Wednesday, September 5, 2007

1. Get Thrifted

I spent a fair part of my evening attempting to get a decent photo of this dress...unfortunately, this was about as nice a shot as I could get with my digital camera.* I stumbled upon this most excellent find at the Value Village 1/2 off Labor Day sale on Monday, which cost me a mere $5. The ribbon belt actually came from another dress I already own, as the belt for this dress is missing. I plan to buy a piece of ribbon from the fabric store to attach to the piece permanently, to prevent any further belt-losses.

I also picked up a pair of Gap jeans for another $5, which were about 3-4" too long, but I think they look quite nice with an upturned cuff to compensate.

Two weeks before that, I found another 2 pairs of jeans for $5 each at the same thrift store. Sadly, one of the two pairs shrunk when I put it through the dryer, but for $5, I really can't complain. I've ruined so many more expensive pairs of jeans doing the very same. This time, instead of hating myself for wasting $30-40 on a pair of jeans I was able to wear once, I can say I donated $5 to charity, and send the shrunken pair back to the thrift store to find a third home, guilt free. Ealier the same day at Goodwill I picked up an Indian scarf in a deep scarlet for $3, a compilation of three books by Woody Allen for $2, and a copy of "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac for a dollar.

It's really exciting to think I've developed a shopping habit that for once, I can afford. Besides thrift stores, I've spent my summer prowling garage sales, finding all sorts of interesting things. Mostly books, all of which were in surprisingly good condition. But I've also found a house plant in an adorable pot ($2) and a brand new jacket ($2.50) which I've already worn several times.

Sadly, the end of summer brings with it an end to the garage sale season. I do plan to continue hitting the thrift stores on a frequent basis, however. For as long as I can remember, I've never been able to afford more than a few pairs of jeans at a time. By the time I had enough money to go shopping again, my clothes were nearly worn out or ruined, and I'd have to replace what I had rather than add to my wardrobe. If I'm able to find such inexpensive jeans already broken in and dryer safe, or other pieces to mix into the rotation of what I buy new, I may be able to compile a relatively full set of clothes for the first time ever, and in only a matter of months.
An exciting prospect indeed...

*Note to self: Your digital camera doesn't appear to take very nice photographs. Perhaps you should consider purchasing a new one?

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