My First Frugal Fashionista post
This is where it all started…now it’s an ongoing series…:)
With frugal living becoming the new buzz word of the year, people are becoming more aware of the many options for
living on less…and loving it!
While some people may be open to saving dollars by eating at home, or possibly cutting a few coupons here and there, wearing someone else’s cast away clothes seems like it’s crossing the line.
Well, we are going to change your mind about this. Just because you may buy clothes second hand doesn’t mean you have to look like it’s second hand.
This new weekly series called the Frugal Fashionista will:
- 1. Unpack your reservations about choosing second hand clothes
(you’ve told yourself you just can’t get past the smell),
2. Give you tips on where to look
(all stores are not created equal),
3. Teach you how to browse efficiently
(ugh, I just don’t have the time to go through all the racks)
4. Give you a place to start
(we’ll begin with some basic “easy to find” core wardrobe pieces that all thrift stores or yard sales will have),
5. Give you the opportunity to share some of your Frugal Fashionista finds.
Each week I’ll show you a designer labeled outfit that was put together for less than $15. That will includes the accessories and shoes.
My desire is that this will peak your curiosity, open up a financial savings possibility that you may never have before considered, and spruce up your own wardrobe at the same time.
Last fall I was interviewed on the news about my Good Will shopping. The reporter took me by surprise and asked, “Do you have to shop at Good Will?”
I thought that was a bit bold of her, but for me, that was an easy answer.
At times in our earlier marriage (with four children in 5 1/2 years), I may have needed to, but now that I can afford to buy retail, I would never go back. The quality and variety of clothes that I have become accustomed to would never fit into our debt free living budget if I were to purchase them retail.
Last year, I hit one yard sale in a very wealthy neighborhood. The wife was clearing out her closet and brought out over 75 designer pieces of clothing and 20 pairs of shoes. Her hubby told me after she left that she was just getting started on the first closet. WHAT? Many of these items still had the tags on and some of the shoes had never been worn (yes, I know the used shoe topic is a whole different ball game. I’ll save it for a separate post. 🙂
After you hit one “jack pot” like that, the thought of paying $1000 for the pieces that I purchased from her would make me hyperventilate.
Maybe this season will be your “jack pot.”
One of the quickest ways that I feel like a “million bucks’ is when I wear a fabulous pair of boots. Even though I am definitely a comfort over looks kind of a gal, I can suck it up for a few hours to top off the outfit. 🙂
Leather Aerosols that had no wear on them
( and no, they are not your grandma’s brand anymore) –
$6 at Good Will (plus 10% off since I have the frequent shopper card, oh yes I do).
This is about as much as I will spend on footwear.
One thing I love is trying new accessories.
I used to be quite conservative with my accessories – small hoop earring etc.
Now I experiment with a large variety of styles, and have fun.
If I don’t like them, I can pass them on. I only spent $1.
Perfect example – long brown earrings – $1 (new at yard sale).
Chunky necklace – $2 (ys)
brown shell under shirt – $.50 (ys)
Banana Republic jeans – $1 (ys)
Necklace – $2
Shirt – $3.25
tank top – $.50
Boots – $5.40
Total cost of outfit:
Now, that’s a good thing!
The Next post in the series…
Building a Core Wardrobe – Frugally
Lookin’ good! I’m inspired AGAIN. Thank you.
This should be fun!!
You ROCK Jen!!! You are the queen of Frugal Fashionistas everywhere. I bow to you!
Luv ya ~ Amanda
p.s. I got a pair of similar boots last weekend at a YS for $2. How can you NOT love that?
I have never good will/ yard sale shopped. The good wills in my area are so nasty it just seems really unpleasant– do you just suck it up or have you found nice ones?
Cute! Cute! Cute! Wanna be my personal shopper? 😉
Looking forward to future posts. Putting aside those reservations will be a tough one for me.
Well, I am no so sure about this one but you look WONDERFUL! This outfit does surprise me…you may have me won yet~
AWESOME! I love a good bargain and you look like a million bucks!!!!
