May 4, 2011

style on a budget

As most of the posts on this blog are fashion related, I thought I would share some of my secrets of remaining fashionable while on a fixed/limited budget. There are ways to stay on top of the season's fashions without spending alot of money. So I've decided to do a few posts here and there about shopping on a budget. In this post I'm going to be referencing large second-hand stores, such as Value Village, Salvation Army, or Goodwill. I will consult vintage shopping and other major retail stores later. 

I grew up in a family that frequented the local Salvation Army, and I was constantly getting hand-me-downs from various family and friends. So I guess for me, second-hand clothing has never been taboo. But if this is not the case for you, I hope that I can help qwell some of your thrift shopping fears.

 Here's how I approach thrift shopping:

  • Establish your clothing budget. How much are you willing (or not willing) to pay. Even when going thrift shopping, I set a limit for myself. Usually it's around $20 or $30. And you can get quite a few items for that price!
  • Seek out a thift store in your area that you are comfortable going to. There are some that are nicer than others, but check them all out and find one that suits you. HOWEVER do not judge the store by its first appearance, because you never know what gems you will find within!
  • Check labels. I've found many name-brand or designer pieces, from United Colours of Benetton, to Armani.
  • Give yourself lots of time and be patient! When my sister and I go out thrift shopping, we leave ourselves an hour or more. Do one sweep of the store or the sections you may be interested in, and then dig in! I usually grab a cart and fill it with anything and everything that looks interesting, and then try it all on to see what works.
  • Sometimes I head to a thrift store with a particular item in mind. If I spot something in a magazine or in a retail store that I find interesting, I see if I can find it second-hand first...and usually I'm not disappointed!
One thing that I LOVE about thrift shopping is that I can find all kinds of unique and interesting styles, and I know that no one else is going to have that same piece in their closet. So you can find things that are in fashion currently, but with an interesting twist. And you don't have to be a "certain type" to go thrift shopping! I think there is an idea that you need to have a certain fashion sense in order to enjoy second-hand shopping, but this is not the case! Stay true to who you are and what works for you, and I promise you can find it second-hand!

Another perk of second-hand shopping is that most of the places have a charity which they support, so you know that you're money is going to a good place. As well, it's economical and environmentally sound (basically, recycled clothing...although that doesn't sound very glamorous!).

Anyway, I could go on about all of the great things about thrift shopping, but I hope you feel inspired to go out and give it a try if you haven't already! And if you need some help or ideas, you know where to find me (here or in a thrift store)!

Pink lace button-up top. In style for this summer, and purchased for $6 at a thrift shop!


  1. great post! i hope it inspires others to discover the thrill of the thrift score.


  2. My best find so far...the pink wool jacket...most expensive purchase $14.99 at the V.V. Boutique (Value Village for the newbies to thrifting)
    As always, love your blog and your style but mostly YOU!