Monday, June 3, 2013

Clothes Shopping Cheaply at the Thrift Store

I needed to go clothing shopping pronto because I had some events coming up that I needed to be nicely dressed for, and couldn't wear the same nice outfit I have over and over. I could have gone to a cheap clothing store like I have before, and I would have done that if I couldn't find anything... But today I went to the thrift store and came home with an amazing bounty.

What I always had the hardest time getting cheaply had been skirts, because I was wearing a large size that was rarely carried in thrift stores, and if it was carried, was outdated or unflattering for my body. Which meant I usually paid a lot of money for skirts, full price in regular, not so cheap stores. But I needed new skirts.
I was very excited today to realize that I have gone down 2 skirt sizes! (No wonder my old skirts were falling off...) And that is despite not having lost pounds on the scale...
And now that I'm down two sizes, I'm into the range of "normal" and what is typically carried in stores, even second hand stores...

So today I scored my best deal of second hand clothing yet...

Shirts were a little harder- my upper arms are big and muscular, and my shoulders are broad, so even though I thought I'd have an easy time finding shirts, many shirts that were officially "my size" I couldn't get because my arms and shoulders didn't fit.

I love my local thrift store, because prices there range from 25-50 cents an item, and with small items like accessories, 4 for a quarter!

Here's what I got!

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The picture quality isn't so hot, but 4 past the knee skirts all with different cuts and designs. An offwhite patterned corduroy skirt, then a straight black cotton wave skirt, then a dark brown corduroy skirt with pleats, and then a colorful green, black, brown, yellow, and white woven flairy skirt.
All fitting me perfectly, and all flattering!

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8 "regular" shirts, 4 long sleeves and 4 short sleeves. All very colorful.

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A lacy black shawl, a black sweater duster, and a black, lace, wrap around shirt.

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I am always losing Anneliese's shoes (they're so tiny that they're hard to keep track of) so I got these 4 pairs of shoes for her- one regular shoes, one fancy shoes, and two pairs of sandals.

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Got some hats, scarves, and headbands.

Not shown- another baseball cap and 2 children's backpacks.

Total cost- 12 dollars.

Yup, I love my local thrift store!

Got any good finds lately at a thrift store? How often do you generally buy new clothes? Do you manage to find nice clothing second hand, or do you find you need to spend a lot of money to look presentable?


  1. I buy all of my clothes, shoes and accessories from thrift stores. Mostly Value Village (a chain thrift store). Pretty much the only thing I don't buy there is underwear and socks.
    We also buy household items there as well.

  2. Looking down at my outfit, total cost: $4 and thats because I bought my sandals, on sale, new. All my clothes are either homemade, or second hand, and I love it! When I bought new, and washed them, too many times they shrunk, broke a seam, or just didn't hold their shape. But, like you, my size is odd. I just haunt the thrift stores until my wardrobe is filled out. I laugh at friends when they tell me the sale price of what they got on sale. It usually covers the cost of several of my thrift store finds and I dress just as well as they do. A bonus is that I never see anyone wearing exactly what I'm wearing!

  3. really amazing prices. I am lucky to find Levi jeans for 7.99 at my local thrift store! Pretty much my whole wardrobe is from thrift store shopping...I easily find tops, jeans, cords...and pants/tops for my 9 year old. I get all my clothes for work at the thrift store too ...and I am not shy when someone says "i just love your shirt" to tell them I got it at a thrift store! :)

  4. I love thrift stores. I really do, the problem is is that they don't seem to like me. I am an odd size, because me hips are very wide, but the rest of me isn't so much. Don't get me wrong, I am a bigger girl (I like to say sturdy) and a lot of women's clothing just doesn't fit me right. I also have the exact problem with shirts as you have, so I try to go a size up and just couple it with a nice belt for the empire waist look when I want to look nice. I mainly have to buy my jeans from stores that charge full price, but I make sure to do my research before buying, and will pay a little extra for something I know will last Vs. Something I know will look good. The last time I bought jeans was three years ago. It was worth the 50 dollars I paid for the one pair, because I could go to the store down the street and pick up a 20 dollar pair that would last me maybe three months.

    My Kids clothes are a completely different story though. I refuse to buy baby or children's clothes from a store, I will either get hand-me-downs for my son from my brothers, or I will yard-sale to find them. My daughters clothes I can find any day free on free cycle. Same for my Husbands clothing. So we really don't need a big clothing budget except for odd shaped/sized me. I would feel guilty except I wish I could be like them.

  5. You are very lucky to have such low prices! Typically I find Levi jeans to be about 7.99 and tops 4.99 at my local thrift store. I do get the majority of my wardrobe including work clothes at the thrift store. And when someone gives me a compliment on my clothes I am not shy to tell them where I got it :)

  6. I buy 90% of our clothes at thrift stores. It's possible to get great stuff.

  7. I've been shopping thrift stores since way before it was " economically prudent" to do so. My policy is always "let someone else pay the retail." I love the treasure hunt. I just keep in my mind any "reasons" why clothing might be at a thrift store, the most influential for me would be the care of the item. If it's "not easy care, leave it there." Congratulations on your wonderful purchases!

  8. You scored! I love it when that happens! And I always think things like, "I couldn't even buy ONE of those things new for that amount of money."

  9. Those are some terrific prices! You may want to consider selling items on eBay if you can get inventory at those prices...I sell Brand name items on eBay for a living now with my husband, but I started off very, very small, just to try it out. If you can pay less than a dollar for an item and sell it for $10-20 dollars, and it only costs a few dollars to ship (and the customer pays shipping, or you can just add it in), it can really add up to help out the income you can bring in at home!

  10. Thrift shopping is hit or miss but when you find a hit (like you did today- wow- I am SO impressed with your finds AND prices), it's such a rush! I have less luck with clothing but that's likely more because I am impatient.


  11. Hi Penny. Just wanted to submit a tip that you might pass on to your readers. The website Shop Your Shape ( has a free body-shape calculator. You enter your measurements and it tells you what cuts look best on your body type. It's made thrift store shopping a LOT easier (not to mention faster) since both Hubby and I know what to look for.

  12. Great finds! You are lucky to have such great prices! I love, love, love thrifting and even blog about my weekly finds (did I mention I love thrifting). I would love for you to check it out People just don't realize how amazing thrift stores can be!


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