Tuesday, July 23

Costco Clothing: 6 Things You MUST Know Before You Shop

If you’ve never picked up some Costco clothing at the warehouse club, you’ve been missing out!

Costco is a more notable name in apparel than you probably realize. Whether for back-to-school shopping, holiday gifting, or just picking up some everyday staples, more and more shoppers are turning to an unlikely source for their clothes… Costco Wholesale!

The warehouse club is famous for its Kirkland products and other fantastic deals, but it’s not exactly the first place that comes to mind when you’re trying to update your wardrobe.

Nevertheless, those who’ve discovered the hidden gems in the Costco clothing section know it’s a fantastic source of major bargains. In fact, Costco’s clothing business is booming, with annual sales surpassing $7 billion.

That’s more than apparel giants like Neiman Marcus, Old Navy, and Ralph Lauren! The truth is that it has quietly become one of the largest clothing retailers in the US. So, what’s behind the hype? Here are 6 things you MUST know.

Costco Clothing
Photo by Arne Beruldsen at Shutterstock

Learn your measurements

Since Costco doesn’t have any dressing rooms, knowing your sizes and how certain brands fit you is vital before filling up your cart. Sizes can be inconsistent and limited with Costco clothing, so you might need to try on some options at home and return items that don’t fit.

Bottoms tend to be the most problematic at Costco, especially if you fall on either end of the size spectrum, says a style expert. Jeans might only come in a couple of washes, and size ranges can be limited. One solution is to get friendly with Costco’s return policy.

Don’t be fearful of buying two sizes and returning whatever Costco clothing doesn’t work. We also recommend looking for elastic waists and forgiving fabrics if you’re unsure about which fit suits you best.

Name brands… without the added markup

This store stocks an assortment of name-brand Costco clothing in its stores and online. Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, Eddie Bauer, and Birkenstock are just a few of the well-known labels you might find here.

The difference between shopping here or somewhere else is in the price tag. The warehouse club’s markup on all items is limited to 14%, compared to department stores, which generally mark items up by 30-50%, according to the founder of CreditDonkey.

So, when you’re buying Costco clothing with brand names, you know you’re getting one of the best deals. A recent price check by Consumer Reports discovered that Costco beat Amazon’s prices on a pair of Levi’s 311 shaping skinny jeans and a Tommy Bahama men’s button-down shirt.

Costco’s prices were 13% and 20% cheaper, respectively. While we’ll admit that your selection is limited, as a Costco shopper, you can score name brands for less.

Learn Costco’s sales cycles

While Costco doesn’t handle sales the same way as many other retailers, they do have some predictable habits that smart shoppers use to their advantage. Annual events, end-of-season discounts, and clearance markdowns can deliver 20-50% savings off original prices.

Most Costco clothing items will go on clearance roughly two months after they first hit the shelves, according to The Krazy Coupon Lady. Your best bet is to shop for winter items at the end of January and summer items in late August.

To move it out as quickly as they can, the warehouse club also marks down any merchandise ending in .97. So when you catch .97, you’ll know that you should grab it while you can. Of course, tracking sales demands frequent visits to check for recent markdowns.

And remember to check online, as well, where you can frequently find a more extensive selection than what’s stocked inside the store.

Costco Clothing
Photo by The Image Party at Shutterstock

Kirkland Signature is your best friend

The megastore’s private label brand, Kirkland Signature, is the superstar of the Costco clothing section. Costco has concentrated on pivoting Kirkland into a premium brand known for quality. And to be honest, its clothing options definitely deliver.

From cashmere sweaters to classic Pima cotton polos, Kirkland apparel is created to last and priced to sell.

Kirkland Signature has become a giant driver for Costco, now generating over $39 billion a year, which is about a quarter of Costco’s total revenue, says the president of a retail consulting firm, Customer Growth Partners.

Consumers have come to trust the Kirkland brand as an indicator of great value.

It’s best to stick to the basics

When it’s all said and done, Costco might not really be the place to score statement footwear or a chic cocktail dress, but it can be a gold mine for stocking up on your basics.

Ask any customer where to find the best deals in the Costco clothing section, and you’ll likely hear the same advice repeatedly: Stick to the basics!

Plain tees, classic denim, simple sweaters, and activewear are where Costco truly shines. A poll of Costco shoppers divulged these fan-favorite basics:

-Kirkland Signature Brushed Leggings: Talk about a Lululemon dupe! Many consumers swear that the $9.99 leggings are just as good as pairs five times the price. Apparently, they even pass the “squat test.”
-Kirkland Signature Pima Cotton Polo Shirts: At a mere $12.99, the soft and sturdy polos are an absolute steal. This is one Costco clothing item that continuously holds up wash after wash and come in many different colors.
-Kirkland Signature Jeans: Those who only purchase designer denim may turn up their noses, but it’s hard to beat Costco for an everyday pair of jeans at a fantastic price. Kirkland jeans come in several washes, fits, and size ranges for the entire family.
-Orvis Wrinkle-Free Dress Shirts: Normally retailing for over $90, the no-iron wonders can be found at Costco for under $25. Shoppers say that they live up to the wrinkle-free promise and will look crisp all day.

Let’s talk about quality

We already know that Costco has gained a reputation for the “treasure hunt” type of shopping. It’s all about the thrill of discovering amazing items at unbeatable prices. But as we’ve mentioned in other articles, that doesn’t mean everything at Costco is a winner.

So, as far as Costco clothing quality goes, it can be hit or miss. The warehouse club isn’t immune to the “fast fashion” trend of cheaper clothing that doesn’t hold up over time.

Most shoppers find the quality of the Kirkland clothing to be mostly excellent, but you should always check the labels and make your own assessment. We think Costco clothing quality is perfectly adequate for the price point.

And most items are a step above other budget-friendly retailers regarding materials and construction. But if you’re more of a picky shopper, you may want to stick to Costco’s versions of wardrobe basics and be more cautious when it comes to fad items.

Costco Clothing
Photo by The Image Party at Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

So, is Costco clothing worth it? If you ask us, the answer is a resounding yes… You just have to go with the right expectations.

A strategic Costco fashion haul isn’t so much about scoring a trending outfit as it is about finding timeless and quality wardrobe staples to buy in bulk. You should think of Costco as your secret source for elevated basics.

T-shirts, sweaters, loungewear, socks… these are the Costco categories where the superstore shines. And don’t be afraid to size up. Costco’s generous cut and relaxed styles look fantastic when worn a bit oversized.

Some of the best finds are actually from the men’s department. In many ways, the huge volume that this warehouse club does in Costco clothing sales speaks for itself.

Loyal customers know they can rely on this store for budget-friendly wardrobe staples all throughout the year. And while it may not replace your favorite fashion trends entirely, it’s a valuable source for bulk shoppers and bargain hunters.

With a bit of budget planning, an open mind, and a keen eye, you might just discover your new favorite outfit when you least expect it. Obviously, it’ll be somewhere between the lifetime supply of mac and cheese and the enormous teddy bears!

What are YOUR thoughts on Costco clothing items? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below. And if you liked this article, we think you’ll also enjoy: Save More Money on Produce With These 7 Smart Tips

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