The other day I had an outfit on that cost me a total of 4.10 cents..LOL. I LOVE shopping at yard sales, thrift shops. I ended up buying the other day a gorgeous denim skirt and jeans for 2 dollars. The jeans alone would have been 35.00. I couldn’t believe I paid a dollar for them. It is SO exciting to be able to get amazing clothes for so cheap.
Fabulous outfit & great bargains! I, too, am a die-hard thrift store fan (although I have more luck at Salvation Army as our GW has someone, on staff, who knows about fashion and prices accordingly!). Can't wait to see what other beautiful ensembles to come up with! For those of you, with reservations about shopping at S.A. or G.W., Meryl Streep was interviewed right after "The Devil Wears Prada" came out. Her favorite place to shop: Salvation Army in Poughkeepsie, NY!
Oh, I love this! I need help too when it comes to dressing for the office..I’m a manager in a local bank..any hints for us there!!??
Love your blog. I too shop at Goodwill & it's not unusal for my entire outfit to be from GW. I find the best stuff there! Our stores are new & very well organzied. They do big business in this area & not just because of the economy. There's lots of great things to be found!
You did amazing!!!
Miz Jen, you look fabulous and I love that you were able to find all these bargains but I swear my area stinks for nice things. If it's not a stained WM shirt or a pair of polyester elastic waist pants then you won't find it here. I've tried. In the last year I've found 2 shirts and 1 raincoat, granted the raincoat was LizWear & only $15 @GW but for a year's worth of effort not much pay off clothing wise. Perhaps I need to move to your neighborhood! *smiles*
I am impressed!
Score one or $12.15 for you!
We are avid goodwill shoppers and yard salers. We are just itching for what we call “Yard Sale” season to start.
Wow!! I never have time to shop yard sales. I guess I could try good will – the one closest to me ir yucky but I guess I should give it a try. You look awesome!!!
Awesome! Love this outfit, it looks great.
I am so with you! I LOVE Good Will. I recently lost a bunch of weight (and am working on some more), so I didn’t want to spend a lot on clothes until I settled on a weight. Now I don’t think I will go back. I have got some AWESOME suits and other peices at CRAZY prices. A few weeks ago I spent about $60 at GW and got 2 suits, a dress, and about 6 pairs of shoes. I spent more on the drycleaning than on the clothes!!!
Awesome, awesome! You look like a million bucks. 🙂
Wow! What a cute outfit! I loved this post.
I have always been a thrift shop/yard sale kind of gal. I can get such nicer things than if I was to buy new. I certainly can’t afford the tons of Liz Claiborne stuff I own that I purchased for pennies on the dollar. My favorite find was a brand new, tags still on, Talbots dress at the Salvation Army for under $10. The tags had the dress at over $80. I was so excited.
Very cute! I buy stuff at Goodwill all the time but I never bought myself any clothes until last fall. I hate clothes shopping but since I’m in Goodwill every week it’s easy enough for me to have peek at the clothes.
Very cute thrifty outfit. I love thriftin’ for clothes, but have a hard time finding jeans–I have long legs. I love getting purses at thrift stores.
My mother-in-law has shopped – almost exclusively – Goodwill (& another local-to-her thrift shop) for years. She is always complemented on her clothing. Also, at the beginning of every new season, I give her a list of what I will need for the boys and she shops there for their clothes as well. They're able to wear name brands that I would *never* spring for – even if I am able to afford it.
Well, she converted me 2 weeks ago when she took me shopping at these two stores and I was able to find A LOT of brand name capris for summer for myself. I only wish I lived closer to her, because we don't have thrift stores here.
Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to see what you come up with in the next posts!
i love ann taylor things, but that store depresses me with their price tags. its so exciting to get a piece 2nd hand! 🙂
Girl, amazing! My thrift store is ridiculously overpriced so I tend not to buy there. It’s sort of disheartening. But I’m really looking forward to yard sales this year and hope to find some nice pieces. I’ve also been doing some thrifty fashion posts over on my blog. I’m so excited to see what you do next!
