“These days, you’ve gotta milk a dollar out of every dime.” ~Gayle Forman, Where She Went
So you mailed off your taxes by today, and have decided to revisit the whole sticking-to-a-wardrobe-budget-thing. But how do you maintain your hot, sizzling self and keep that budget squeaky clean? Simple. Open up where you’ll consider buying from. Does it have to be ‘new’? Is anyone really going to know if you don’t tell them? Buying from second hand sources opens up a lot more potential.
1. Online. With the internet, shopping for second hand clothes can be much easier. If you know how things tend to fit you, and/or you’re familiar with how a brand tends to fit you, you’ll have a good chance of buying well online. Even better if the seller has a return policy that works for you. eBay is the first thing that comes to mind; if you choose to go with eBay then be sure to check out the sellers rating- I personally won’t look at anyone with less than a 99% rating, unless there’s not much at stake. Also, again, I would make sure they’re good with returns before shopping. Be aware that you may have to search for a long time, especially if you’re looking for a really good price.
2. Thrift/Consignment shops. I live in Los Angeles, and we have many, many, MANY thrift and consignment shops. We also have a large population of wealthy people who regularly get rid of their ’old’ clothes (which often means designer garments worn once….) Which is great for those of us happy to buy second hand. Remember in my last blog how I suggested that as proper fit is second in importance only to wearing the right colors, the cost of having garments altered to fit perfectly should be calculated into the purchase price? If you’re buying the perfect pair of slacks for a song, then spending $10 or $20 to have them altered to fit you as if they were made for you is well worth it. Different thrift shops have different strengths; some have great designer duds, others have more volume, or casual items, others get the cast-offs of the local studios. (Those are some of my favorite.) If you live in an area without much variety in terms of thrifting, then you might consider making regular trips to areas where they have good ones; that’s the key- you have to shop on a regular basis. I’ve found that I can go to a specific shop regularly for months, with very little to show for it, then one day I go and someone who’s my size has donated/is selling tons of stuff that works perfectly for me, and I buy it all for a song.
Just remember that if you’re serious about saving money this is a logical place to consider budget cuts. No no one will know you got that beautifully cut (because you had them altered) pair of slacks in the gorgeous fabric for $10 at your local thrift store/consignment shop/eBay….so who cares?