Over the summer, I purchased my first set of student tickets for the 2015 football season.
Two weeks ago, I was invited to a 21st birthday party.
Last weekend, my boyfriend’s mom asked us to come visit the family for her birthday lunch.
Three events, one long holiday weekend and nothing to wear.
What could I do to remedy the situation, but take a much-deserved trip to some of my favorite local resale shops in search of three outfits—one to suit each occasion of course—without breaking the bank. The semester’s first check dropped Friday morning, but it should come as no surprise that working for a college daily newspaper is less than profitable. However, I am four semesters into my college experience—two semesters into my Reveille career—and I have never been one to let financial adversity break my stubborn, vintage consumer spirit, so once again I hit the dated, dust-covered racks where I came across a few new gems to add to my collection.
Here’s the shopping list:
A floral purple, green and blue skater dress with short sleeves, which I wore to the first home game of the season – $13.99
A sleeveless light blue a-line dress with white polka dots, which I paired with a lightweight, navy blue jacket and my new pair of vans to wear to a 21st birthday house party – $9.99
A sleeveless navy blue lace skater dress, which was a great find for a Labor Day birthday lunch that I’ll be able to use again and again – $4.99
A pair of grey Vans with white laces that go with everything – $18.99
If you decide to stick with me for the next few weeks, you’ll find I have a lot of anecdotes just like this one. As part of this inaugural post, I’ll share with you some of my basic tips and tricks for successful thrift shopping.
First, you will have to dig—literally—if you want to find the hidden treasures thrift shops have to offer. On more than one occasion, I have found myself elbow deep in a three-foot-tall cardboard box sifting through a seemingly endless mound of clothes, but it was always worth it in the end. When you set out to find adorable, inexpensive outfits, you will without a doubt come across a flop—in fact, you will come across many flops. You can’t let this discourage you. With a healthy dose of resolve, you’ll find what you’re looking for with minimal damage.
Second, dressing rooms, no matter how filthy and ramshackle they may seem at times, are important. Most thrift stores have an “All Sales Final” policy that doesn’t allow you to return anything, especially damaged goods. Whether it’s a hidden stain or unfortunate rip, a quick spin in front of the mirror will tell you everything you need to know. Even a fault as simple as a tricky zipper can be a deal breaker.
Third, go with your gut. The truth is I am not a fashion guru. I do not follow trends, and I often make purchases in spite of “fashion advice.” But I know what I like, and that’s what matters. It may not matter to you, but it matters to me, and that’s the point I’m trying to make. Dress to impress yourself, wear it with confidence and let the rest fall into place. When you’re standing in that dressing room, you will second guess yourself for falling in love with that tacky, eye-catching, floral print over-sized top. Buy. It. Anyway.
Thanks for reading. Keep an eye out for my next post where I’ll show off how I repurposed a mint green pitcher I found for free. Also, you can check out the Weekly Buys gallery on the right to take a closer look at this week’s purchases as well as other odds and ends I gather.