Now that I'm in my 30s, I've found that my wardrobe tastes have changed. No longer do clothes from teen-branded and big-box stores fit my style — I need well-made clothes that flatter with a bit of flair.

If I could, I'd stock my whole closet with styles from Banana Republic. But with $60 trousers, $80 dresses and $100 jackets, it's not financially practical for me at the moment. So until I can afford to shop there on a more regular basis, I have to settle for a few pieces here and there. Luckily, I can score them at less than retail prices (sometimes upwards of 70 percent off!) using these savings strategies:

Check the back of the store

As is typical with many retailers, this is where most Banana Republic stores keep their discounted merchandise. Women’s and men’s styles are normally kept separately, so be sure to do a full sweep of the back of the store to see all discounted options.

Rethink your size

Love the colored cord pants on clearance but they're not your size? Check again! I've found that sometimes buying a "tall" pant for 70 percent off and hemming the legs is worth it (then, with the extra fabric from a hem, I can fire-up my hot-glue gun and wrap a beat-up bangle for a fun accessory match!). And be sure to try on a style before you pass it up. I loved the color of a sweetheart top I recently found for 80 percent off, but it was marked "XS" (I'm usually a "M" in women's tops). To my surprise, it fit! I don't know if it was the style itself or a mislabel, but it was worth my while to try it on.

Take your education ID

Are you a current high school or college student or teacher? If so, bring your ID to the store next time you shop in person for an automatic 15 percent off any full-priced purchase (no minimum requirement) through their education discount program. To make the most of this discount, use it on all-season items that normally don't get discounted like socks, jewelry, blazers and ties.

Try a sister company

Banana Republic is a sister company of Old Navy and Gap, so if you see a style of apparel you like at Banana Republic that's too expensive, check for similar styles at these lower-priced retailers. Want something more colorful or sporty? Try their other two sister companies, Athleta and Piperlime.

Sign up for emails

Whether you choose to receive in-store-use information for Banana Republic or Factory Store e-mails, you'll soon be swimming in discounts, promotions, and even a special birthday gift!

Free shipping promotions

Banana Republic online always allows free shipping for a purchase over $50 (along with free returns on all orders) and routinely offers other free shipping and percentage-off codes, so I never (never!) pay full price or the $7 advertised shipping cost for something ordered online. These promotions are announced daily via a banner at the top of their site, or you can also be made aware in advance through an email subscription. Alternately, check a code site like RetailMeNot.

Visit a factory outlet

Banana Republic Factory stores are available nationwide. I often find off-season styles (think winter in summer and summer in winter) merchandise for deep discounts that I can simply save until I'm ready to wear them. I love picking up cheap (I never pay more than $5) yet colorful knit tops, cotton tanks and mixed-fabric scarves for layering. My absolute favorite buys are 99-cent tights — I've acquired a host of styles (ribbed, glitter, satin) in a variety of colors over the years via the outlet. Shopping piece by piece at the outlet allows me to quench my desire for Banana Republic apparel while filling my wardrobe with great staples.

Clip and print factory store coupons

The Banana Republic Factory Store Facebook page keeps viewers up to date on amazing factory offers, like their early May 50 percent off everything (including clearance and new arrivals) offer. You can also print coupons from this page. Don't want to print? Check your subscription magazines. Get your hands on a June edition of Better Homes and Gardens and clip the page 97 coupon for an additional 20 percent off any purchase of $100 or more at a Factory Store.

Consider a Banana Republic Visa card

If you envision spending a lot of money at Banana Republic and its sister stores — and you have good credit — consider their reward Visa credit card. You earn points for dollars spent (five points for every dollar spent at company stores and one point for every dollar spent at any other location Visa is accepted!) that can be redeemed for merchandise credits. Earn bonus points for email sign-up, and, if you spend $800 at their company stores in a calendar year, you can get Luxe status, which has benefits such as free clothing alterations, free shipping on all online purchases, triple point days, and more. $800 may seem like a lot, but if you'll shop at Old Navy for the kiddos and Gap for the hubby, this might be well worth it for your family.

Get cash back through Ebates

If you are a current member of Ebates.com, you can receive cash back through Banana Republic when using their site. But it gets even better — if you are new to Ebates, you can earn a $10 gift card with your first $25 purchase through their site!

Turn your Discover points into more money

Have a Discover card? When you accumulate $20 in cash back bonuses, you can cash it in for a $25 merchandise gift card (shipped to you for free). Then, use the gift card (which is essentially like 20 percent free money) on top of codes and other in-store and online promotions to stretch your savings. If you do shop online, you can go through the ShopDiscover site to earn an automatic 5 percent cash back if you pay with your Discover card.

 

For me, shopping at Banana Republic has been a fun way to update my wardrobe while staying within a sensible clothing budget. Now I've got classic adult clothing and jewelry that make me look and feel good, all bought at highly-discounted prices!

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How to Save at Banana Republic