Thrifty fashion {Write 31 Days}

So here's the thing about me and "fashion". I'm not really fashionable. Right now I'm wearing jeans, sneakers, a T shirt and a nike jacket. BUT, I love fashion and every now and then i like to look like i tried :)
Here's the other thing about me and fashion. I LOVE getting a deal! 
I think once you get to a certain economic class the idea of buying "on sale" or thrifting is looked down upon. 
I don't have this issue. In fact I hate paying full price- for anything really but especially for clothes. 
That's why I wanted to be sure and cover this in this series. I think most people I run into are surprised by what I find at Goodwill, Savers, thrift stores etc. 
do I still buy in retail stores? Yes. But again only on sale.

So here's the main reason I love resale store shopping-the price can't be beat! And I'm a true believer in not producing more waste than I have to.

I love clothes, but I really don't like the idea of going to the mall, dragging out the stroller (because of course my 10mo old is with me), parking in the back 40, getting inside and being hit with 30,000 different perfumes and chemicals, making it to a certain store only to find that if they amazingly have my size it's $$$. Then after getting it home and trying it on-again the 10mo old-it doesn't fit because sizes mean something totally different to the manufacturer and it was made for a 16yr with no hips. So I have to get back in my car, go through the same steps just to return said item. Pheeew! That was fun! Not.

Ok I know that's dramatic but really, isn't that what happens? Maybe it's just me.
Personally I'd rather go to a thrift store where I don't have to deal with the same scenario as above.
Yes my 10mo old is with me. Yes the smell of other people's clothes isn't always the best smell. Yes you have to dig a little more. And yes you still have to take them home ( if you're toting kiddos)and try them on and sometimes the clothes don't fit.
BUT, I'd rather do those things because i enjoy the dig, I don't mind the smell-you're going to wash them anyway-, I really like saving money and if you have to return, exchange or donate it back you've spent $5 on 3 items instead of $100 on 1. To me that seals the deal!!

So how do I look for clothing items at thrift stores, or anywhere for that matter?
Well just like at a department store or mall I know what I'm looking for when I go in and what brands I generally like or think are good quality.
*When looking for clothes you know your size, style etc. This is not a how to shop for your style post. Maybe at a later date ;)*
What brands are at thrift stores? Pretty much every single one. From Walmart to Ann Taylor and even  designer brands! I recently found an Oscar del a Renta dress for $20 and a Banana Republic wool jacket for $5!
It's crazy the stuff you can find. Just think of it like a great big rummage or garage sale.
I don't know where you're from but here in the south yard saling is a sport. And just like there are good neighborhoods, there are correlating yard sales as well. So take all kinds of people donating all kinds of things from all kinds of sources and resources and put them in one place. Getting the idea?

So how do you get a great deal? Well there's a few ways.

-Thrift Stores:
           A)Discount tag days. These are specific days of the week that specific colored tags are discounted or set at a certain price. My favorite is 99¢ day. I have a lovely gray LL Bean dress I got for 99¢ that is in excellent condition and fits to a T!
           B) ID discounts. This could be for Sr citizens or military. Always ask! Some places even do discounts for teachers!
           C) Donate! When I donate items I'm no longer using, I get a 30% discount on any regular priced item at my next checkout!
            D) Member/punch cards. Every time I checkout I get a punch. When it's full, I get a discount. Also as a member they will send you emails to let you know what items are on sale that week or extra coupons!

Cardigan- Wal-Mart $12
Sleeveless button up- Gap via thrift $4
Skinny Jeans- Mossimo (target) via thrift $5
Gladiator sandles- thrift $6

So do I do all my clothing shopping at thrifts stores? nope. but some of the same rules apply.
-buy when items are going out of season
-buy items that are on sale
-always ask for discounts or sign up for email coupons

Where do shop other than thrift stores?
-Kohl's: they seem to have a wide selection when it comes to sale/clearance items. I tend to like the brands they offer. I tend to buy Easter/special occasion dresses here. I also bought a hard to find modest bathing suit online from them at the end of summer. 1/2 off of course ;)

-Ebay: I get a lot of shoes here! I have bad feet and shoes are one area i can't skimp on quality! so i scour ebay looking for what i know my feet like and i have found good deals here.  I sell a lot of clothes on here too! ;)

grey cardigan- Ann Taylor via school rummage sale $1
Bird Dress-Wal-Mart $10
Handmade jersey necklace-handmade by me
Leather boots- Born via HSN $89 (originally $250)

-TjMaxx, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory: These places get department store items at a discount and then pass those discounts on to you. I Tend to purchase pajamas and tops here. Recently i purchased a sport dress for $3 at TjMaxx on their clearance rack. It was originally $50!!

-Consignment stores: i do occasionally shop these stores, but usually when i'm bringing stuff in. Some places now offer cash on the spot for donations so there's no waiting around at the end of the month for your check. Or you can receive a store credit to shop. you get a little bit more value this way. I tend to buy jeans or dresses here. These places tend to be a little stricter on their donations, so if you are looking for something by a specific designer these places are a good bet.

T-Shirt- Instashop Ezra + Eli $29 on sale ( really wanted this shirt! ;-D)
skirt-thrifted $1.99
Sneakers- Vans Shoe Carnival 1/2 off online $20

-Target, Old Navy and Walmart: I do occasionally buy some clothes here. More trendy items. However, these items I only expect to last a season, maybe two. I feel ON's items, especially their knit wear, has gone down in past years and I usually end up with holes in them. Which is so sad!! :( T-shirts and Tanks from ON. I tend to buy shirts, sleepwear, t-shirts and dresses from Target. Cardigans, tank tops, workout wear from WM.

Scarf-handmade by me
Cream blouse-TjMaxx $7
Stripped Cardi-Christopher and Banks via thrift store 99cents
Jeans-Ann Taylor via thrift store $6.99
Shoes-Born via ebay $15

-Intashops: instagram has a whole host of stores! from baby items to vintage finds and clothes! I follow a few and when they have clear out items or specials i take a look. These items tend to be trendier and fun. I have purchased a few dresses and skirts from these places. Another fave is cause t-shirts. Ie people raising funds for an adoption or charity. Most of the ones i have purchased have held up well.
Shoes-Ross $15
Striped dress- Instashop PS I Adore You $19
Blue cardi- Ann Taylor via thrift 99cents

Well I could go on and on but are you seeing a pattern?
-Look for ways to get a deal.
-ALWAYS shop the sale section.
-Try to think ahead, and shop ahead.
-Ask if there is a coupon or an email list you can be added to for discounts
-Ask about ID discounts
-Don't be scared to dig a little at bargain places!
-Keep an eye out for online deals.

I hope these ideas and tips have helped!

I hope to also do a post about how to shop your closet, what to look for at goodwill and how to have a clothing exchange!!

happy thrifting!!


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