Expect Higher Holiday Prices for T-shirts and Jeans

Photo (cc) by oHAInikki

We know it’s a little early to be thinking about Christmas. But if you’re planning gifts of clothing to friends and family, you might want to buy a little earlier this year.

The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) — yes, there is such a thing — is forecasting higher US demand for cotton next season. And while it’s great for the economy when Americans are out buying clothes, the ICAC also reports the world stock of cotton is the lowest it’s been since 1990, mainly because of natural disasters in big-producing countries like China and Pakistan. That made India — the world’s second-largest producer of cotton, after China — earlier this year decide to restrict its exports.

While India’s export restrictions have since been relaxed, you can probably guess what increasing demand and falling supply means: The price of cotton is at a 19-year high, and that could lead to higher prices for T-shirts, jeans, socks, and underwear: according to this article from CNN/Money, cotton T-shirts could rise in price by $2 next year.

Fortunately, the pricing cycle has a few months’ delay, so higher prices won’t be reflected among retailers –and hitting your wallet — until around the end of the year. So now’s the time to stock up. Here’s a few other things you can do to keep your clothing expenses down in general…

  1. Keep an eye on clearance sales. The next time you’re in a major retailer picking up odds and ends, make a quick detour through the clothing clearance areas. You can find stuff up to 80 percent off, especially when new stock is due in. Some retailers do this seasonally — many do it every month — and clothing-specific shops more frequently than that.
  2. Make coupons a habit. If you’re about to head out shopping and you haven’t made a quick check for deals, you’re doing it wrong. Using a coupon search engine – like this one at the top of our deals page – only takes a few seconds and could save you anywhere from 10 to 50 percent. Subscribing to a store’s Facebook page or Twitter feed is also a way to be automatically notified of bargains. One other idea: pick up an ad circular at the store’s entrance and skim it while you’re shopping.
  3. Give up those designer brands. Stop paying for a label or a fancy design — having money is better than looking like you have money. Plain, colored T-shirts are often available for a quarter of the price of trendy ones.
  4. Buy used. If you’re not too proud to check them out, flea markets, thrift and consignment shops are the place to go for bargains. The prices are already much lower than retail, and some places like The Salvation Army slash prices even more on certain days of the week. I once found a like-new dinner jacket for under $10. (It was marked for about $20, but that day was 50 percent off men’s clothing, too.) Just be sure to look carefully at the condition before you buy, since these places usually don’t offer refunds.

If those tips are obvious habits for you, congrats on being a smart saver. But I’ll bet there are some ideas you never thought of in our story 18 Tips to Dress for Less. Check it out.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors
7 Bank Accounts With Extra Perks for Seniors

These accounts offer exclusive discounts and other perks — including interest — to older customers.

21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On
21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On

With some items, it makes sense to pay a little more rather than hopping on the lowest price.

The 13 Worst Types of Tickets for Your Car Insurance Rate
The 13 Worst Types of Tickets for Your Car Insurance Rate

Some types of traffic violations can drive your car insurance rate dramatically higher.

27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free
27 Things You Should Never Pay For — and How to Get Them for Free

When you know the tricks, you can save big on all kinds of useful things that others pay for.

12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized
12 Products to Keep Your Car Clean and Organized

These items will help put your vehicular mess to rest — and each is available for less than $20 on Amazon.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?
Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020
These Major Appliances Got the Worst Reviews in 2020

Consumer Reports says these home products got the worst ratings from experts.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia
This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds
Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It
11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

15 States With the Largest Homeless Populations
15 States With the Largest Homeless Populations

Some of the states with the highest rates of homelessness might surprise you.

Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?
Is This Treatable Condition Causing Your High Blood Pressure?

Researchers say too many doctors are overlooking this potential source of hypertension.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy
These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have
6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore
Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021
15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry
9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco
11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone
8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020
20 Amazon Purchases We Loved in 2020

These practical products made everyday life a little easier last year — and will do so in the new year, too.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.