Category Archives: shop/thrift/craft

Thrift Shop Queen

So, I got a new job (read more) and I needed to update my wardrobe. I needed some more professional clothes and clothes that fit me better (I still have pants from my freshman year of college when I didn’t know how to buy work-clothes that fit….)

I, being the budget friendly shopper that I am, am a hardcore thrifter. I have a mostly hand-me-down, thrift bought, pre-owned wardrobe and I am proud. I needed new clothes and set aside a few hours. Here’s the thing about thrifting: it is not a store. You don’t know what season the clothes are from or how things will “run” on you since size expectations change brand to brand and, in my opinion, season to season. I have a strategy; it’s not pretty but it works:

-Pants first: I go through the smallest two sizes I may fit in, even the one that has to run pretty big to fit, grab all the pairs I’m remotely interested in and hit the dressing room. I do the sit-test. If when I sit my bum, crotch, or stomach feel a strain, they’re a no.
-Dresses: What style do I need, grab my two sizes, hit the dressing room
-Shirts: I fit in small and medium, this trip I needed short or three-quarter sleeve shirts so I only hit those racks, then off to the dressing room.
-Back to pants: next two sizes up, repeat first step including sit test
-Last: blazers

After I decide that an item fits, I double check for stains or holes and determine if they can be fixed.

I know, you think “well yeah, you do that and how much do you walk away with”. I will tell you that if you are looking for a single specific item, you might not get it. A type of clothing – ie work pants- you’ll find a few. If, however, you are in my situation and need a whole new work wardrobe, with a little luck and a good three hours of intent shopping, you could be as fresh as this…

Please ignore the disaster that is my bed and my poor picture quality; focus on the spoils of war here: my new wardrobe for $122 including all of the following:

*Pictured Above* two lightweight, chic, work appropriate, versatile jackets

*Pictured Above, Left To Right* Anne Taylor navy sleeveless dress with large silver buttons for work, Ensign cream-white sweater dress sleeveless for work or play, H&M dress for play, purple lace scarf, pink and gold sheer scarf

*Pictured Above, Top to Bottom* Lucky Brand navy and white cotton three-quarter sleeved shirt, Lucky Brand navy and beige cotton short sleeved shirt, Mossimo black and beige sheer short sleeved shirt, Unknown purple-brown cotton and lace short sleeved shirt, H&M light blue two layer solid and sheer short sleeve shirt, Rock Couture gray and purple cotton short sleeved shirt, Unknown gray and purple and white silky material three quarter sleeved shirt.

*Pictured above* Black skirt-suit (easily my best find, $7 total for jacket and skirt)

*Pictured above* Gap pink pants, Banana Republic brown/gray pants, Banana Republic gray/light blue pants, Maurices brown pants

*not pictured* light-weight Unknown purple wool-like jacket and a pair of Unknown purple sunglasses

With four new pairs of pants and seven new shirts, I could make it through workweek without repeating an outfit, on top of which I have two jackets and one definitive work dress. I could easily make it a month with just this shopping trip.


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