Ahhh….I love Sundays. I love spending the day together with my family, I love taking it easy and having a break from household chores, and I love the thought of devoting a day to just refresh and renew. But most of all, I love the chance to do something I don’t get to do the rest of the week: dress up. Forget the frumpy Monday sweatpants, the Tuesday work out attire, and the occasional Wednesday pajamas in the carpool line looks–those days are nothing but in the past. On Sunday, it’s time for hairbows and heels, pearls and perfume, and frills and frocks. It’s the one day of the week where we can go to church or lunch with friends and do something we probably do not do any other day of the week: put on a dress.
I love dresses, frilly or not, but I do NOT love the price tag that comes along with buying one. These days even buying a dress at Target will set you back at least $30.00, if not more. So what’s a frugal but fancy girl like me (and you) to do? Try shopping at the GW Boutique (that’s the Goodwill store for all you gals scratching your heads) or other thrift stores in your area. You would be amazed at the beautiful, name brand clothes, shoes, and jewelry abandoned and on sale there for 75-90% off of retail prices (dresses, pants, and tops are less than $5.00 per piece). Here are a few tips for getting your Sunday best for less at a thrift store.
Be prepared to dig a little.
To find a treasure, sometimes you have to reach deep into the treasure chest. If you have the time, sort through the bins of clothes and thumb through the hangers one by one. Don’t forget to check the racks of things not yet hung out for sale, too. Look in and next to the dressing rooms for items that caught the eye of others but did not work for them, but just might work for you.
Try things on.
Most thrift stores have a place to try on clothes, so even if you have to take the kids in the dressing room with you, it’s worth it. Often all sales are final, so you’ll want to make sure what you are buying will works before you take it home.
Select pieces based on color, fabric, or style, and not by size.
I always try on eye-catching clothes that are sizes larger and smaller than mine, because when buying second hand you never know which size will fit. Each store or brand label sizes their clothes differently, so while you might wear an 8 in one store, in another you may wear a 6 or 10. Additionally, previously washed and worn clothes are often a bit shrunken by the time they are donated, so it makes sense to buy them a size or two bigger. If you like the look of it on the hanger, why not see if you can make it work?
Shop the accessories.
Nothing breathes life into an old outfit like a new pair of shoes, a fun chunky belt, cute jewelry or an interesting handbag. Don’t neglect the accessory sections of your local thrift store to spruce up the clothes you already own.
Get creative. Consider simple alterations.
With a sewing machine and little sewing know-how, you can easily take in a dress that’s too large to fit you. Or, perhaps shorten a hem with no-sew tape. You might even consider turning a too-short dress into a tunic over jeans or leggings. Thinking outside the box when it comes to your thrift store fashion finds will keep your wardrobe updated and fun.
So next time you’re in the mood to spice up your Sunday wardrobe (or your Monday through Saturday wardrobe for that matter!) head over to your local thrift store “boutique.” It’s retail therapy on the cheap!
About the Author:
Jen Wise is a mom of three girls who loves to be fashionable but hates to pay full price! You can follow more of her yard-sailing, ebaying adventures over at www.yardsalemommy.blogspot.com.