The Beginner’s Guide to Clearance Section Shopping

Whenever we hear the words “clearance section”, a large majority of us immediately imagine a messy, chaotic and overwhelming scene of clothing racks with tops strewn about. But, that actually isn't accurate.


I began shopping in the clearance section at a young age, which is how I got into fashion. Everytime we went to the mall, my mom would give me and my sister twenty dollars and it would be a competition to see who can get the most items for that price. It’s easy to get into clearance shopping at anytime (even though I started young), as long as you keep in mind a few tips while looking.

  1. 1. Have an idea of what you're looking for

    Going into a shopping trip, especially in the clearance section, and not knowing what you’re shopping for is not exactly a great plan. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and buy unnecessary things because you feel frazzled and rushed.  However, if you go out knowing that you're looking for a new black top or that perfect pair of jeans, it makes a large clearance section seem smaller by narrowing down your choices.

  2. 2. Keep an open mind

    Let’s be real here -- the amount of times I go shopping with a particular item in mind is slim. Most of the time, I’m just going for some retail therapy. It’s okay to go about shopping with a leisurely mindset, you don’t always have to be on a mission. It allows you to consider new styles that you wouldn’t have picked out yourself and allows you to try out some new trends.

  3. 3. Give yourself *plenty* of time

    It’s impossible to browse the clearance section, try clothing on and make a decision to purchase in less than 30 minutes. Trust me -- I’ve tried and I was horribly unsuccessful.  The worst thing you can do is stress yourself out and scramble to find a cute dress for the dinner you’re supposed to be at in ten minutes. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to shop so you don’t put yourself through that.

  4. 4.  Enjoy the ~hunt~

    The best thing in the world is finding an absolute gem in the clearance section because a lot of the items are there for a bad reason. Whether it’s out of season, damaged, or simply downright ugly, searching through the terrible messes in the clearance section and finding a killer piece makes it worth it.

  5. 5. Have fun -- seriously!

    We all understand feeling anxious and stressed when looking at a clearance section. It can easily be overwhelming. But remember, you’re still just shopping and it’s just another section of the store. No matter what the section of the store is, you still love to shop. Enjoy it!


The clearance section isn’t as bad as it may seem. Yes, it can be a little overwhelming, and if it’s Forever 21, then it’s definitely a bit of a mess. But keep in mind that it is overwhelming for everyone. 

As long as you take these five tips into consideration, you’ll learn to love clearance shopping so much that you’ll never be able to bring yourself to pay full price again. Most importantly, who doesn’t like saving money AND still looking cute?