Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Confessions of a Thrifty Fashionista

blog by: kim

Oh how I love clothes shopping for a good deal and being eco friendly at the same time. Being good to the environment doesn’t mean that you have to do without comfort, style or nice clothes. Thanks to vintage & thrift stores, it means being kind to your environment while you shop.

Upscale resale boutiques are great. These places accept newer, gently used clothing that is current. Thrift stores require more sleuthing, but it can be well worth it.

Me in my $4 BeBe White Hoodie. . .

I think BeBe is a bit over priced in the malls if you are paying full retail, so I was happy to find this.

Me in my American Eagle T shirt today...$3.00 

...and the American Eagle T shirts retail for $24.95!
Cute jeans were $9. Name brand.

My new cotton sun dress with embroidered flowers. Too cute to pass up! I won't even tell you what a great price this was.

Plato’s Closet offers American Eagle, Hollister, Aeropostale, Gap, Juicy and other top name brands.

Once Upon a Child for little ones. You’ll find Limited Two, Justice and other hot brands that are otherwise over priced.

I found these black knee-high boots that would have been over $100 retail at the mall. Got them for $8. Yes really!

Being environmentally savvy or "green" involves renewal, regeneration and giving back.  Here’s ideas that are eco-chic and high on style:

Reused Clothing-

All reused clothing is green, since – by being salvaged – it doesn't find itself piling up in a landfill for all of eternity. It may take a little time and patience to hunt for individual items, but when you uncover those truly one-of-a-kind pieces that rival many of today's mass produced fashions, second-hand shopping is totally worth the work. So go ahead and shop with wild abandon in your local thrift or vintage clothing store.

Thrift, Consignment & Vintage Shopping Tips-

Every fashionista knows that clothing made prior to the mid 1960s was usually top quality, which is why much of it is still in excellent condition at the local thrift or vintage shop.  

Thrift Stores versus Consignment Shops versus Vintage Boutiques-

Consignment stores –  where the original owner retains some of the revenue from the sale, as opposed to making a straight donation to the shop – will often have equal quality to vintage boutiques, however thrift stores – with their hodgepodge collection and crammed racks of donated clothes – are where you must truly become a fashion sleuth.

Vintage shops will more consistently yield the best selection and the highest quality but prices will be higher than consignment shops or thrift stores. You are paying for a knowledgeable staff and a selection that is usually grouped by decade.

Until the 1960's most clothing was made to measure by major fashion houses, local seamstresses and even department stores, so definitely do not overlook unfamiliar labels. With this garments made prior to the sixties, higher quality is a given, especially if the label is woven and has been completely sewn down.

Another indicator of a high quality garment is the buttons: jet, brass, bone, pearl and the button holes themselves are a sign of good craftsmanship. Look for details such as quality lining and well-sewn seams, it will set excellent garments apart from the rest.

Thrift stores and resale stores are basically shops that sell resused items, in this case clothing, shoes and accessories.

Of course the cutest accessories that are a combination of vintage, handmade and upcycled costume jewelry are in my Etsy shop:

I have a handful of new items. I also keep the prices LOW so everyone can afford to look good. Here's a few....

This cute silver clutch

This Rocker Chic multi colored stone bracelet

These pink glass bead silver earrings. 

And for Hello Kitty Collectors, this change purse.

Recycling Vintage Fashions = “preloved”



  1. AJ said: Some fabulous ideas here, Kim. I shop for my daughter (who has designer tastes - ugh) at Once Upon A Child quite often. Another bonus regarding those stores is that you can bring in the clothes, shoes, and gently used toys that your child has outgrown, and they will give you credit for your items that is good toward your purchases from their store. It's a great deal for parents with younger children who seem to outgrow their clothes every twelve weeks. They are selective about the condition of the clothes they will accept, so you can expect their racks to have decent clothing.

  2. Kim responded: Do you see why your the yin to my yang Alisa? That's a great point that i forgot to mention. Erynn is so cute, she always looks adorable in her pics. And i'm not even saying all clothes have to be name brand, there's some affordable and less familiar brands to. We use Once Upon A Child as well. Love it.

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  5. I love this! I also made my findings in Goodwill. I love it when I found very cheap deals! Visit me Bake Me Brownies. And here's my pinboard for my thrift collection Thrift Shopping.