Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Thrift-Shop Thursday: A Postscript

You know, it just occurred to me that you may not yet be familiar with thrift shops in your neighborhood. And I must admit I habitually go to the same 2 (mentioned in my last post), because they’re both within 5 or 6 minutes of where I live. Out of curiosity, I just did a quick search (“thrift shop” plus my zip code), and got some surprising results, including a thrift/consignment shop described as “upscale”; it’s inside a performing-arts venue, so I doubt I would notice it just driving by the building. Its website also says that profits go towards maintaining and improving the entire performing-arts facility, which means that shoppers are helping to support an important local organization. So in addition to the well-known thrift-shop chains like Value Village, Salvation Army, and Goodwill, you might just discover a local gem that’s also worth supporting!

Ooh, look what I just found: a national thrift-shop directory! Just put in your city or zip code, and voila! And this site includes an online community, as well as advice on thrift and consignment shopping. Even if you’ve already done your own local search, going to another search engine can yield surprisingly different results.

Happy thrift shopping, everyone! Oh, and please do let me know when you make a great thrift-shop score, okay? I’d love to do a regular feature out of your shopping triumphs!


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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Shopping Strategies, Part 1

After last week’s Thrift-Shop Thursday’s big debut (featuring the ever-popular replace-a-button tutorial), it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to talk shopping strategies for a minute, before going on to more thrift-shop-find projects.

Tip: These strategies, while thrift-shop-specific in this post, can also apply to any clothes shopping you do; the only real difference between the two is that you’ll have more size options outside of thrift shops.

Rather than just giving you a list of general shopping concepts, I’m going to use my current Makeover Monday/Take Tango to Work series to illustrate these principles in action. In my last MM post, I talked about how to organize a plan to develop a multi-functional wardrobe; here, I’ll follow up on those steps with details, including how I’m putting my own plan to good use at my favorite thrift shops.

Starting with your general plan, you’ll get a bit more specific:

1. Decide what types of garments are your immediate priority. Do you desperately need skirts? Maybe you’re short on trousers, or need more simple tops that can be worn alone or as layering pieces. From here, get even more specific, if possible: black knee-length skirt, classic navy wool trousers, colorful printed knit pullover tops.

What I’m doing: Since I need clothes that can go from work to tango (see my recent Makeover Monday posts for details), I’m focusing my shopping efforts on skirts and dresses, specifically, pencil skirts and sheath dresses, both of which are commonly worn in Argentine tango, and both of which are also work-appropriate. And I need professional-looking jackets and more colorful tops (I’m getting tired of black). I’m also adding a “wild card” space to my list, to cover those unexpected finds, like my pinstriped skirt that I found while shopping for tops. Continue reading