Author Topic: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!  (Read 6041 times)

lifepopsicle

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Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« on: July 03, 2013, 06:43:22 PM »
I just accepted a new job as a director of sales and marketing, meaning I'll have to dress very nicely for work. However, in my current job I can wear whatever I want. This could get very expensive! Instead I'm going to strive to only shop at thrift stores for my clothing for the next 3 months. This might sound like a cinch to many if you, but this will be a big challenge for me. Anyone with me!?

Mr. Minsc

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 05:36:53 AM »
I don't do all my non-food buying at thrift stores but I am increasing my frequency.  Clothes wise, I've never worked a job where a more formal or business attire was required.  Farming and plumbing, no need to look fancy. :)

DocCyane

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 06:51:14 AM »
I'm the director of marketing for a small manufacturing company and I wear jeans and $4 t-shirts every day to work. It's one of the perks. If I had to dress up, I'd ask for more money. I'd rather dress down.

lifepopsicle

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2013, 10:49:43 AM »
Yay! I'm glad some of you are on board. Unfortunately, dressing down won't be an option for me at this job, even if I opted for a pay cut to do it. I wish that could be the case! I'll update you guys and let you know how it goes. My biggest concern is shoes...used shoes, gross! I'll keep you guys updated!

lifepopsicle

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2013, 10:57:53 AM »
Mr. Minsc, What kinds of non-food items do you typically buy at thrift stores? Any tips for finding quality items?

mpbaker22

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2013, 11:28:46 AM »
Mr. Minsc, What kinds of non-food items do you typically buy at thrift stores? Any tips for finding quality items?

Are you female?
As a male, it's not too difficult.  Polos are so abundant, I only get the golf ones cause I like the feel more.  And it makes it easier to search cause there aren't nearly as many.
Jeans are the hardest thing to find, so I normally don't even check.
I guess it's hard to give blanket advice.  It depends on what specifics you're looking for.
At times I have looked for nice button down shirts, polo shirts, and dress slacks.
I have gotten multiple pairs of shoes.  I only look for used dress shoes, and I typically look for all leather, including soles.

Just make sure to look for scuff marks, tears, rips, stains, etc.

PGH

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2013, 02:09:40 PM »
You can often find new or barely worn shoes in thrift stores. I just got a gorgeous pair of never-worn Italian sandals (retailing for about $85 online) for $7 on one of the half-price days. Check out all the ones within your general area so that you get a feel for what they have. We have a chain of stores (Savers) that has wildly different qualities of merchandise in its stores, so I end up shopping for my son at one and for me at the other. I do find I have to be in the mood though, to dig through all that clothing!

2527

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2013, 04:26:43 PM »
I'd be careful.  If an employer wants you to dress well, it wants you to dress well well.  It's possible to buy good-looking clothes well below full-price retail by going to discount stores and looking for sales.  Just my comment.  Congrats on your new job. 

mpbaker22

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 01:03:39 PM »
I'd be careful.  If an employer wants you to dress well, it wants you to dress well well.  It's possible to buy good-looking clothes well below full-price retail by going to discount stores and looking for sales.  Just my comment.  Congrats on your new job.

Of course, then you're probably wearing crappy clothes that were bought new as opposed to quality clothing bought even cheaper used.  I don't think my employer is going to complain that my $320 shoes only cost $6.

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2013, 03:41:43 PM »
Only for three months? Why would I shop anywhere else?
Some of my very best clothes have come from thrift stores. Maybe it varies by locale, or maybe it's easier for men, but I have no trouble getting decent quality office / business-casual outfits second hand. Black tie, not so much... but I do keep my eyes open.

daverobev

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 05:13:52 PM »
I'd be careful.  If an employer wants you to dress well, it wants you to dress well well.  It's possible to buy good-looking clothes well below full-price retail by going to discount stores and looking for sales.  Just my comment.  Congrats on your new job.

Of course, then you're probably wearing crappy clothes that were bought new as opposed to quality clothing bought even cheaper used.  I don't think my employer is going to complain that my $320 shoes only cost $6.

^^^ This. I bought a pair of unused (tags still on) Tommy Hilfiger jeans for about $15 at the thrift store a few weeks ago. I would have paid $100+ if I'd had to buy new. Ditto a whack of nice, higher end dress shirts, blazer etc. You can shop high end at second hand stores.

Hai CJ what are some good thift shops in Ottawa? I know the... ugh. Forget the name... St. Jean de Paul, never found much in there; also a Sally Army one.. on Carling somewhere I think, not too much in there either, last time I looked.

totoro

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 07:21:14 PM »
I'd be careful.  If an employer wants you to dress well, it wants you to dress well well.  It's possible to buy good-looking clothes well below full-price retail by going to discount stores and looking for sales.  Just my comment.  Congrats on your new job.

It is entirely possible to dress very well from a thrift store - designer well - at well below marked-down retail.

rocklebock

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 09:17:51 PM »
I already do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores, but I also have to get some furniture and other household stuff in the next few months, so this will be a good challenge - I'm down. Ditto what others have said on finding high-end designer goods at thrifts. I have Prada shoes and a Dries van Noten handbag from the Goodwill down the street.

