Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thrifty Thursday - Some Rules about Thrifting

I have never really loved shopping for clothes, because I never like spending tons of money on something and then not liking it.  The thought of going to the mall to buy jeans gives me the heebie-jeebies.  What if I buy a pair of $50 jeans and they shrink funny in the wash and get all gappy at the waist and flood-water length in the leg and I can't wear them with my new sandals?  What if I buy a pair of $50 slacks and they aren't long enough for my heels, but are too long for my flats?  What if I buy a new purse for $50 and it is totally out of style next year?  See where this is going.

However, the thought of going to the thrift store to buy jeans sounds fantastic.  I can buy some trendy skinny-leg jeans for $5 and wear them a few times.  If I hate them, well... then back to the thrift for them and for me.  Then I can get some white jeans for the summer for $5 and wear them for a while.  Until I decide they aren't as cute as I want them to be and then back to the thrift store for them and for me.  See where this is going.

Going to the thrift store to buy slacks sounds great as well.  I can get two or three lengths in every color I normally wear (grey, black and brown) in summer and winter weight fabrics for the cost on one pair of slacks at retail cost.  Of course, I won't find them all in one trip, but I'll get them all eventually.  And in the same name brands I would likely buy retail.  Right now in my closet I have Rafaella, Jones New York, Gap, Nicole Miller and Good Clothes brand slacks.  All bought second hand.

Accessories are great to find at the thrift store.  I find trendy purses and clutches all the time as well as classic purses in great shape.  I have a black leather purse I love that I bought retail years ago.  It was pricey to me (at the time) at $40, but I think that I've had it for 8 years so I was well worth it.  I found a similar one (pictured above) in brown leather at the thrift store for $5 a few weeks ago. I love buying purses and clutches second hand because they are inexpensive but I can always find some with lots of life left in them.

There are some limits, but I have found that I really can't buy retail very often anymore.  Of course, if I need something specific in a short time frame, chances are I won't find it at the thrift store.  For example, I bought my Easter shoes retail this year.  I wanted a pewter sandal which, on short notice, is hard to find at the thrift store.  I bought these on clearance for $20 (but also became obsessed with a pair of heels and went back and bought them for $30, on clearance, three days later).  Did I feel bad about blowing $50 on two pairs of shoes?  Not. One. Bit.  Because I save so much on clothing that the occasional splurge is still well within my budget.

And, of course, there are a few things that I would never buy second-hand.  Undergarments should never be purchased at the thrift store, in my opinion.  I also don't buy socks there.  Bathing suits either.  Or running shorts, bicycle/spandex shorts, etc.  All of those I buy new because of the yuck factor!  And I don't even look at tank tops at the thrift store because they are usually there because they shrank funny.  They end up a crop tops that are about twice as wide as they should be.  Or camisoles end up with the elastic sprung in their straps.  I can always find those at Walmart/Kmart/Target on clearance and stock up when I do!

So that sums up my "rules" for shopping at the Thrift Store.  Anyone out there have more rules to share, or disagree with any of mine?

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