Some will cost you nothing! Others come with a small price tag. Georgina Heffernan reports...

Q. Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, I am really looking forward to packing away my winter clothes wardrobe and buying a few new pieces for spring. The problem is that I’m on a very tight budget. How can I look up-to-date and fashionable – without spending a fortune?

A. With the warm weather on its way, now is the time to build up your spring/summer wardrobe for 2013. Whether you were watching the shows avidly for the latest trends, or are someone who makes your own decisions, it’s time to invest in some cooler clothing as the months begin to heat up.

Hit the Charity Shops
While many fashionistas will turn their noses up at the idea of wearing someone else’s clothes, the best place to find cheap designer items is in your local charity shop. Celebrity endorsers include Kate Moss, so it’s worth looking through the rails. With hundreds of clothes to choose from, don’t be surprised if you find a few vintage gems during your search.

Keep Your Recipts
Keep your store receipts and product tags for at least two months. You never know when you might want to return something because your tastes have changed, you have found a defect in the garment or the colour is all wrong. Most chain stores have a very forgiving return policy

Look For Bargains Online
Many online shops offer massive discounts and can provide good quality, high fashion clothing for less, as they don’t have to pay expenses, such as rent and bills on stores. Whether you’re looking for fab maxi dresses or a pair of shorts for your summer vacation, it is worth looking online to save some money on your summer wardrobe.

Be warned, though, as you can’t try before you buy. It’s important you check the sizing guide on the site carefully, to prevent disappointment and the hassle of having to refund your purchase.

Host a Clothes Swap
If you have friends who are all roughly a similar size, then a clothes swap is a great way to save money and stay in with the fashion trends. Bring all the clothes you no longer wear to a friend’s house, and tell your mates to do the same: you’ll find plenty of new pieces for your wardrobe, without spending a penny.

Don’t Impulse Buy
The best way to save money on clothing is to make sure you buy pieces you will wear time and time again. Impulse buys often have the nasty habit of ending up unworn in your wardrobe for many years, before being guiltily thrown away.

To avoid impulse buying, you should always make sure to try any piece you wish to buy. Plus, justify your purchases by thinking of which clothes you already own that you could wear the new item with.

Make the Most of Vouchers and Deals
There are now hundreds of websites at your disposal offering as much as 70% off on all your favourite brands. Most brands provide voucher codes, which they may distribute monthly through newsletters or advertise in magazines.

There are also plenty of sites dedicated to finding these voucher codes for you. With great deals to be made every time you buy, it makes sense to spend some time checking available deals before you make your purchase.