Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frugal Luxury...10 tips for Thrift/Consignment Store Shopping

I've been shopping thrift and consignment stores for years. I don't have to anymore-I can afford brand new things; but I like thrift shopping. Today I found this stunning linen/lace shirt from Coldwater Creek for around 10 bucks. Oh yeah! Love those crisp white blouses!

The lace is exquisite.

The embroidery is sweet.

Classic, simple, a little romantic.

Shopping thrift stores is nothing like going to the mall. You have to think a little bit differently. Here are some tips for successful thrift-store shopping.

1. Be open-minded. Most thrift store merchandise is one-of-a-kind, so you may not find what you intended to buy that day. But you may just find something else that is fabulous. Today I was looking for a little white cardigan. There wasn't a single one in the shop. Instead of becoming frustrated with what I could not find, I broadened my search.

2. Because of this, look at everything in your size.

3. Don't buy anything you don't absolutely love. Just because the prices are cheap, resist the urge to load up on a bunch of stuff that you probably won't wear. If you do, you're likely to box it up and send it back to Goodwill next year.

4. Spend a little more for quality. I'd rather spend $10 on one beautiful garment than the same amount on 4 marginal pieces. You get what you pay for, even when thrifting.

5. T-shirts are tough. People wear the daylights out of t-shirts. Thrift store t-shirts are often faded, pulled out of shape, pilled, and stained. Brand new t-shirts are relatively inexpensive. Use your 'new clothes' money for nice new t-shirts to put under your thrifted cardigans, blazers, and hoodies.

6. If the shop is filthy and the merchandise smells...go elsewhere. You deserve a nice shopping experience. There are plenty of great shops that demand clean, quality clothing.

7.  Go to the mall for ideas. Make a list of things you'd like. Then scout around thrift stores for similar items. It's important that you do this. For awhile I spent so much time in thrift stores that I totally lost touch with current fashions being shown in department stores!

8. When someone compliments a thrifted outfit you are wearing, if they ask where you got it...be honest. Tell them about that great consignment store you've found. It's not shameful to buy second hand things if you need and love them. In fact, there are so many reasons to thrift-ship; it's environmentally friendly, supports local businesses, and saves you money while increasing your ability to have a great wardrobe--just to name a few.

9. Of course you'll launder anything you purchase before you wear it. So think twice about buying dry-clean only items.

10. Don't forget the accessories! Oh my gosh...did you know that you can buy a beautiful designer scarf for just a few dollars at the consignment store...about one tenth the cost of department stores? The same goes for jewelry and purses.



Linda O'Connell said...

Debora, you and I could spend a day thrifting. I too, love it. That is the prettiest shirt. Happy shopping.

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

You found a treasure...such a CUTE shirt/sweater! Love your philosophy of frugal luxuries.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

My favorite thrift store tip: If you are going on a girls getaway to a beach town, pack undergarments and swim suits. Everyone goes to a thrift shop for clothes to wear during the getaway...and donates the clothes back at the end if the week. No trying to figure out what to pack and no laundry when you get home and everyone wears fun clothes that they might ordinarily not wear.

Debora said...

Wow, eliminating all of the laundry when you get home is genius!

Debora said...

Thanks for the visit and comment Tracey! Had no idea there was a blog out there called Frugal Luxuries! I'll be visiting often!

Debora said...

I think we were separated at birth!

joanne said...

great tips! Consignments shoppes work well when you need to sell a few things too...everyone wins! Love the top.

ellen b. said...

Very nice find and very good tips!

Anneliese said...

Good advice! Some people are so good at finding things at consignemnt stores. I think you nailed it with taking time to see what's in the stores and looking until you find something you really like... not just getting it because it's cheap.


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