Fabulous! Beautiful outfit.
I have promised myself to go yardsaling this year. I quit because I really could not do it with 5 babies in tow. This year my youngest baby is 4 1/2. I may be able to swing it again.
Hey, cutie! You and I think so much alike. I just love your designer outfit. I would have bought all of that too. And I even buy used shoess too if they are in gently used shape. No problem for me at all! My 2 layered tops in the pic of me & Layla shopping cost me $2 total. Both from yardsales. Gotta love it!
Looks great! I’ve been looking forward to these posts, especially in the accessory aspect – I’m like you used to be, a very conservative accessorizer, but I’d like to do more. :o)
Ok, girlfriend, you look FABULOUS!!! What a great post!
I’ll admit that there was a time in college when thrift store clothing was considered cool that I frequented them often. Now I really do struggle with the “unknown former wearer” factor. I’m just having trouble with it. I’d love to hear your tips for that :)!! Cause I like the price tag of your outfits!
Keep these Frugal Fashionista posts coming!
Oh, my word! Great, great outfit for cheap. Love it! I wish we had a Goodwill closer to us… I am planning on visiting one on my next visit to the city.
Wow!! You look like you walked into Macy’s and picked that outfit up…you’d NEVER know it was the magic of the Good Will and Yard Sales. 😉 I am impressed!!!
Yep, people used to think being frugal was stupid. They don’t think that now. 🙂 Great post!
You look great! i am really looking forward to this series as I am in the “shop in the housewares but not in the clothes” camp of thrift store shoppers. I’m pretty germ/dirt phobic. oh dear! Kelly
You look great! Awesome post.
You go girl!! You are slowly bringing me around to this smart way of shopping! SUe
Love the outfit…I agree that thrift store shopping is the best. It challenges you to create something. Much more stimulating than just walking into some cookie-cutter store in the mall and spending way too much money on items poorly constructed. And, how devasting is it to spend the bucks on a special something and then see 2 other women wearing the exact same outfit? I remember buying a beautiful red suit @ Talbots for a special wedding and then discovering that the bride’s 80 year old grandmother was wearing the exact same suit!!! That doesn’t happen when I put together a fabulous ensemble from the thrift stores!
I live at Goodwill!! If you check my blog a few weeks ago you will see the vintage jewelry pieces I got at mine!!! OMGoodness!! But mine does not have a frequent buyer card…I will have to look into that!
You know how fashionable you are. I love you and your outfit.
Love it! I need a lot of lessons!! Yesterday, I stopped at a thrift store to “check it out” – I thought, “This is going to take a lot of looking!” I’m going to need the lesson on WHERE to shop, especially with time being a factor!
I do have one other thing to share – I bought a Chaps purse from Kohls -for $3.95! (It was 90% off)! It is tucked away for next fall!
LOVE IT! You look so great and all for under $15! Whoo-hooo!
I am so glad you’re doing this series! I’ve been thrifting for about 5 years. LOVE it. This week, we needed to purchase a few things for my husband’s new job. We had $53 (God provided through a spur-of-the-moment babysitting job). We prayed before we went and asked the Lord to bless our efforts and guide us to the best choices for our budget. We were able to purchase 4 pairs of shorts, 3 nice polo shirts, and even a few nice things for me! We were blessed by God’s provision for us at Goodwill!
I love this! I am huge fan of store sales, yard sales, goodwill, all that. I have no reservations about wearing used clothes, or even used shoes (as long as they’re not so used they are imprinted with the other person’s foot!) LOL.
Did I meet you at Blissdom? I think I did. You inspired me and I’ve been finding all these great, hidden little stores around me lately. My wardrobe is much better lately, at a fraction of the cost!
looking forwards to more of these posts!!!
