Thrift Store Shopping

These are some outfits I picked up from thrift stores. I cut out pictures of outfits I liked and taped them into a notebook that I carry with me when I go shopping for clothes so I have some ideas of what I like and what I need to complete various looks. It takes some dedication to shop thrift stores for really good clothes and get the best deal. Stores like Goodwill have colored pricetags and the sale color changes weekly. Unfortunately, they have a no-hold policy in most of their stores and so if you see something you really like but it is not the sale color of the week, you should probably get it right then. With their high turn over rate of merchandise it may not be there when sale time comes around.

Another tip to building a great wardrobe cheaply: take pictures of the key pieces you already have and put them in your notebook as well. I tried doing it here as you can see, but it’s hard to do with a cell phone camera so at least use a digital camera.

This is a satin ruffle collar and sleeve blouse, black micro-suede pencil skirt, wide black belt with silver buckle, black patent leather slingbacks.

The ruffles are very small on this blouse as anything too ruffled makes me look like I am being eaten by my clothes.
The blouse cost about $3.99, the skirt was on sale at $2.50, the belt is a Calvin Klein, brand new with tags labeled at $28.99 picked up for a mere $3.50, the shoes are Mossimo brand never worn (they still had the tags from the store attached but price ripped off). They cost $8.99. So for less than $20.00 I got a few quality pieces that I wear with just about anything.
Here’s the look that inspired my outfit:
Because I am heavier up top than on bottom, I don’t wear a lot of ruffles or scarves. I have 2 pieces in my wardrobe that have frills of any sort up top. This sheer blouse has an attached skinny scarf. This blouse and the ruffled one above are the only 2 pieces in my wardrobe that have any sort of embellishments.
I wore a black cotton sweater vest over the top with the scarf pulled through and tied once so as to not have a huge knot in the center of my chest. I left the shirttails out and pulled on dark wash mid-rise skinny jeans, added my riding boots and wah lah.
The cost for this outfit: Blouse $2.99, vest $2.99, jeans $4.99, boots $19.99.
The boots I bought at Walmart on sale and they were obviously the most expensive piece in my outfit. I got long instead of short sleeve on the blouse as I have wide upper arms (yes read that flabby.) Short sleeves tend to make them look even heavier so I go with longer sleeves.

Here’s the look that inspired my choices for this outfit:

I tend to keep my bottoms monotone, adding color and dazzle on the top with metallic fabrics or a bright print. With my shoes and boots I try to stick with classic pieces that won’t go out of style and that will go with just about anything I put on.

If I want to downplay the print in the first top I can wear the sweater vest over it. Add in the jeans and a pair of classic pumps ($4.99). Or how about a black leather jacket with a zip front ($12.99)? It’s a thin jacket similar in weight to a light cotton blazer. It had a self-tie belt originally but when I picked it up it didn’t have the belt so I sometimes add my own to it. I zip it to the bottom of the ruffles, untuck the ruffles at the collar and sleeves, add a pair of black boot cut slacks ($3.99) and the slingback pumps.

Instead of the sweater vest over the sheer blouse, I add a burgundy satin camisole ($.99 on the clearance rack), black velvet jeans ($4.99), and black flats ($1.99).

Another favorite combination: The leather zip front jacket, burgundy camisole, black velvet jeans, burgundy platform pumps, black belt around the jacket just under the chest.

And there you have it. My under $100.00 wardrobe. I have several other pieces I mix and match in there, such as, a black mini dress with a mock turtleneck that can serve as either a dress or as a tunic depending on the occasion, several long boho-style sweaters (one is hot pink and I love it but havent figured out what to wear it with just yet since the outfit I bought it for is the wrong shade of pink), various satin blouses in solid colors, a few baby tees, lots of jeans, a few long skirts in pretty prints since, even though they make me look shorter than I already am, I simply adore them. I have plenty of high heels and boots to mix and match although I must admit to finding a couple of pairs of shoes and a pair of boots at Target that I simply have to figure out how to budget for. Over the 2 years I have been building my wardrobe I have probably spent no more than $500.00 total just shopping thrift stores.

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