Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Frugal Fashion: 9 Wardrobe Pieces You Should Thrift

I was thinking today about how I basically have no extra money to spend on my wardrobe.  :( Because of that, I've had to be pretty frugal lately when it comes to buying "new" pieces.  I've actually realized I can get the same or even better quality items thrifted than if I bought them new at the mall.  Here's a list of 9 things that you should consider thrifting.

1. Blazers

Blazers are on trend again this fall, and what better place to find one than your local thrift store?  There's an entire section in Goodwill and other stores specifically for blazers. There's even multiple colors to choose from!  Sure, some might be better suited for Jessica Fletcher on Murder She Wrote, but I'm not saying that's a bad thing...

Here's a grey blazer I thrifted last year.
I must say I'm not crazy about this purchase.  I think the  blazer hits me at my widest part, and it doesn't have enough shape to it.  At least now I know what I am looking for.

And a black corduroy Hollister blazer I found for $2.  (Notice baby number 3 is really growing...)

2. Jewelry

Thrift stores are constantly getting new donations.  So every day is a possibility for new, unique, funky jewelry!  Plus, $.50-$3 is affordable!  Not only do thrift stores have a variety of jewelry, but I've found some of my favorite pieces at resale stores like Plato's Closet and Daisy Exchange.

3. Denim/Jean Jackets

Will these things ever go out of style?!

Uncle Jesse says not anytime soon.

I sold my amazing Levis denim jacket a couple of years ago to a resale shop... Call it a moment of stupidity.  But, about a week ago, I found this Hollister jacket for $4 at Potter's House, a local thrift store.  I can now move on from my poor decision from the past.  ;)
Spider-man dropped in for a visit while I was modeling outfits.
Here's a close-up.  I want to point out the thrifted necklace and belt also.  

Denim jackets are not constantly changing, nor do they wear out easily.  A jacket that was new five + years ago usually looks as good as a new one sold today, and $4 certainly beats $40+ that a new one might cost.

4. Jeans

While we're talking about denim, let's jump straight to jeans.  As I said before, denim doesn't wear out as easily as a flimsy shirt that can stretch and lose it's shape.  And as long as the fit is right,  almost anything goes when it comes to jeans right now... straight leg, skinny, flare, wide leg, boot-cut, boyfriend....  In fact, I haven't bought new jeans in over two years.  Why would I when I can spend $9-$20 and get designer jeans that fit great and retail for $150?!

However, designer jeans that fit right might be harder to come by in a thrift store, but I have never had a problem finding a pair at a resale store like Daisy Exchange or Plato's Closet.  I will say these stores are geared towards the younger crowd.  Therefore, they usually don't carry sizes 16+.  :(  But there are many other resale stores that carry women's sizes that are worth checking out.

5. Skirts

This is Elaine from Clothed Much a Modest Fashion Blog.  I love her blog, because she knows how to shop  frugally.  This is one of her thrifted skirts.

Skirts are in abundance at any thrift store or resale store.  I find tons of pencil skirts at places like Goodwill and Potter's House, and they're in a variety of colors.   Also, pencil skirts can be easily hemmed if you have any kind of skills with the sewing machine.

Maxi skirts and dresses are also in abundance at resale stores.  With such a wide selection at a fraction of the price, it seems like a no-brainer to buy thrifted skirts.

I used this picture earlier, but I wanted to show it again since this skirt is a thrift store find... In fact, the entire outfit is thrifted!  The skirt normally is longer, but due to baby bump, I have to pull it up higher.

6. Shoes

I am aware that some of you might be saying ga-rossss right about now, but if you can get past wearing someone else's shoes, there is a wonderful invention called Lysol to clean them.  Since my budget doesn't allow me to spend hundreds of dollars on shoes, I get to search for great shoes used.  And actually, most of my thrift store shoes, that cost only a few dollars,  have lasted longer than a lot of my shoes bought new.

Here's a few of my thrift store finds.

7. Belts

I follow a few different fashion blogs.  Some are frugal, but most are not.  I've seen a lot of belts as accessories to outfits on the blogs, and when they have a listing of prices, the belts are almost always over $20!  I'm talking about a skinny, not even leather, plastic looking belt.  I'm baffled by this since I've bought nice leather belts from thrift stores for $1!  Not only do thrift and resale shops have tons of belts to choose from, but stores like Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe also have a nice selection of skinny colorful belts to spice up an outfit.  

I bought these belts yesterday.
The prices ranged from $1.99-3.50.
I wanted to post this picture again just to say this leather belt was thrifted for $1.

8. Purses
Purses are honestly something I don't think a lot about.  I didn't carry one until I had my first kiddo and carried the oh-so-fashionable giant diaper bag from Target.  I finally scaled down to a large brown leather purse I found for a few dollars at Goodwill, but I must admit, I don't ever really think about purse shopping.  After seeing some beautiful thrifted purses on various blogs I follow, I have decided to keep my eyes peeled  for one next time I go shopping.  
Here are a few examples since I don't have any to show you.

9. Maternity Clothes
This is a must for this list since two of us defrumpme gals are pregnant right now.  I have never known a greater scam than the maternity clothes market!  They are NEVER on sale, unless they're capris and it's December 28th.  Not only are they never on sale, but they are almost always ugly, you only wear them for a few months, and they're outrageously priced!  I actually don't even buy maternity tops when I'm pregnant.  I look for flowing larger ones at regular stores instead.  Unfortunately, I do need to wear maternity jeans, but I have found this go around that there are a ton of decent maternity jeans in thrift stores and resale stores.  I recently bought multiple dark-washed boot-cut Old Navy jeans for a few dollars each.  Thanks to Susan's how to skinny jeans tutorial, I now own skinny maternity jeans... If there is such a thing.  ;)

If you want a wider selection of maternity clothes though, I highly recommend consignment sales that come around a few times a year such as Rhea Lana's.  Not only do they have great deals, but most of these sales have a 1/2 off sale at the end of the week!


  1. For the last couple years, whenever I need "new" clothes, I go to the thrift store! Most all of my skirts have come from there & 1 is my husband's all time favorite outfit for me :) I need to go back soon, since I only have 1 winter skirt, 1 pair of jeans & 2 long sleeved shirts lol. I am one of the people that says "ga-rossss" when it comes to thrifted shoes, but I think the time has come for me to get over it :) I would love to find a couple cute belts, too. Great post!

  2. Thanks Heather! It definitely was weird for me at first to buy used shoes, but I don't even think about it now. :) I do have standards though. They have to look fairly new, and there can't be any of those grubby footprints inside...ehhhh.

  3. I love thrifting! I will admit though, I have a hard time buying used shoes, I've done it, but they have to be perfect. :)