Let’s face it– I have too many clothes. I come to this conclusion every time I put laundry away. And yet, I cannot avoid the siren’s call of the thrift store, mall, or department store. But, in my defense, lately I have been bulking up my professional wardrobe– trousers, blazers, and button downs. Many of these outfits can be incorporated into my everyday wardrobe. But, I don’t always get dressed everyday. Wait– that came out wrong. It’s not like I walk around naked! What I mean is that I have to wear a uniform to my second job.
My previous job, a manager at Old Navy, almost required me to purchase and wear the new fashions we were selling. Now that I no longer work there I have a ton of Old Navy clothes that are good for wearing sometimes, but not all the time. I would say that I had a much more casual wardrobe back then. I was/am not one of the people who can be comfortable and work an 8 hour shift in a fussy get-up. But, these clothes don’t often get to see the light of day anymore. Especially not when I keep buying new things that I am excited to wear!
That is most certainly why I shop at the thrift store– I don’t have to feel overly guilty about always buying clothes. My last trip to the thrift store ran me about $16! Here are the goodies that I got:
I have already worn the gray Ann Taylor blazer, here! I do have a few rules when I am shopping, though. I usually have some items in mind that I am shopping for. This last trip it was a black blazer, button downs/ blouses for teaching, and a knee length knife pleated skirt. These are the main items that I look for, but that doesn’t mean that I would pass up something truly grand just because it wasn’t on the list.
The second guideline I impose on myself is to focus on the colors of the day. At my local thrift store there are two colors every day that are 50% off, and on Monday’s one of those colors is 50 cents. In order for me to forgo this guideline, the item must be my size, fit very well, be in good condition, and hopefully a brand name. I will often buy something in a size that is a little larger or smaller than normal if I think I can make it work.
After I go through all the racks, I go the the mirror and start trying things on. In order to do this well you have to have a bit of foresight when it comes to getting dressed. Ideally, you will want to wear something that you can easily try things on over– like a snug fitting t-shirt and leggings. At one of the thrift stores I frequent there is no dressing room, but at the one across town there is. I always try the items on– my mom taught me this trick. This is by far the best way to discover defects in the item– a loose button, stubborn zipper, small holes or tears, and even stains. If I am trying to decide between two identical items– like I did with the black blazer (I had 6 in my cart), I start getting very picky. Size, price, and brand name are the main determining factors. But, as you can see, I did buy two black blazers. One is very standard and professional. The second one– a boy’s black blazer– I just couldn’t pass up. It felt a little snug during try-on, but I like that the sleeves end up being 3/4 length. Plus, I have had such good luck with this boy’s navy blazer, that I figured the 50 cents was totally worth it–that’s like the price of a gumball and the blazer will last much longer.
Look for these new items to show up very soon in my outfits!