“I like clothes that are simple and preferably cheap unless I’m being given it for free.”

Ben Chaplin, Actor

Pros and Cons of Cheap Clothing

advantages and disadvantages of cheap clothing

You go shopping on a regular basis and realize that you spend lots of money on clothes? Then you might have thought that saving money on clothes may be a good idea for you. In fact, by buying cheap clothes, you can save plenty of money which you can use for other things you like.

While there are some advantages of buying cheap, there are also many issues related to cheap clothes. Thus, stick with me since I show you all the pros and cons of buying cheap clothes in the following chapters.

Advantages of Buying Cheap Clothes

  1. You will have more money to spend on other things
  2. Buying cheap clothes enables you to get out of debt
  3. You will not have to worry about your cheap clothes that much
  4. People will not envy you
  5. Cheap clothes give you a higher level of freedom
  6. Looks shouldn’t matter that much
  7. You can focus on your character
  8. Your beauty will fade sooner or later anyway
  9. Buying expensive clothes is a waste of money
  10. You can refuse materialism and the bad things that may come along with it
  11. You can donate more money to charity
  12. You can save more money for bad times
  13. Buying cheap clothes enables you to save more money for retirement

You will have more money to spend on other things

One advantage of buying cheap clothes is that you will simply have more money to spend on other things of your daily life. For instance, if you currently struggle to pay rent and make other basic expenses, saving money on clothes can make quite a lot of sense since you will be able to use this additional money for those important things for daily life.

Even if you don’t struggle to pay your basic expenses, it can still be nice to have some extra money left so that you can afford to buy additional things you like.

This can mean leasing a new car or going on vacation more often. I am sure you will know what to do with this additional money and how to spend it in a way that meets your personal preferences 😉.

Buying cheap clothes enables you to get out of debt

Buying cheap clothes can also make quite a lot of sense in case you currently are in bad financial shape and have some debt that is waiting to be paid back at high interest rates.

If you are one of those guys who has acquired serious amounts of credit card debt or even student loans, it will be time for you to cut back your expenses on clothing to get out of debt as soon as possible so that you don’t have to waste that much money on interest and can afford much more nice things in the long run.

You will not have to worry about your cheap clothes that much

Another upside to wearing cheap clothes is that you will also not have to worry that much about them. For example, if you have expensive clothes, you will always have to look after them and make sure that they don’t get dirty. You may also be afraid of losing your expensive hat or scarf sooner or later.

If you only wear cheap clothes, you will not have this problem since you will not spend that much money on clothing and will therefore also be less afraid to lose your clothes. Moreover, you will also not have to worry about minor issues related to your clothes since you can just buy new ones.

Consequently, buying cheap clothes can also take away some pressure from you in this regard and you will be able to enjoy life much more in general since you don’t always have to worry about your clothes and how they look.

People will not envy you

Another benefit of buying cheap clothes is that people will not envy you that much. Sure, they may make snarky comments about your outfit. Yet, they will not want to be you and they will leave you alone and will not try to steal from you.

In fact, people who wear fancy clothes often get robbed since people think they have lots of money. If you wear cheap clothes, you will not have this problem most of the time since people will think you are poor and will leave you alone in this regard.

Cheap clothes give you a higher level of freedom

Wearing cheap clothes can also give you a higher level of freedom in general. Since you will no longer have to worry about your looks that much and you will also not have to worry whether your clothes get a little bit dirty or not, you will be able to enjoy your time much more since you can focus on the things that really matter.

Moreover, since you will also not have to worry about getting robbed sooner or later, you will also not face the same stress level and pressure that rich people often have to deal with when they leave their home.

Looks shouldn’t matter that much

In my opinion, looks shouldn’t matter that much anyway. Instead, you should rather focus on productive things. Always remember that looks will not give provide you what you want in life. Sure, looking good can help you in the short run.

Yet, other things that are more fundamental will help you much more. Consequently, make sure to rely on acquiring as many skills as possible instead of just buying expensive clothes that may be able to cover your insecurities in the short run.

You can focus on your character

If you no longer rely on expensive clothing to make your day better, you can also focus more on your character and your inner self. In our current state of the world, it seems like strong character traits don’t really matter anymore and that looks matter more instead.

Yet, while this may seem to be true right now, this perception of reality will not last forever and people will realize what really matters sooner or later.

