Fashion, but make it affordable.
Okay so let’s get to the realness here: I love to shop and I love clothes.
That’s just how my cookie crumbles; I am one of those humans who is a slave to cute pants and house decor that perfectly fits my personal aesthetic. And it’s problematic when my heart lunges toward Urban Outfitter’s shop windows and there’s $40 in my bank account until payday. (Struggles of a full-time student.)
I catch myself in Urban Outfitters, surrounded by the cutest clothes with the cutest patterns in the entire world, smelling the “we want to be thrift store so here’s the weird smell” smell, being tossed around from cute circular hanging mirrors and their accompanying succulents to Father John Misty vinyls (Wow, I’m baring it all right now. #hipstertrash.) and I realize, all too quickly, that I could buy half (not all, Urban does carry new vinyls,) at a thrift store.
What I like about UO is that they provide a lot of the inspiration.
I can go into UO and find exactly what it is I was looking for, and then I can run back to one of my local thrift stores and find some similar stuff.
Yesterday I went into Urban with some friends, and I immediately (I can still see it there, under florescent lights, hanging against “exposed” wood, calling out to me) fell in love with this cute circular hanging wall mirror. It was perfect and had already been hung in my room in my mind when I step up to it and see my faux freckled face smiling in it.
“It’s beautiful,” I whisper, the store disappears, it is just me and this beautiful circular mirror. I am enamored. And then… the fateful moment when… I checked the price tag.
“$160.00?” I am distraught. Then my friend Kat comes up to me holding a maroon dress with buttons all down the front in a perfect line and suddenly I can see myself twirling in Zilker Park during Austin City Limits in October, Paul McCartney (a personal hero) playing something from The Wings overhead. The vision is beautiful, but the price tag breaks my heart again. Another $75.
This is my life. This is so many peoples lives: we want stuff we just cannot afford. And that’s okay, as long as we don’t throw ourselves into the pits of debt to get it.
Every time I need a new outfit, I head to one of my local thrift stores (usually Thrift Giant, it is the best) and I typically can always find something. For example, I needed and outfit for my best friend D’s graduation so I went to a thrift store the day before and walked out with this: Those pants and that top are from Thrift Giant in my home town. The shoes were from my Aunt, (Your girl rockin’ free Gucci heels. Aunt Aly is an ICON.) and the head scarf was my mothers. I spent a total of $8 on this outfit (because I didn’t have to buy any of the accessories) and it’s my favorite outfit I’ve worn to an event in a long time!
Yesterday, after my heartbreak in UO, I dragged my friends to Thrift Giant again and I showed them around. Both of them ended up getting stuff (yay!!) and I scored two new pairs of pants and a new polka dotted skirt and I only spent $9.15!
I know the idea of wearing second-hand is daunting to some people. I totally understand why it would be. You’re not sure who wore it, or if it’s been washed in ages. Just remember that thrift stores don’t always seem super well-kept and clean but you can always take something home and wash it a few times if you need. You honestly should wash it once after you’ve purchased it just to ensure it’s clean. But don’t let the fear of second hand deter you.
The majority of the clothing I get at thrift stores out live the stuff I buy anywhere else. The slacks and denim I’ve bought at thrift stores don’t have the same wear and tear issues as jeans that I’ve bought from Gap or Banana Republic. I have a pair of Calvin Klein jeans from the thrift store that I wear all the time and I could honestly wear them every single day for a week and you wouldn’t be able to tell. The denim is just amazing. And maybe Calvin Klein still makes sturdy denim like that, but they’re not going to be as cheap as they are at a thrift store. I got those jeans for $2.
Remember also, that there are cute plates and cups, pieces of art, and nice furniture at the thrift store that you can take home and make your own! If you need a couch or a new set of plates, there’s always some there! There are ways to reupholster a couch or chairs, and you can find videos and how-to’s all over the internet!
Anyway, I haven’t found the circular mirror yet, but I am the hunt for it. There are other thrift stores I haven’t had the pleasure of exploring yet, so I might be doing that later this week! If you’re interested and you don’t already, follow my Instagram (@creatingb). I always post about my thrifting adventures there!
Also, if you live in the DFW area and you know of any really great thrift stores or any thrifty tips and tricks (like how to properly clean a pair of thrifted shoes!!), leave me a comment below or message me on Instagram!
“Many great opportunities are not cheap; but some cheap opportunities are so great.”
― Iveta Cherneva