Thrifting as a lifestyle is the way I roll. With that being the premise of my shopping, it’s no wonder our five children have grown up with a designer wardrobe that comes from a Frugal Fashionista lifestyle as well. Many people understand dressing their young kids in a yard sale wardrobe, but I get many arguments from moms claiming that once boys pass ten years old, second hand clothes are not readily available, nor are there any fashionable finds.
Considering that 80% of my sons’ wardrobes are all second hand finds, I beg to differ. Yes, boys are harder on their clothes. Yes, it may be a bit harder to find trendy items, but yes, you can dress your teen sons in designer clothes for pennies on the dollar.
My guys tend to lean towards the preppy side of fashion when they dress up. Lands End, Gap, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer…all the classic looks are what I scope out, yet for the day to day, they like the sports clothes, so Nike, Adidas, Rebook, etc are also common brands I hope to find.
I hit the jackpot in just one yard sale last weekend. Ten Gap, Mens Limited, Banana Republic, Tommy Bahama and more, all newly dry cleaned dress shirts, polo shirts, and athletic shirts for $1.50 – 3. Let’s face it, the dry cleaning cost more than that price as the seller so kindly reminded me.
After church on Sunday, I snapped these pictures quickly when we walked in the door, so was definitely no official fashion shoot of my men/boys. In all these years, I can’t believe I haven’t shown more of their frugal fashion because they do have some fashion sense and this does NOT highlight it.
By starting your children on a lifestyle of designer Frugal Fashion, they trust you. You have had years to prove to them that they will not become social outcasts by wearing clothes from Good Will.
I’ll never forget when our eldest first showed some appreciation for my frugal fashion finds. As a freshman in high school, one of his friends was bragging about her new pair of $89 designer jeans. He asked, “Why in the world would you pay $89 for jeans, when you can get them for five bucks at Good Will.” It was then that I knew he “got” it. My guys are considered good dressers by their peers, yet they have made it clear with me that they don’t care about wearing second hand clothes as long as they are in-style and it looks cool. Sometimes I will bring a few things home that they boycott. I am completely fine with that since I know in the long run, I am saving thousands of dollars.
Last Christmas, when our holiday budget was nearly non existent, I knew they were hoping for some updates on their wardrobe. They all told me they did not care where I bought their clothes, as long as they were cool clothes. For a then 15 and 16 year old to acknowledge that on their own, was music to my ears.
Khaki shorts have been fairly easy to find, but the pants are a bit more difficult now that my sons are all over six feet. Yet, this is the first year I have had difficulty finding them. Typically, Good Will has their pants organized fairly well.
My newly turned 16 year old son is 240 pounds and nearly 6’4″. Believe it or not, I still thrift shop for him, but yes, I’ve had to buy him a few new things this year. Athletic shorts and shirts I can always find second hand, but finding trendy pants are a bit of a challenge for this football player. They are out there and every once in awhile, I hit the jackpot on pants and will score 3-4 all at the same yard sale. This outfit above was a total of $3. Those Tommy Bahama silk shorts were $2, yet they retail for over $70. I LOVE that! (Yes, just divert your eyes to the mountain of soft drinks on our floor…it was party time.)
Our daughters have both become Fashionistas in their own right, with a definite style sense that is different than mine. Of all the people that are beginning to balk at Good Will shopping, it our oldest daughter. She is a neat nick and the fact that we bring home clothes without donating and clearing out other things is really bothering her. The Lord knew I needed her in my life.
Her outfit on the left was $2 total: $1 for the tank top and $1 for the skirt – both from yard sales. She loves yard sale-ing with me, but doesn’t prefer thrift stores. Our newly turned 14 year old is sporting his brother’s Khaki pants from Goodwill – $3.75, with a $1 yard sale shirt.
So, to my question, “Can Teen Guys and Thrifting for Fashion Work?
Absolutely. We have two teenaged boys closets full of designer clothes to prove it.
(My guys are definitely gamers when it comes to putting up with their mom’s blog. Let me know if you would like me to continue featuring both guys and girls second hand fashion on here. I may even make my hubby step up to the plate, since most of his wardrobe is second hand as well, and yes, even most of his office wear.)
New to shopping at a thrift store? Don’t miss my tips on Five “Must-Do’s when browsing for clothes in a thrift store” and “How to Navigate a Thrift Store.”