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Are you new to my Frugal Fashionista series? Find out how I dress for less with designer outfits for mere pennies on the dollar. Yes, all outfits  from head to toe are less than $15, and did I mention…second hand?)

We have spent time dissecting some of the essential pieces in a core wardrobe, and I have had a blast this past year hunting for these treasures.

Which piece am I featuring today?
The trench coat. This must have core wardrobe piece can go from day time fun to a night on the town with just a bit of accessorizing.

Months ago, if you had asked me about finding stylish trench coats second hand, I probably would have said that only the “dated ones” are out there. But that was because I wasn’t really on the hunt.
Now is the best time to search for coats of any style since people are clearing out winter items to make room for their summer wardrobe. Seriously, buy out of season items now. I know it’s hard to think of purchasing wool when it’s 80 degrees, but often, this is when you’ll hit the jackpot.

I started actively searching the coats section in every thrift store that I visited and just look at all the great trench coats that I have found. All of these, except for one, I’ve scored in the last four months. My last unmet trench coat goal? A classic black one. But I will not be stopped…I will find one, just give me a bit. 🙂

This lime green trench coat is my favorite. The color is washed out in this picture, but when I pair it with any pair of pants, I don’t even want to take the jacket off….it makes an outfit in itself.

This is a great way to update my wardrobe for spring/summer.

trench coat core wardrobe

Cost: $5 – GoodWill – heart you! 🙂

This tan trench was the first one I found and I really felt as if I had hit the jackpot. It’s a classic style, but the great thing with any solid trench coat is the variety. I can change out the belt and add some bursts of color with a wide patterned, belt or adding variety with any number of scarves would be perfect with this classic khaki coat.
I love white for the summer, but when it’s raining and your wet, muddy dog keeps trying to rub up against you, all I could think of was trying to avoid red clay on my pristine white coat.

This was a steal at a yard sale for $3. I know…HATE.ME! 🙂


I definitely have to feel pretty in pink when I wear this rain jacket. (And yes, another GW find).

Having a bad day? I highly recommend wearing bright colors to help change that mood.
Pair it with my precious pink Liz Claiborne purse and I’m set for my new role in “Legally Blond 3.” 🙂
The first three coats were basic cotton blends, but this one is a rain jacket. It may look like it’s sunny out, but it was raining when this picture was taken.
This last coat was an iffy purchase on my part. I should have taken another picture because it does look better in real life.
It is a heavy winter wool coat with a dash of cashmere. I knew that it would keep me cozy for those few weeks when I needed something a bit warmer than what I currently owned, and honestly, I didn’t want to have to pay much for something that would get such little wear.
When buying any coats, make sure the fit is good. Pay attention to the fit around the shoulders and the size of the shoulder pads. I was a little afraid this style made me look too line backer-ish, but honestly, I am glad I bought it anyhow. It’s a bit too big, but
at $5, I knew it was a steal for a quality winter coat. If I ever decide to splurge and have it taken in and fitted by a tailor, it will be well worth it for a classic coat that will last for years to come.

(Edited to add: A whole year has gone by and I still haven’t worn this because I haven’t had it fitted.. This jacket was a Frugal Fashionista mistake. Even if it was cheap, it’s no deal if you don’t wear it. ;))
So get those eagle eyes on and start looking for trench coats. They are out there, and now that you’re on the hunt, I’m sure you’ll find them.

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