I’ve been consignment, second-hand and thrift store shopping for years (Gross, I just played the I-was-doing-it-way-before-it-was-cool card). I consider myself somewhat of an expert in this area. It’s a great way to save money, and discover eclectic looks. Here are two outfits straight from my closet, with price tags included:
WARNING: Pitfalls do exist. Everything is buyer beware, so:
1) Inspect it. Even if you only paid a few bucks for an item, you likely won’t wear it if it’s stained or the zipper is botched.
2) Skip it. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need or just because it’s cool. I have a leopard print fur collar that I’ve worn twice. It’s neat to own, but to what end? Also, be very aware of what new costs versus second-hand. If I can buy Le Chateau new for $50 (which I won’t), why would I pay $25 in a consignment shop (which I don’t, btw)?
3) Watch it. I used to tell myself I saved tons of money by shopping this way, until it got to the point that I was addicted. I’d buy a $15 item once or twice a week. In the grand scheme, $120/per month is still not a huge budget for clothing. But, what else can I spend that money on? Is it better to save up for a big ticket item or simply save up? Currently, I’ve declared an indefinite moratorium on buying clothes.
I mean, how many strapless short dresses does one gal need?
PS I would love to see your best second-hand and consignment finds. Post them or email them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
* These two pairs of shoes are, by far, the most expensive I own. They were both purchased brand-new. The boots were worth it. I wear them often, and I look forward to wearing them 10 years from now. The high heels were not worth it. They hurt my feet, and they’re hard to walk in. I’ve worn them, at most, twice – including this photo. The boots were a planned purchase; I saved the money, and they were a reward for finishing my first Masters class. The heels were an impulse buy; I was hungover, and avoiding Disneyland. The moral of the story: you decide.