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
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less
4 Streaming TV Services That Cost $20 a Month — or Less

Here’s how to ditch cable — and save a bundle — without giving up your favorite shows.

New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind
New Ways to Save Money on Insurance of Every Kind

Tech startups are making it easy to find the best rates for all kinds of insurance policies — and get covered fast.

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.

7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home
7 Unusual Ways to Declutter Your Home

Tired of possessions weighing you down? Here are seven ways to declutter painlessly and effectively.

The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees
The 5 Most Expensive U.S. States for Retirees

If you have or expect to have a modest retirement income, you may want to avoid spending your golden years here.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Whether you resell it for a big profit or add it to your own wardrobe, this type of clothing is a hidden steal.

10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years
10 Cars You Are Most Likely to Keep for 15 Years

The cars that owners hold onto the longest have one thing in common, a new study shows.

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.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

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.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car
9 Things You Should Never Leave in a Car

Thinking of leaving these possessions in a car? Prepare for unexpected consequences.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

7 Things I Never Buy at Costco
7 Things I Never Buy at Costco

A bulk buy isn’t always the best buy.

5 Tax Mistakes to Avoid in Retirement
5 Tax Mistakes to Avoid in Retirement

Even great savers can reduce their retirement income by making these mistakes.

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.