This is a subject that isn't particularly important to me, but a reader (shoutout to Sumana!) suggested it: how am I frugal with my clothing choices?
The short answer is that it's a reflection of how I spend money in general, which is that I don't buy the newest most fashionable item at full price so that I'm part of the fashion vanguard, but here a few thoughts.
I rarely buy clothes that are dry-clean only As with most things on life, it's not the cost of an iem that'll get you, but the maintenance over its lifetime. A cashmere sweater that cost $90 can set you back repeatedly for $10 to clean each time you wear it. Again, I'm not suggesting that cashmere is completely verboten (I own some), but it is important to consider the dry-clean only toll (not to mention the environmental impact of the non-aqueous cleaning solutions dry-clean only implies).
I like to purchase high-quality items that will last me a long time. This happens to work out for me, because I prefer classic clothing that doesn't look dated over several years, which is usually how long my clothes last. This only works if wearing the latest seasonal "it" item is not important.
Shop at thrift/vintage stores I don't actually do this, because I dread clothes shopping, and spending hours looking through racks & racks of clothing does not appeal to me. However, I know that this is an excellent way to re-purpose clothes at outrageously low prices. Furthermore, know that the twenty-year fashion cycle is always on your side, because the exact same sweater dresses I thought were so cool & fashionable in 1985 are on the store racks this very moment. Unchanged in any way.
And I believe Nordstrom's Women's Half-Yearly Sale is going on right now...