LowER

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 11:00:43 PM »
Thrift stores are awesome and I do most of my shopping there.  For high-end work clothes I buy from sierratradingpost.com, usually for 80+% off retail.  I have no affiliation with them though I have spent a LOT over the last 25+ years and have saved gads of money.  I've returned just a few items and it has been very easy to do that.  It takes some time and many of the best deals are for less common sizes, and unfortunately I am a very common size.  Many of the high-end clothes in mens are the same brand names you find at Neiman Marcus (Needless Markup).  I used to live right down the street from a small tailor shop that was owned and operated by the tailor for NM, Brooks Brothers, et al., and was always surprised by the clothes I brought in, occasionally asking where I got them like he was going to solve a bank robbery.  Perhaps that was because I usually walked in wearing tattered Carharts and grass-stained Crocs and thread-bare T-shirts.

KimPossible

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 11:18:20 PM »
Only for three months? Why would I shop anywhere else?

+1  :)

daverobev

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 08:19:27 AM »
I'd be careful.  If an employer wants you to dress well, it wants you to dress well well.  It's possible to buy good-looking clothes well below full-price retail by going to discount stores and looking for sales.  Just my comment.  Congrats on your new job.

Of course, then you're probably wearing crappy clothes that were bought new as opposed to quality clothing bought even cheaper used.  I don't think my employer is going to complain that my $320 shoes only cost $6.

^^^ This. I bought a pair of unused (tags still on) Tommy Hilfiger jeans for about $15 at the thrift store a few weeks ago. I would have paid $100+ if I'd had to buy new. Ditto a whack of nice, higher end dress shirts, blazer etc. You can shop high end at second hand stores.

Hai CJ what are some good thift shops in Ottawa? I know the... ugh. Forget the name... St. Jean de Paul, never found much in there; also a Sally Army one.. on Carling somewhere I think, not too much in there either, last time I looked.

Before I tell you that, what's your shirt and pant size? I could be adding competition. (kidding)

The Value Village in Orleans is FANTASTIC for men's clothes. It's surrounded by middle and upper class families and the stock appears to be discards from the area.

The one on Cyrville Road isn't quite a good but worth a look. Both are good for housewares. (pots, pans etc)

Come to think of it, the Salvation Army Thrift Store (Sally Anne) in Orleans (Jeanne D'Arc at Innes) is excellent for a multitude of items as well.

I regularly hit up the Value Village on Clyde at Baseline and the one on Bank Street near Walkley.

Those are all my hot spots.

The place you're thinking of St. Vincent de Paul. I haven't had much luck there.

Haha, thanks. What am I... 34 inches for trousers I guess; don't worry, I'm not looking for shirts!

Looking for a dehydrator but that's another story.

aarmfield

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 05:37:03 PM »
I only buy clothes once/year.  I would love to participate, but will do so on a non-3month basis.  Just go there when I need to shop.

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2013, 09:00:02 AM »
...
Haha, thanks. What am I... 34 inches for trousers I guess; don't worry, I'm not looking for shirts!

Looking for a dehydrator but that's another story.

I see food dehydrators fairly regularly at those Value Villages!
o_o
Tabernac. That's going on the Why I Want to Live in Ottawa list.

Fawn

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2013, 09:44:11 AM »
I'm in. Except for undergarments, I am buying all my clothing at thrift shops.

As for the teens, we look there first. If we can't find the specific item we are looking for, we go to TJ Maxx and lastly Target.

Joshin

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2013, 11:41:16 AM »
I'm a member of the Compact (a non-consumer, buy only used -- with a few exceptions -- movement), so I love me some thrifting. A few pro-tips:
1) Shop thrift stores in upscale areas if you are looking for designer or work clothes.
2) Get friendly with the staff and learn which tags are half off on which days.
3) See if there is a Goodwill Boutique in your area. These small Goodwills are where the better quality items and items with the tags still on often end up.
4) Don't forget consignment stores, especially for women's work clothes. A bit pricier than a thrift store, but killer deals none the less.
5) Cruise Craigslist for garage sales. Once again this is especially helpful with women's clothes, but I see men's stuff quite often too. We have tons of garage sales where new stay-at-home-moms are unloading there former corporate garb, and they advertise them as such.
6) Check items over carefully. Small imperfections, like a popped button, you can repair. A totally blown out zipper? Not so much. And if you do find an imperfection, ask for a discount! It's expected and usually given.
7) Patience, Padawan! You'll never find it all in one visit.

Other than underwear and a few electronics, pretty much everything we own is second hand. You wouldn't know it by looking at us or walking through our house, though!

lifepopsicle

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2013, 02:53:59 PM »
Wow, thank you! This is some awesome advice guys! I am a female, and a size 4. One of the biggest challenges I have at thrift stores is that most clothes are too large, but of course that's not always the case. It seems the common advice here is to shop around at different stores. But I agree that I'd rather buy something that's quality used than something that is cheap but new--even if it is shoes!

KimPossible

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Re: Shop only at thrift stores for 3 months!
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2013, 06:48:49 PM »
Just hang in there.  I've found that persistence pays off.  Some days, there's not a thing in the store that works for me.  Some days, I find so many things that I make myself put some of them back (because spending $20 at a thrift store is too much!  :)  ).

Buying nicer clothes means that you'll need fewer of them, too.  I've become pickier in the past several months, since I don't really need any more clothes.  I'm a clothes snob now!