomes too loose or just unsuitable for daily wear, don't toss it! Re-use as pajamas, rags, or patches for ripped outfits. 10. Try on clothes in the changing room so if the garment is awkward, tight, or ugly, you know before you buy.
Alex Tiegen July 09, 2012 at 11:14 PM
From cchouraki my "stretch-your-dollar" for seasonal clothing buying is to first get an idea or few thoughts together on what you need in your wardrobe, looking through and trying on your clothing that you currently have is a great way to narrow down your needs versus wants. When you look through your current clothing, then try to figure out what you no longer wear versus your favorites, your favorites should include the colors that look best for your physical apperances for example, if you have a warm or cool skintone, cools look best in neutrals and warm colors such as red or purple, warm look great in blue or green. Next step is to find items to donate and drop them off at salv.army, goodwill or any secondhand store. Next, i personally enjoy looking at goodwill for cheap finds, i have boughten many expensive brand name items for drastically lower prices such as michael kors blouses, anne taylor loft and bcbg tops. If you prefer other ways to shop, id say Ross & tj maxx are also excellent. perhaps you could even take a list of ideas along with you to keep you from impulses :) those are my ideas for saving money & making your dollar go further for seasonal shopping, hope it helps.
Brianne Small July 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I always stop at the sale racks first and remember to try on as many options as possible. A shirt might look strange on the rack, but fit your curves fantastically! Also, finding clothing pieces that are versatile and can be worn in many ways. Last thing, spend a few extra minutes on hair and make-up and make sure fingers and toes are freshly polished!
Michael D. July 10, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Thrift Stores and Sales. And look through the closet for items not worn in a while.
Stephanie Fulk July 10, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I sell all the old clothes to buy new ones. Thred up is a great site to sell kids clothes. They will send you a postage paid bag, you mail it in and they will tell you how much its worth. You can use the credit on their site or have it put in your PayPal account. I like designer clothes, so on a budget it can be difficult. I go to liketwice.com They will buy the old clothes (postage paid) and send you a check. Their site is filled with very nice barely used designer clothes. Other then that, buy out of season.
Lydia0703 July 10, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Every few months I organize a "swap" party with 5 or 6 girlfriends. Everyone brings the clothes that they are ready to pass on and I supply the sangria! Good times and cute clothes for all.
Mary in LOL July 11, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I want bargains, not cheap clothes. I do not purchase clothes that are made of shoddy materials or have poor workmanship. I expect a pair of socks and underwear to last a year, and I want to be able to pass down shirts, pants, and coats to another child. I "shop ahead". I have a storage trunk in my son's closet that is filled with new name brand shirts, pants, and underwear purchased for 75-90% off. There are a few new coats hanging in our closet, purchased at the same rate of discount. Ditto sweaters, scarves, gloves, and other cool weather gear. All a size or two larger than he now wears. I know which stores and outlets have the best prices. I watch for sales, take advantage of specials, filter through discount racks, and take advantage of end of season clearance items - but I gain an edge by purchasing tomorrow's clothes at today's pre-inflation prices. One of the advantages of shopping ahead is the ability to view an entire wardrobe in one place. If I purchase a dozen shirts, do I have pants that coordinate? Do I have socks to match? I go into stores with an idea of what I need, and I have plenty of time to wait for the best prices. As a season approaches, I go through the trunk and take out clothes that fit, pass down his outgrown clothes, and start collecting new items. If he goes through an unexpected growth spurt, no worries... just reach in the closet and pull out the next size up.
Merlina Glass July 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I have a friend who lives for being trendy. I love to shop in her closet when she's cleaning it out. Some items are brand new with tags and others are timeless like jeans and little black dresses. Gotta love your friends!!
Kyrja July 11, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Well - I am not the LEAST "Trendy" or fashionable, but I do create quite a few costumes for various events. You would not believe the things you can make out of curtains! We just got the most-marvelous curtains from an estate sale. Perfect for a couple of hooded robes.
Jeanie Miller July 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM
For budget friendly fashionistas thrift shops, Good Will and Plato's Closet are all a must. I like to go to high end boutiques to get ideas of what I like that is "in season", then hit up all of my local second hand sotres until I find what I want. I have a blast doing it and end up seriously saving a lot!
Erline McGrath July 12, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I usually shop for my kids shoes at Wal-Mart during their end of season sales. I buy them in a size or 2 big, so they can fit into them next year.
xotchil danio July 12, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Since moving to FL begining of January, I got rid of a lot of winter clothes from NJ. I only bought a few shorts for my daughter because she didn't have any. I usully go to thrift shops. Since I haven't been called back to any of the many places I applied to for jobs, I can't afford new clothes. If i do get called for one, I really won't have wardrobe for it. I have 1 pair of pants and 3 or 4 shirts that are nice enough for work.
Tena B. July 12, 2012 at 01:36 PM
As single parents we stretch our dollars for everything. I shop at thrift stores and clearance racks and have found several websites that offer low cost (new) clothing. A friend guided me to ebay where I find a lot of items. I often consider what can be matched. (All of these tops can be worn with this skirt for a different look.) One item I do not buy used is shoes. Our feet carry us where we need to be and a good pair of shoes is essential.
Diane Warholic July 12, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I have found great deals on jeans and pants at thrift stores .... many have never been worn. TJ Max and Ross have great prices on tops. I also like to shop at the Home Shopping Stores in Brandon and Tampa; many times they also run great sales that they are almost giving you the clothes for free!
Ann July 12, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Two ways to save: Sign up for your favorite store's charge card and you will get a constant stream of coupons mailed to you and alot of times, free shipping or 99 cents to ship when ordering from them online. For the stores you don't have a charge card with, sign up for their email alerts and they will send you coupons to print out or a coupon code to buy online. This saves tons of money, trust me.
Tanya Holesapple July 13, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Goodwill - I always find great buys at our local Goodwill store. It keeps clothing out of our landfills, the money that I spend there goes towards a good cause, & the clothing is always really inexpensive.
Laura C July 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Don't be afraid to invest some money in some great basics: black pants, khaki pants, and a great black dress. You will actually save money by being able to use these pieces for years. Shop thrift stores and clearance sales for trendy items and accessories to complete your outfits.
Amanda July 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Target is a great resource for basics and accessories on the cheap!
D.W. July 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
My favorite place to shop for clothing deals is Macys!! On most days Macys prices are more than I'm willing to spend, so I wait until their One Day Sales! Just last month they had an amazing 1-day sale where the clearance was an additional 40% off and then you can print out a $10 off $25 coupon on their website!! I paid $70, my savings were over $180 and I got 18 items (adults and kids clothes including a pair of men's khakis that were originally $55!)! I never, ever pay full price for great quality clothing for my kids, my self, husband and even for friends and family who are having babies! You can buy Carter's baby clothing for under $3 when they're normally $15-20 a piece. Love the Macy's 1 Day sales!!

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