Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Thrift Report

Over a year ago I publicly committed to buying Only Used Clothing for a year, underwear and shoes were the two exceptions. Here is my report:

Although I am a long-time thrifter, and sustainable fashion is my business, I was a bit hesitant to go sans new entirely. If I knew then what I know now I would have fearlessly charged ahead sooner. Finding great pieces for myself while I'm hunting down materials to recycle is like the homemade icing on the all natural cake.

It helps being the size of a modern day teenager. I have a woman's body, but thanks to hormones in the milk so does the average teen girl and most of them live for mall consumption. Cute Forever 21 top $2.99 and Anthropologie skirt $4.99, found months apart at the same Goodwill.

Not to give away trade secrets but a friend of mine turned me on to The Bins and I am hooked. If you have a Goodwill Outlet in a 50 mile radius you must take the trip. You should bring gloves and hand sanitizer, and don't skip breakfast because it is a workout, but paying by the pound is the next best thing to free. 

I found this lightweight Blue Dress a couple of weeks ago, brand new Target, took a chance for less than a dollar and when I got it home it looked fantastic on me!

"What about jeans?" My dearest friend asked me.

I have actually had better luck finding jeans at the thrift store than anywhere else.

My two favorite pairs that get the most action were both thrifted from the same Goodwill about a year apart. The pair pictured above were Brand New Converse jeans $5.99. A little long, but everything is long when you are 5'3" ish. The other pair are Nine West skinny jeans $6.99! These were like new but had a splash of house paint on the knee which didn't come off when I washed them. Hello Sandpaper, a few rubs and good as new.

I am all about an Off-Season deal! You are way more likely to find a sweater half-off during 90 degree heat than in December. Take Advantage. I don't ever pass up a great garment because of season. 
I found this Brand New Ann Taylor sweater in July when we were hitting record temps everyday. I swear the original owner bought it for it's belt because that was missing, but I had no problem finding one in my closet. 
Did I mention it was also Half Price! That's right, I paid $2.50 for a great wrap sweater that I am loving wearing in my chilly studio, right this minute actually.

Speaking of not passing up an off-season item... This is another new Target dress that I found last December when I was on the hunt for a New Year's Dress. Knowing that I had two warm weather weddings in my future I didn't even think about passing up this party dress for $6.99. I got a lot of compliments and couldn't wait to tell girlfriends where I got it and what I paid.
I am clearly having Way Too Much Fun in this picture snapped by wedding photographer friend Nick Kessler. (ps. the man leering in the background is my husband.)

I did find that New Year's dress after all at Clementine consignment boutique in Carytown. My brother-in-law gave me a generous gift card for Christmas and I wasted no time in buying the dress I had my eye on the week before.
 Note: if you ever find a great party dress at a second-hand-store right before the holidays consider yourself extremely lucky.

To conclude, thrifting has actually made me more stylish. It's great to spend five bucks on something I could never afford at a mall. Like this Anthropologie skirt for $4.99 that fits beautifully and looks great with brown boots. Not to mention that I am keeping all of my clothing budget in my own community. 

I can't believe how easy it is to keep it thrifty or local. When I leave the house I want to be wearing something handmade or thirfted, my Old Mall clothes have become second-class citizens. It is hard for me to imagine shopping any other way now.


  1. I was just thinking of you the other day. We need to investigate the "Jesus Couture" place at some point soon! I've got to know what they carry!

  2. Second-hand or thrifted jeans have always been my favorites. I just hate spending $50 on jeans that might end up being uncomfortable or just not looking right.

  3. I really like this blog. What a great approach to re-purposing; especially when it serves your purpose well. Carytown is rumored to be opening another vintage shop around February, though I can't say exactly where (West Side.) Thanks for the inventiveness in your posts on neat finds from around town.
    -Admirer Cary

  4. Just stumbled upon your your refashions and thrifted fashions. Is there a Goodwill Outlet near Richmond?

  5. Oh man, if ever you're ready to part with that Anthropologie skirt I would love to buy it off of you! srhshaw (at)