Saturday, August 13, 2011

Frugal Fashion...

I wanted to share the goods I found at Goodwill the other day and also discuss a few money saving tips I have learned over the last two years.

Super cute light weight sweater, slightly asymmetrical with mid length sleeves in a pretty pinkish coral color right on trend! Adore it. $5

Chunky layered stone necklace $4.49 perfect accessory for any jewel toned top!

Heavier weight long sleeve with a bit of stretch which makes it hang perfectly, in a perfectly deep turquoise. Great with jeans or dresses up cute with black skinnies and a chunky necklace. $5.

And this tunic from a previous post. Not a good photo but another pretty pink/coral number, rolled sleeves, button down and belted with matching sash/belt perfect with sandals for summer or leggings, boots, and a scarf for Fall. $5

All items perfect for work and play!

You should know, that while I am lucky to live with the amazing Mr. Jones who helps out in many ways I have really had to learn how to be a more conscious spender after I went back to school 2 almost 3 years ago! I went from living with a roommate (known as roomie on here!) and living off of triscuits, cheese and cocktails, buying myself something new almost every weekend, going out, getting weekly mani/pedi's and living from pay check to paycheck but with lots of shopping and bad spending habits that left me with very little savings.

Living with a boyfriend and transitioning to a student again living off of meager student loans in one of the worlds most expensive cities is no joke. With roomie, I rarely bought groceries and therefore spent way too much money at the salad bar at Whole Foods on a daily basis, eating out, getting cocktails a few times a week, buying a "going out" outfit almost every Friday and living it up in the "Big City". But once I went back to school, moved home, then in with Mr. Jones, life drastically changed in lots of ways. One major area was income, and lifestyle.

It should be known that I ONLY buy second hand or CLEARANCE clothing items. Not sale, but clearance... like more than 50% off. My personal rule is if it is retail it has to be clearance and cannot be more than $15. If it is second hand it has to be under $10. I also rarely go clothes shopping. I used to love shopping, putting together unique and fun outfits, perusing fashion magazines and trying my hardest to stay on trend at all times. I also worked in retail at Buffalo Exchange for a bit in college (which taught me all about the amazing world of Buy Sell Trade clothing) but I also shopped till I dropped on a regular basis.

When I went back to school for teaching my style changed a lot. I shopped for more classic pieces that could work over multiple seasons, things that were acceptable for the classroom but also "cute" and comfort was also major. There is nothing worse than treading all over a college campus in uncomfortable shoes, being there all day and not having layers to transition into and feeling uncomfortable in 3hr long classes while toting around a 50lb bag full of books, food, and school supplies!

I also stopped going out as frequently therefore I "needed" less as far as evening outfits were concerned. I still spend more than $15 on items like running shoes, jackets and jeans. (BUT I've only just recently re-stocked these items in the last year and have managed to keep all of them under $50 through sales or shopping around until I found the best deal.) And because they are basics they should be around in my closet for quite some time.

I went through my closet and pulled out almost everything I had bought on clearance or second hand in the last year. (meaning this is pretty much all I've bought give or take a few F21 pieces under $15 and items for weddings I have been in) Anything that was left in my closet is either older than a year or was a gift. None of these items cost more than $12 and most cost under $6.

This brings me to...clearance items and second hand shopping! I still don't shop that often but when I do I make sure that it's something I am really going to use, meaning I'm not buying it for one specific occasion and it can transition through seasons easily. I also try to steer clear of anything that will need altering. It's easy to find pieces for a "steal" and convince yourself that with a few minor tweaks it will be perfect. I learned this lesson the hard way. I recently bought a second hand Old Navy dress that I am IN LOVE with. I'm wearing it in several of my NC/SC posts.

I adore this dress...but not the cost!

Well it was $5 flat at Goodwill, looked like it had NEVER been worn was my size technically but still needed to be taken in and up (I am very petite) well I took it in w/o bothering to ask how much it would cost thinking it would be $15 and turns out it cost $40 to alter. $5 adorable black Old Navy Dress that I can wear over a few seasons...STEAL... $45 SECOND HAND OLD NAVY DRESS.... NOT a steal my friends.

Therefore I try really hard to put things back that don't fit perfectly which also helps curb spending. I might find 20 pieces $5 or less at Goodwill or other second hand stores but in reality only one or 2 fit like a glove. If you buy it and it doesn't fit right it will just hang in your closet forever which means you just wasted $5.

As far as clearance goes I always check Gap, they have great sale items, and they are all usually basic enough that I can hang on to them for a long time. I also only really shop at places like TJ Maxx, Kohls, or Nordstrom Rack. I buy most of my shoes and "under garments" from Nordstrom Rack because they carry nicer well made brands on the cheap folks. And things like shoes and "undergarments" need to be well made so they are not falling apart since they get so much wear.

Now I'm not a super trendy fashionista, and I can't lie I have to restrict myself from perusing fashion blogs and magazines because I do get envious of all the fun super trendy looks that I can't afford to buy. But I never feel dated in what I'm wearing and I feel like I always look put together, so saving and shopping can be done! I hope my little rant gave you some inspiration to try out second hand stores and I would love to hear from you about any tips or stores that you love for a good deal!

Happy weekend friends! Off to lay by the pool in my new summer swimsuit that I scored for $10 on clearance at H&M!

(oh we also bought those cute Lacoste towels on sale at Macy's buy one get one free! Perfect for the pool and vacation since we didn't have any beach towels!)

xoxo- miss v.


  1. Great tips, dahling!! It's always hard sometimes not to splurge and go overboard when shopping. Goodwill and consignment shops really are the best!

    Love all those pieces you found. Classic and transitional! Perfect combination!! :)

    Happy weekend, pretty girl!

  2. Great post, girl! I really need to try to try shopping the clearance racks and Goodwill!

  3. You are amazing!! I have such bad willpower when it comes to sales in stores and end up buying a shirt for $5, but then it's such a good deal I'll buy like 20!! :) I need to start hitting up goodwill too...

  4. That's awesome, such good advise. I think I need help though because I can never find anything in my size!! Come vacay in TX and help me. :)

  5. Thrift shopping is so much fun! It is like a treasure hunt- you never know what fabulous gem you'll find. And the hunt is half the fun :)


  6. Just another reason why I love your blog. I swear we are identical. When I took a pay cut I realized that I had to stop shopping. In the last 8 months I have only shopped at Goodwill (I swear DC/VA/MD have the best Goodwills and Tuesday's are 25% off clothes!) and maybe have gotten a few things at Target or Forever 21. I somehow have the best luck finding great items that are still in style.
    I couldn't agree with you more when it comes to the way things fit and whether to buy or not. I did buy a $5 GAP dress for a wedding and had it altered. In total it was a $45 dress which is still cheaper than buying a dress in a store.
    Keep up the thrift store posts! I love them!