Sounds great! I have pretty much gotten my entire maternity wardrobe from thrift stores, and I love it. At those prices, there is no reason to have just a few things to wear for these months. Looking forward to your series.
I love your post on frugal clothes shopping. I am teaching the same concepts through my Seminars and Workshops…You are a GREAT example of how to make thrift look fabulous. Have you ever been to a store called Carolina Thrift? It is like GW on steroids! They have 50% off on a certain tag EVERY DAY, and 75% off on Sundays! Can you imagine saving 50-75% on Thrift Store prices! I am doing a post on my blog for more details…Thanks for encouraging everyone to be so frugal:)
I have to laugh when folks turn up their nose at wearing clothing that “other people have worn!” My teenage daughter gave me this song and dance too. I politely pointed out to her that the clothes she tries on at Target have been tried on by countless girls before her. So technically she is buying “used” clothes. She said she’d never thought of it that way.
I personally would rather launder something that one person has probably worn a handful of times and then donated to Goodwill as opposed to purchasing something that 10, 20 or more ladies have tried on. You know, ladies that are sweaty and overexerted from their shopping day. They pop into the Target dressing room and try on that cute top. Doesn’t fit so back on the rack it goes. Twenty minutes later you pop in and put on that same top. Voila! You’ve just tried on used clothing!
Love the oufit Jen! Love the price tag even better!
i understand what you mean about the shoes. i love designer or designer look a like shoes. and, recently i found myself putting back a pair of shoes made by chineese laundry because they were $8. what some of my friends would think.
I’m with ya sister. Goodwill is my favorite place to shop. Love, love, love it!!
WoW! I am very impressed! You certainly have my attention. I’ll be back to learn more!
Amen to that. I first went to Goodwill looking for home accents to paint. Then, I started heading over to the kids clothes. Now, I look at clothes for me! I totally know what you mean!
Ummm, I don’t know how you buy shoes alone for less than $15! You’re definitely a good thing Jen! Great work!
I didn’t see anyone else ask this, so I will. Do you have any suggestions for heavier women, those who wear plus sizes? I don’t even bother looking at most thrift stores, because it seems like they have very few plus size clothes. I’d appreciate any advice about that.
OMGoodness, Jen. I own that exact same shirt from Ann Taylor Loft (my favorite place) & I had to laugh because I wore it TODAY. Too funny! I love your frugal outfit!
You are absolutely fabulous!!! I’m on a weight loss program, but stil wearing + sizes(lost approx. 50lbs so far). It’s difficult to find fashionable things with out paying extra, extra for them. I’m looking forward to this series of posts…I hope you have some good info for us 1x type girls, too! Love your blog…trying to get my daughter hooked…she would love this stuff!!!
That’s amazing! You’ve really inspired me. I haven’t been to a Goodwill in years, but maybe it’s time to check it out again. And I need to start going to yard sales in the nicer neighborhoods, apparently! Wow.
Yup…a bargain outfit that looks great! But then it helps when you are thin and gorgeous…EVERYTHING is gonna look good on you!!!!
I love it! I’m all about finding good bargins this way ..and you put it together in such a way it makes non-believers…believers!
I found a new pair of $100 Born shoes at Goodwill for only $3! I wish they had been my size! i ‘m getting excited about garage sale season!
What a sassy-cute mama!
I love the shirt!
You’ve inspired me. I am really looking forward to the next frugal fashion session.
Here is my dilemma: I CANNOT buy clothes without trying them on. What do you do at yard sales?
Are you KIDDING ME????? You look like you spent at least three hundred dollars on that ensemble. It certainly helps that you’re gorgeous to begin with… but are you KIDDING ME???
A new Goodwill opened up just up the road from my house. I am blessed to live in a “money” area (although I don’t count myself among the “money” set) and they always have nice things there. I am SO going looking next week!! My five year-old will gripe and moan the entire time, but I’ll buy him a book to make up for it. 🙂
I LOOOOVE your blog. I can’t wait for your next installment on a frugal wardrobe!!! What a blessing you are, especially to us sisters who need to live with a pretty tight budget!
