At the End of Your Robe: Get Thrifty With It

Published: Apr 17, 2009

When the going gets tough, the tough go thrifting. Growing up in the Midwest, I wanted a designer look but couldn’t afford the designer prices. So I did the next best thing—found one-of-a-kind items at thrift stores and pieced together my looks with little more than the change in my pocket. Times are tough again for many of us and getting more for your money is the cool way to shop. Thrift store shopping takes a little more time and a lot more digging, but you can find classic, high-quality pieces as well as more outré ones. Armed with this strategy guide—a thifter’s dozen of tips—I guarantee you can score a new spring wardrobe for the price of last year’s little black dress.<p>1. <b>Choose wisely</b> <br>Try to avoid thrift stores in neighborhoods filled with college kids and hipsters—they will most likely be picked over, and the quality of the inventory may not be the best. Wealthy communities with older residents usually have the top shops and stores.<p>2. <b>Shop frequently</b> <br>Good merchandise moves quickly through thrift stores, so plan to hit your favorite shops once a week. Better yet, find out when “re-stocking” day is, and plan to go then.<p>3. <b>Dress the part</b> <br>Wear comfortable clothes when you thrift. An outfit that’s snug lets you things on over your clothes if there isn’t a fitting room. Wear thin socks for trying on shoes.<p>4. <b>Prepare to leave empty-handed</b> <br>Remember to ask yourself the 3 F’s about any piece of clothing: Does it Fit, Flatter and Function? It doesn’t matter if it only costs $3; if you don’t wear it, that’s $3 thrown away and unnecessary junk cluttering up your closet. [more]<p><b><em>--Posted by Julie Green,</em></b><p>Recession Briefing 4.17<br>Screwed: Possible 1,600 in Chicago<br>Recession Dispatch from…a New Yorker in Santa Monica