Hence, instead of buying expensive clothes, I highly recommend that you work on your character and make other people happy so that you get support from them in difficult situations of your life.

Your beauty will fade sooner or later anyway

Many people also rely on the flawed perception that their beauty will last forever. Once you get older, it is just natural that our beauty fades and expensive clothing can’t do anything to avoid that. Sure, it may make you look a little bit better.

Yet, in my opinion, relying on expensive clothing is just not worth it and you should rather accept that our beauty fades sooner or later.

Buying expensive clothes is a waste of money

Many people out there (including me) also think that buying costly clothing is just a waste of money. What I mean by this is that you should never buy branded clothing just to wear a brand.

Sure, if you like a jeans or other types of clothes quite a lot and it has nothing to do with branding, I have nothing to say about it.

Yet, if you only want to buy it since it has a fancy brand on it, it will not be wise to spend that much money on it since it will just not serve you any purpose in the long run.

You can refuse materialism and the bad things that may come along with it

Refraining from buying expensive clothes can also help you get away from materialism and all the bad things that come along with it. In our current state of the world, many people just brag about what they have instead of bragging about the things they do for others. While material things break sooner or later, your good deeds will be remembered forever.

Consequently, if you do good for others, you will likely have more friends in the long run compared to a state where you just buy all the fancy stuff but don’t bring any long-term value to other peoples’ lives.

You can donate more money to charity

By saving money on clothing, you will also be able to give away more money to charity. There are many people out there who need our help since they are barely able to survive and are often not able to cover their basic expenses for food, rent or medical treatment.

Hence, instead of spending lots of money on clothes that actually nobody needs, you can make a real difference in peoples’ lives by donating more money.

You can save more money for bad times

While you could donate the money you save on clothing, you could also save it for bad times of your life. Sooner or later, most of us experience situations where it is pretty convenient to have some additional money on the side. For instance, you may get divorced and may need a good attorney who will cost you lots of money. You may also have to pay high medical bills once you get older.

Trust me, having money on the side is always a good thing and you will likely need it sooner or later in your life. Consequently, instead of buying expensive clothes that will not fulfill any higher purpose, you should rather save this money and use it when you urgently need it.

Buying cheap clothes enables you to save more money for retirement

In our current state of the world, many people also suffer from old-age poverty. This is mainly due to the fact that they often don’t save enough money during their active careers and underestimate the costs that come along in retirement age.

If you cut your budget on clothing, you will be much better off in this regard since your risk of old-age poverty will be much lower if you save and invest this money in retirement funds or other financial instruments instead.

As you can see, there are definitely many important advantages of buying affordable clothing. Yet, there are always two sides to the medal. Hence, I will also show you the downsides of cheap clothing in the following chapter so that you get a more comprehensive picture of reality and can better decide whether you still want to buy cheap clothes or rather go with expensive clothing instead.

Disadvantages of Buying Cheap Clothes

  1. You will not be able to afford to buy clothes from major brands
  2. You may have to spend more time shopping
  3. People may make fun of you
  4. You may lose some friends
  5. Cheap clothes are often produced under poor conditions
  6. Low wages in the production chain
  7. You may have a bad conscience
  8. You can’t follow latest trends
  9. Hard for fashion victims
  10. Difficult if you work in the fashion industry
  11. Cheap clothes may not last that long
  12. Buying cheap clothes may hurt many small shops

You will not be able to afford to buy clothes from major brands

One disadvantage of buying cheap clothes is that you will simply no longer be able to afford to buy branded clothing. Instead of going to fancy stores and buying costly bags, jeans or dresses, you will have to rely on no-name clothing.

While this may not be a problem for people who don’t care about brands that much, it can be an issue for people who define themselves with the branded clothes they wear and those people often get really unhappy in case they are no longer able to buy from their favorite brands.

You may have to spend more time shopping

Since you will have a rather tight budget if you only want to buy cheap clothes, shopping may also take you much longer since you will just not be able to afford many things and this means that you will often have to visit many different stores before you finally find what you are looking for.

This can be quite annoying, especially if you work in a demanding job for long hours every day and simply don’t have the time to spend many hours on shopping.

Consequently, relying on cheap clothes may also not be a good idea if you barely have any leisure and don’t want to spend your precious time on shopping.

People may make fun of you

Another problem with wearing cheap clothes is that some people will also make fun of you and try to bring you down. Of course, if you have a strong character, you will just ignore those people and will not care about them at all.

