Where to Find The Best Values and Selection in Military Clothing

Finding affordable military clothing is an ongoing challenge for many active-duty service members. Every dollar counts, especially regarding uniform and military clothing expenses, since it’s one of the costs you can’t ignore.

Fortunately, there are many options to help you save on military clothing. Here’s a quick overview to help you lower expenses on one of the necessities of military life.

Military Exchanges

Military exchange stores are one of the best places to start saving money on clothing.

Military exchanges are mega retail stores that offer the brands and products just like what you would find at Target, Walmart, or a mall. The big difference is that prices are noticeably cheaper at exchanges than at their civilian counterparts.

There is no sales tax on purchases, including military clothing. Also, if an exchange doesn’t have the lowest price, they will ad match with any business that sells it cheaper in town, other than jewelry or gasoline.

Who Can Use the Exchange?

Active-duty, retired personnel, National Guard members, Medal of Honor recipients, honorably discharged veterans, authorized family members, and military members of foreign nations are allowed to use an exchange which you can find on most bases and online.

In addition, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act expanded the pool of eligible exchange commissary shoppers to include all service-connected disabled veterans, Purple Heart recipients, former POWs, and primary caregivers for veterans. 

The online exchange has daily specials you can maximize by using a Military Star Card for your purchases. Military Star promotions, specials, weekly ads, daily deals, and limited promotions are a few of the perks that shopping the exchange online offers, as well as the convenience of being able to shop from anywhere in the world.

What to Know About the Military Star Card

One of the biggest benefits of the exchange is the Military Star Card. The card allows eligible service members to make purchases from the exchange with no taxes, overage, late, or annual fees.

You receive a 10% discount on your first purchase, perfect for new service members who must buy thousands of dollars of gear on their first day at a new assignment. You also get 2% cash back rewards at Express Fuel Stations, MilExch.com, the exchange, the commissary, and MWR Merchants. 

If you live outside of the United States, or you’re doing business abroad or traveling, you can save money with no foreign transaction fees.

The Star Card can be used at the Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard Exchanges, and AAFES. There are more than 2,400 exchange facilities in 30+ countries. If you’re eligible to shop at one exchange, you are automatically allowed to shop at all or online.

Each branch has its own exchange name and website:

Online & In-Store Military Clothing Retailers

Exchanges offer great value and convenience if you need military clothing, but you do have other options, whether you’re looking for combat boots, shirts, pants, tactical gear, and more. Here are some of the top online military clothing retailers to consider.

Tactical Gear – As the name implies, this is one of the leading online retailers for any tactical gear you need. They’ve been online for 20 years, have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and have shipped over a million orders worldwide.

Sportsman’s Guide – This retailer is an outdoor superstore with goods for fishing, hunting, shooting, camping, and more. It’s also a leading retailer for military gear, with a good part of the store devoted to meeting military members’ clothing requirements.

Military 1st – Online since 2008, this retailer has offered quality combat clothing, camping equipment, and professional Airsoft gear at competitive prices. This is a great place to find a wide variety of army surplus and camouflage clothes, accessories, combat uniforms, tactical and casual footwear, eyewear and backpacks, and professional combat gear.

USAMM – This armed forces superstore has uniforms and gear, awards and decorations, military gifts, and more.

Galls – For more than 50 years, Galls has serviced the needs of law enforcement, military, security, fire, EMS, postal, public transportation, and more. Galls offers an extensive selection of products and brands, competitive prices, responsive service, fast deliveries, and seamless ordering for a quality online experience.

Military Surplus Stores

Many stores sell military-inspired clothing as a form of fashion and for enthusiasts who publicly like to show their support for the U.S. armed forces. Customers want genuine military clothing, from military jackets and combat boots to backpacks, duffle bags, and other military accessories.

Most pieces are affordable, and although considered “surplus,” most items are in great condition. There are dozens of surplus outlets online and in physical locations. In addition to doing your online search, here are a few to check out if you’re interested.

Ranger Joe’s is in Columbus, Georgia, and has sold military surplus since 1963. In addition to clothing, the store also sells field gear and a wide range of accessories.

Sportsman’s Guide is also a great place to check out military surplus deals with worldwide delivery.

Army Surplus Warehouse sells top-quality military clothing and gear in Butte, Montana. Although relatively new, this store is already noteworthy for its wide selection and top-notch customer service.

Coleman’s Military Surplus has been a trusted source of authentic U.S. military surplus for over 30 years. It has extreme cold weather gear, survival gear, camping gear, combat boots, ammo cans, and European military surplus, making it a unique place to check out.

If you’re a frugal military clothing shopper, your best bet when shopping for clothing (or any other military-related need) is to ask retailers in person and online if they offer military discounts. You might be surprised to find out how many do.

Just be sure to carry your military ID card with you and be prepared to save every step of the way.

Discounts, coupons, and promo codes change often, so be sure to ask and look for new discounts every time you shop. Here are some of the current discounts we’ve found at various retailers.

The following stores offer military discounts online. When shopping online, verify your military affiliation through ID.me or Troop ID.

Best Brands for Military Clothing

There are dozens of military clothing brands, and it’s impossible to point to one or two brands as standing above all others. However, there are some industry retailers who might be able to guide you.

Take a look at Primary Arms for an excellent overview of some of the best brands. Another good place to look is Checking Tech, which has lists of U.S. and European to consider.

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