Building your ideal wardrobe can be tricky when you are on a budget, especially when it’s not just you that you need to clothe. A smart woman looks for deals, discounts, coupons and more in order to save her money on her favorite clothes, accessories, trinkets and make-up. Always looking for a bargain is not just specifically for shopping your favorite store’s clearance rack or sales flyers. Don’t discount the finds that are abound at consignment shops, Goodwill stores and your nearest Vintage clothes boutique. With a little luck and some shopping fervor, you can go designer for less; and with something unique that you can be sure you won’t get you caught in a “Who wore it better” moment.
Finding your local shop is not difficult especially with the internet at our fingertips. A quick search and I found more than a handful in my area alone; beyond that I found nearly 20 within 30 miles. Ranging from your local Salvation Army to specialized boutiques, there are plenty of options for the budget minded fashionistas out there. Depending on how much work you want to put into finding those unique and special finds, you’ll need to decide what kind of shop you will want to visit. Going to your local Goodwill store will often yield the better deal but will require a little more shopping panache and patience. We all love to shop ladies, but needles in haystacks are sometimes not worth the trouble. It all depends on the mood and the day, am I right?
I went on a mission to find deals at my local shops by giving myself a limit of $20.00 in each store that I visited. The following awesomeness ensued:
Visiting my local Salvation Army this past weekend, I was in a lax mood with some time to kill so I spent some time perusing the racks, looking for some interesting items that were once loved by someone else, would more than likely need some dry cleaning but would end up being a killer piece for my rocking wardrobe. My steals from Sal Val include an Isaac Mizrahi Brown Summer skirt, $2.99, a adorable no name Khaki skirt, $2.49, brand new with tags striped GAP tee $3.99 and two vintage belts with so much personality that I could not stand it, $1.99 a piece. Grand total $13.49 HOORAH! I could not believe the treats for under twenty buckaroos.
When looking for a great consignment shop, a great tip before heading to a shop you have never been to is to check some local reviews of the establishments. You don’t want to drive 20 minutes to what would seem like a quaint and specialized boutique and end up at an indoor yard sale. Yard sales are fine but not when you were making the special trip to what you dream will be a vintage clothes extravaganza. A great resource for this is Yelp.com, which not only can offer the search tool but a wide variety of user reviews. A prepared shopper is a successful shopper.
I actually found a consignment boutique in Newton, Ma by accident and had a little extra time to spare. Second Appearance, offered some really nice and some really cool clothing on consignment. The gals working were super helpful, not pushy saleswomen and were just sort of chilling while you perused. They offered me information on the sales rack of clothing that needed to sell, where I found an awesome vintage poncho, yes poncho that was just too interesting to pass up at $10.00. An adorable vintage blue straw clutch/ wristlet that caught my eye and while the $18 price tag made me a little whiny and would push me over the $20 deal I had made with myself, I had fallen in love. When I brought the poncho and clutch up to pay, the owner nonchalantly marked the clutch down to $10.00 and the poncho down to $8.00. $18.00 gals, not too shabby. These are the types of lovely deals and lovely people that one can meet when shopping for a steal… and in the end? I kept under $20.00!
Mommies, this isn’t just specifically for you but also the kids as well. Children’s boutiques, such as the well known The Children’s Orchard, resell and also consign previously loved children’s clothing. In 22 states across the US, they offer cash for your gently used children’s clothing and offer more in the form of store credit so that you can dress your growing child in current kiddie fashions. What is not to like about that deal?
Another great tip for saving some sweet dough?! Don’t forget to donate all your previously loved items to your local good will store or Salvation Army. Not only are you giving these items for a good cause but you can also receive tax credit for your donations. Be sure to ask the associate at the stores for a donation slip to document the duds you are parting with.
There is nothing wrong with finding fashion in unlikely or unconventional places. Be proud of your finds, wear your ponchos proudly and don’t forget to pop your favorite gloss in that vintage clutch you are sporting for a summer night on the town.