Yet, if you are a rather young person and don’t have a stable character yet, those comments may really bother you and you should make sure that you are able to deal with these comments in an emotionally healthy manner.

You may lose some friends

If you have friends for whom shopping fancy clothes is really important, you may also lose some of those friends if you decide to rely on cheap clothes instead.

Sure, if you lose those people over simple things like clothes, those people may not even have been real friends from the beginning.

Yet, make sure that you will lose some people along the way and that you are fine with it.

Cheap clothes are often produced under poor conditions

Another downside of buying cheap clothes is that you will support rather poor working conditions in third-world countries. In fact, most of our clothes, especially cheap ones, are produced under extremely poor conditions and workers often have to work insane hours just to make a living from what they are doing.

Hence, if you don’t want to support the exploitation of workers in poor countries, you should rather rely on brands that produce solely in our Western world.

In turn, this also means that you will have to spend much more money on clothing and cannot just rely on cheap clothing if you want to support fair working conditions.

Low wages in the production chain

The production of cheap clothes also often implies low wages in the whole production chain. Since margins are quite low, people who work in this industry will often not get paid much and will often struggle to pay their bills.

Some of them will even earn less than the minimum wage and if you don’t want to support this bad treatment of workers, you may want to spend a little bit more and buy from brands that have proved to treat their workers in a fair manner.

You may have a bad conscience

Since you will know what cheap clothes are often produced under quite poor conditions, you may also have a pretty bad conscience by buying them. In fact, many people who buy those clothes secretly feel guilty inside.

Hence, if you want to feel good with what you are wearing, you may not want to rely on the cheapest clothes but rather buy from manufacturers that guarantee good conditions for their staff members.

You can’t follow latest trends

If you only buy cheap clothes, you will also not be able to follow fashion trends as much. Sure, also cheap manufacturers will adjust to latest trends.

Yet, you will still not have the same selection as people who are not on a budget and you will therefore have to make some compromises in this regard.

Hard for fashion victims

Wearing cheap clothes instead of branded ones can also be quite hard for fashion victims who often really live for fashion and fancy clothing.

For those people, only relying on cheap clothes will just not be satisfying at all and can make them really miserable in the long run.

Difficult if you work in the fashion industry

You may also not be able to rely on cheap clothes if you work in the fashion industry for a major brand and your boss and your coworkers just expect you to show up in fancy clothing.

Hence, if you work in this industry, you may have a hard time saving money on clothes since everyone around you dresses up like crazy and you may have to do the same thing if you aspire to a nice career in this field.

Cheap clothes may not last that long

Another problem with cheap clothes is that they will also just not last that long most of the time. Quite often, cheap clothes will get holes and other issues pretty soon and you will therefore have to buy new ones.

In turn, you will have to spend additional money and your cheap clothes may actually not be as cheap if you think about the whole life cycle and the replacement costs.

Buying cheap clothes may hurt many small shops

Many small shops also rely on upper-class clothes to survive. They simply have to take more money from you since they have to pay for rent, staff and so on compared to big online shops that only have a fraction of those expenses.

In turn, if people only buy cheap clothes, chances are that many small retailers will go broke sooner or later.

Top 10 Cheap Clothes Pros & Cons – Summary List

Cheap Clothes ProsCheap Clothes Cons
You can spend more money on other thingsYou can’t buy from fancy brands
You can save more money for retirementPeople may make fun of you
You don’t have to worry about your looksYou may lose some friends
You can focus on your character insteadPoor working conditions in this industry
You can avoid materialismYou may have to spend more time shopping
You can donate more money to charityYou can’t follow latest trends
Buying costly clothes is a waste of moneyHard if you work in the fashion industry
Your beauty will fade also with fancy clothesDifficult for fashion victims
People will not envy youBuying cheap clothes may hurt small shops
People will not try to rob youYou may get a bad conscience

Should You Get Cheap Clothes?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of buying cheap clothes, it is on you to decide if you want to go for it or if you rather want to rely on fancy clothing instead. In fact, you should make your decision in line with your personal preferences.

Yet, in my opinion, saving some money on clothes can be a great way to have additional money for other more important things in life.

Sources

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/climate/sustainable-clothing.html

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2020/jul/14/fast-fashion-20-ways-stop-buying-new-clothes-fair-wage-wardrobes

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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