The Oklahoma Women Bloggers group is focusing on frugal finds and back to school shopping and there is a featured post link-up where we are asked to take $25 to a thrift shop and see what shakes out. A few things I should mention before we begin:
- I am competitive. I love a challenge.
- Even more than a challenge? I love a bargain. I shop often, usually starting with the websites of some of my favorite stores to find the sales and clearance items. I search for unique accessories and items everywhere I go.
- I need a new wardrobe because I found out about a hazardous health situation (eek!) that necessitated an overhaul of my diet and exercise regime (groan!) and led to a significant weight loss (yippee!) that dropped me essentially five sizes (holla!) and left me with a wardrobe of clothes that no longer fit (boo!).
- It needs to be cheap because I was unable to find a way to sell my clothes to generate money to buy new clothes. And I just can't justify buying an entirely new wardrobe. I have no What Not To Wear angels tapping my shoulder with a $5,000 Visa card to use to restock my closet. So I've become the ultimate bargain shopper.
I almost passed it up, for a few reasons, not the least of which being that I am old. As in over 40 (though if I had to round my age, it would round down, and that's using old-fashioned math, not new math). And did you see This is 40? There's a line that Leslie Mann's character says about turning 40 and dressing her age: "I don't wanna go to J. Jill and Chico's and Ann Taylor Loft." Well, I do. I shop at those stores and hit up their clearance racks as often as I can. So how would I find brands that worked for old-lady me in this store that would likely be crammed with low-rise jeans and cropped tissue-weight tees? I really don't want to wear low-rise jeans or cropped tissue-weight tees. I just want to find some jeans that fit.
|$24.99? Not for me! (top left)|
Outfit #1: ankle jeans, striped sweater & suede loafers (bottom)
Outfit #2: dark skinny jeans, sweater, sparkly accessories (right)
But among the low rise bling, I found 2 pairs of dark-wash, skinny-leg jeans that were just right for me. One of them even had zippers on the ankles, which took me back to my own teenage years in the 1980s... and since those zippers were the only throwback detail on the jeans (no acid wash. Though I did find a pair of authentic acid wash jeans on the rack. shudder.), I bought them. It paid to really scour the racks of jeans and shop in the area of my general size, but also look in the rack for a size larger and a size smaller. Every brand varies and since most of these jeans are second-hand, the washing and wearing will cause them to stretch or shrink. Don't strictly stick to the sizes on the tags--good advice no matter where you shop.
|head-to-toe looks for a 40-something broad|
found at my local consignment store for
teen trendy clothes.
I also picked up some sparkly jewelry to complement the brown sweater, and this store offered all their jewelry for under $4 a piece. I was smitten with a bejeweled peacock necklace--owls have been the fowl of choice for a while now. I'm counting on peacocks to make a run for it this year! I also found a bracelet that kind of goes but doesn't match (as per Stacy and Clinton).
These are easy, basic items that I can personalize with accessories at home, like cute shoes (the green suede loafers marked down to $9 from $90 on J. Jill or the white Vera Wang flats with leopard toes found on clearance for $5 or the Eastland penny loafers that I paid full price for--but with what I saved on the other two pairs? It can be easy to splurge every now & again.).
I paid a grand total of $37 on my haul (2 sweaters, 2 jeans, necklace and bracelet), but the next day I brought a sack of clothes and sold them to the store and earlier in the week I sold a few bags of books to the book consignment store after doing some fall cleaning. I made about $40 total on these "reverse shopping" trips, so I call that a fine trade.