Love and blessings,
I shop around at second hand stores and yard sales for my daughter sometimes, but have never tried for myself. I am shocked at how awesome your finds are! Can’t wait to read more. 🙂
Awesome!! I want to know how you plan out your yard sale shopping. Any tips for those of us who have never done that before?
Great job and outfit! I’m a GW lady too – and the Lord has blessed me greatly as I’ve shopped there with Him!
Wow. You look amazing. I really like good deals that make you look and feel all snazzy!
I’m very, very impressed with the $12 outfit you put together. I don’t think I could do it. I just replenished my “holy” (as in I work out every day and my clothes literally have holes in them) workout wardrobe and I bought everything full price retail. You would have fainted. I’m sorry. I need help.
But hubby just got a nice bonus and I had a moment of “I deserve this.”
We are debt free-by the way, so I guess I don’t need THAT much help.
Great idea. I have never bought used clothes before. I do like to visit garage sales for toys and books. I have looked at clothing and found that many items aren’t that cheap. I guess it depends where you go.
My favorite place to shop for clothes is SAVERS they also have colorcoded days for 50% off the regular price and one day a week certain colors are .99. I have found the greatest outfits.
What a wonderful blog you have.
You look great! I’ve never bought used clothes, but I might give it a try if I could find good deals on nice clothes.
Love the outfit! Great finds. My mom shops at The Bins…..GoodWill before it gets sorted. They buy by the pound. I can’t bring myself to do it yet. Maybe soon.
Great outfit! I love thrift stores and yard sales. We have a great thrift store in Kansas City that is very particular about the donations they will take. They only take clothes in good condition and they have tons of Designer clothes. They also have the largest selection of wedding dresses I have ever seen in a thrift store! I wish I had known about it when I was getting married. When I go into this thrift store I feel like I am shopping in a boutique, not a thrift store!
Good work! My girls are all into Goodwill t-shirts right now- so they have all these different schools- similar to what you pay for at some of the mall stores- t-shirts withy fictional schools- but for much less. AND if some steals their gym clothes, no biggie. It was from Goodwill.
As for the “used” mentality- once it’s washed- whether new from the store or from Goodwill, it’s all the same, isn’t it?
I shop at GW all the time, but I have never heard of the frequent buyers card – can you post on that?
Simply fabulous! This is exactly what I needed!
WOW!! Thanks for the encouragement! Those boots are awesome…and you look great. I love goodwill and am very excited for Garage sale season to start up. Now if only we could get rid of this winter weather!!! COME on SPRING!!
I’ve been thrift store shopping for about 25 years! I am only 37! I was planning on writing about it on my site but now I am just linking to yours as you have done a FABULOUS job, discussing and modeling! THANK YOU!
firstname.lastname@example.org, my site http://www.econome.info
I once found a pair of unworn Tods shoes(I checked them on the web- the retail price was $400)at a local thrift store. They were my size and were a dark blue patent loafer- were they worth $400- of course not- but they lasted me a very long time and were extremley comfortable
Hi there! Found you through Frugal Chic Living. 🙂 I also have 5 kids. They are 7,6,5,4 and 2. Your post comes in a timely manner. I was just thinking yesterday that I’m to the point that I want to scratch everything and start new. It’s been a LONG winter!
I look forward to reading your series and learning from it.
I would love to know if any of your readers have found any tips for finding hard-to-find sizes at yard sales or thrift stores. I am tiny (size 0-2, before they started with all of the “vanity” sizing that now leaves me “sizeless” with many brands), and have a hard time finding anything that fits at the high-priced mall stores, much less used. I can’t bring myself to pay that, though, so most of my clothes are either totally worn out or don’t fit properly.
Wow! I have had a lot of the same reservations about shopping at yard sales/Goodwill, but you are making me rethink my philosophy on this! Thanks for all the tips!