As I’ve mentioned before, I’m quite thrifty. I NEVER pay full price for anything and really only buy clothes from the clearance rack or thrift stores. This allows me to have many clothing options instead of only a few. We are basically a one income family, so this only makes sense to be able to afford to get “new” clothes, but even before we were a one income family, I still shopped this way. In fact, I’ve been shopping this way my whole life. My Mom taught my sisters and I to shop the clearance racks so we could get the most for our money and I’m so glad she did. When I was in high school, I discovered the magic of thrift stores. I cannot tell you how excited I got when a friend took me to one for the first time. I loved 70s style clothes back in my high school days and thrift stores were a fantasy world filled with them! I was really big into embellishing my jeans too. Like, I got all sorts of funky patches and I would do bead work on them and stuff and you can’t beat getting a $3 pair of jeans that you could do whatever you wanted to it and not feel guilty about sewing and ironing stuff onto new pants. I mean, it was the greatest!
As much as I loved thrift stores then, I love them even more now. My boys even get excited to go and get Abercrombie, Express, American Eagle, Hollister and the other brands that are popular. They look brand new (and sometimes are new with tags) and no one knows the difference. I tell them not to be embarrassed about it anyway though. Who cares where you got your clothes from? If they look nice and you feel good in them without having to pay a fortune, then that is awesome! I’ve seen a lot of seriously hideous clothes that were expensive, so price means nothing. It took them a year to catch on, but now they all see the value in getting those clothes from thrift and consignment stores instead of paying the price they cost to just go out and buy them new.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking people who don’t shop clearance or thrift stores. It just doesn’t make sense for myself and my family. There are things we would rather spend our money on, like family camping trips and things like that. So, it’s really just a matter of where you like to put your money. In saying that, if you know me, you know that I LOVE clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses, etc. I love basic things and I love funky things (more on the funky side). Clothes and accessories are such a fun way to express yourself and I love putting outfits together. With that being said, on a small budget, you have to get creative. Clearance and thrift store shopping allow me to get all sorts of great pieces to mix and match. I love it!
Here’s an example of a good clearance/thrifted outfit. This is what I wore to church on Sunday. (Sorry, it was rainy out and my lighting isn’t very good.)
Let me break this outfit down for you. The dress was a clearance dress from Sears several years ago that I paid $6.00 for. The sweater is Banana Republic that I got at Goodwill for $1.50 on a half-off tag sale. The leggings I got for free from a review I did on my blog a few years ago. The shoes are Anne Klein ($69.00 retail) that I got from Goodwill for $2.99 and the necklace is from Walmart and I paid $5.00 for it. That’s right, the necklace was the most expensive part of my whole outfit! So this outfit cost a total of about $15.00. YES, $15.00!!! Why in the world would I not shop clearance and thrift stores when I can put together an outfit I feel good in for $15.00? I got so many compliments on Sunday and felt so cute!
Now, I want to show you some close-ups of those shoes. I found them on a date night with Brian about a week and a half ago. I freaked out when I saw them and was crazy excited that they were my size (I wear a 6 1/2 or 7 and these were 6 1/2). I brought them home for a whole $2.99 and looked them up and found out that they retailed for $69.00! I would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS pay that much for a pair of shoes, but to get a $69.00 pair of shoes for $2.99…well that’s exactly what this girl is going for. I pretty much know what brands are good ones and when I see them in the thrift store and they are in awesome shape and fit me, you better believe I snag ’em! I had women stopping me at church to comment on them!
Are they not ridiculously adorable?! And they were super comfy too! BONUS! I am super thrilled with this purchase. Probably my most favorite thrift store find yet.
So, if you’ve been wanting something “new”, but don’t have a lot of money to spend or just don’t want to spend a lot of money, I highly suggest you check out some thrift stores for sure and scour the clearance racks as well. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to dress cute and feel good. In fact, I feel better in an outfit that I know I got for a steal than in one I paid more money for. I totally have buyer’s remorse if I pay more than $10.00 for a shirt. Seriously, I can’t stand to do it and rarely ever do, unless there is something I need in a pinch and don’t have time to search at thrift stores.
I know there are people who get all weirded and grossed out by the thought of buying something that someone else used to wear, but seriously? Seriously?! There’s this awesome thing you most likely have at home called a washing machine and I’m guessing you probably have detergent too. Oh and for shoes and jewelry and purses…disinfectant wipes work great. I’ve yet to hear of someone catching an infectious disease from something they bought from the thrift store. Now, I don’t EVER wear anything from one without washing it or cleaning it first, but that’s just because I’m super sensitive to smells and I need to remove all smells from anything before I have it on my body. So, I just bring the stuff home and straight into the washer it goes. Simple.
What about you? Do you clearance or thrift shop? Where are your favorite places to go? Mine are most definitely Goodwill, Salvation Army and for the older boys, Plato’s Closet. I find great clearance at Sears, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s too. If you’ve found some great deals, please share!