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The Frugal Fashionista: Thrift Happens

November 19, 2010

The benefits to frequenting resale shops are much more than just finding a good price.  It’s a great way to be more environmentally friendly and conscious of waste.  Many items can be repurposed or reinvented to put together exciting new pieces, giving you the chance to flex your creativity.

Of course, finding great clothes at a resale shop is another matter. Let’s face it– scouting for treasures at a thrift store can sometimes feel like digging through your grandmother’s attic or reliving your fashion mistakes from high school. But the trick is to keep an open mind and walk in with the right attitude.

First of all, you need to be prepared to walk away with nothing.  There have been many a visit where I have poured hours into scouring a store for that perfect item only to come up empty handed in the end.  You don’t need to make a purchase every visit.  In fact it’s wise to be selective.  Just because something is well priced doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Does it fit right?  Are there any flaws?  If you see something wrong with it, chances are someone else will too.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to dig through all the racks of clothes. Items can easily be misplaced when a store is busy or if shoppers change their mind halfway through a visit.  Plus you never know what you will find!  I have found great sweaters in both the men’s and boy’s departments.

It’s best to stay away from any type of swimsuit or undergarment unless you are lucky enough to find items with tags still on.  Anything you purchased should be washed before you wear it as well as before you stash it away in your closet.  It’s also key to try everything on before you purchase.  Most resale shops are short on dressing rooms so try to wear something that you can slip items over or under with ease.

So find an afternoon where you and a couple of friends can hit up a handful of shops and see just how much fun you can have!

Here are a few of my favorite local resale hotspots:

Re Threads | 401 State St., Madison; (608) 257-1018

The Pink Poodle | 6017 Odana Rd., Madison; (608) 276-7467

Puttin’ On The Ritz | 2532 Allen Blvd., Middleton; (608) 831-7480

The Upstair’s Closet | 1925 Monroe St., Madison; (608) 255-1925

Lady Moxie | 6706 Odana Rd., Madison; (608) 826-4268

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