Where can shoppers find stylish looks on a shoestring? Does thrifty shopping mean being cheap? No, not necessarily. Thrifty means using your shopping dollars in the most effective way. It is a positive, rather than a negative concept. It is good for each of us to be thrifty, especially when it comes to fashion shopping, regardless of the size of our budget.
Do thrifty fashion shoppers wear second hand clothes? Yes, here in Columbia, they often do. It is not at all unusual for people in Columbia to shop at His House, Goodwill, Stepping Stones, Sunshine, or other thrift stores. They also patronize consignment shops, such as Roundabouts, Mommy’s Place and Revente. Usually the fashions found have been used, but in excellent condition. Thrift shopping does not mean wearing clothing that is stained, torn, pilled, stretched out of shape or hopelessly out of style.
An excellent example of thrifty fashion shopping is comparing (something thrifty fashion shoppers always do) a pair of Land’s End chinos from Sears with chinos from Walmart or Goodwill. In terms of quality, style, durability and years of use, the Land’s End chinos may very well be the winners and the thriftiest choice, even though the original price is considerably higher.
Consider shoes from Rack Room Shoes, Payless Shoes, Kmart and Walmart. The prices may very well be comparable, as will be the style, selection, durability and thrift factor. Generally, shoes will last only one or two seasons before showing much wear and will be equally comfortable and enjoyable.
Finally, consider shoes from a consignment or thrift store. The chances may be slim, but there is always a chance of finding perfectly fitting shoes in a designer brand for two to ten dollars. Etienne Aigner pumps in mint condition have been found at Goodwill for $4.50. A chic Tignanello handbag was recently purchased at Roundabouts Consignments for $15.
So, when planning your thrifty fashion shopping, consider several issues:
- The initial price of the item
- The durability factor of the clothing
- The comfort of wearing the shoes or clothing
- The style and functionality of the fashion
- The predictable lifespan of the apparel
After considering all these factors, select classic, clean styling that will change little from year to year. Be sure to choose clothing that will transition easily from spring into summer, and even into year-round wear. Remember, it’s better to have a smaller wardrobe that you use than a closet full of clothing that you don’t use.
As always, maximize your style and minimize your spending~