Look Like A Million Bucks On A Shoestring Budget
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  1. #1
    Founder Sara Noel's Avatar
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    Default Look Like A Million Bucks On A Shoestring Budget

    Everywhere you look, the names stand out … Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, J. Jill, Dana Buchman, Saks, Lord & Taylor and all those other designers and high-end stores. How many times have you ever walked into their stores, let alone buy something?

    Well, if you are like the average American, chances are you haven’t. Not that you don’t want to; it’s just that you can’t. You think of all the other priorities going on in your life and unless you are just splurging on yourself for some special occasion, you avoid these stores like the plaque. Sure, there is a lot of wishful thinking on your part, but you probably decided that you will never be able to afford to buy these named designers items in these stores.

    Well, think again! I am here to tell you not only can you get these things, but chances are you can get them for less than what you pay at Wal-Mart, Ross, Target, and any other discount department store.

    Typical example is that I can get dressed from head to toe wearing a cashmere sweater from Saks, linen slacks from Talbots, blazer from Dana Buchman, sporting Stuart Weitzman shoes and carrying a Chanel handbag…all for less than $30.00. Impossible you say? No, not at all. All of these wonderful items are out there just ready to be purchased if you know where to look.

    I purchased the Saks cashmere sweater for $7.00, the Talbots linen slacks for $5.00, the Dana Buchman blazer for $9.00, the Stuart Weitzman shoes for $5.00 and the Chanel handbag for $3.00. Add it up and the total for this outfit was $28.00!

    How is this possible? Thrift stores and eBay…that’s how. I never thought of purchasing clothes in thrift stores. Maybe it was because some of the stores I first went into were dirty and smelled musty. I couldn’t handle the thought of standing in this store, let alone rummaging through their clothes. And then I found Goodwill. It was clean, bright and the clothes were lined up like a department store. They even have dressing rooms to try the clothes on. Although their clothes are not separated by size, they are separated by categories, whether it is pants, tops, sweaters, suits, etc.

    What I also found out about Goodwill, as well as other thrift stores, is their pricing is determined by the knowledge of their staff. I have seen K-Mart’s Jacqueline Smith brand clothes priced higher in “designer” sections, and Dana Buchman, Lord & Taylor, Saks, etc. placed in the regular section. You just have to have a keen eye and patience. After a while, it gets easier and faster to search items.

    Since the thrift stores inventory changes daily, your options and luck will change on each visit. There have been times I stopped in and found absolutely nothing, only to go back and find more items than I had money for.Auctions such as eBay are also wonderful sources for great finds. You will though, find more experienced sellers who know their products and the prices will be higher than that at thrift stores. You also have to factor in the cost of shipping, which most buyers are obligated to pay. Still though, you can get great items at substantially reduced prices. It is important to check the feedback rating of the seller to make sure they have a high rating. This will let you know how other buyers felt about the merchandise they received.

    All in all, there are many, many ways of getting quality merchandise at prices far less than what you would pay at Wal-Mart and K-mart. Once you get that “great find” you will find yourself not wanting to pay regular prices at any store. And, you will look like a million bucks without anyone else being the wiser for it!

    Pat Mistretta is the author of
    “Surviving the Tough Times –
    How to make ends meet NOW!”
    http://survivingbook.com
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  2. #2

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    thanks for the info. will help alot.
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    Very nice article!
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    That was great, Thanks!
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    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    I've found that owning a few pieces of really good clothing can make a lot of difference in your buying habits overall, too. Once you have a YSL jacket that you paid $10 for, you'll never spend $30 on one from Sears again.

    So often, those of us with limited budgets are too used to clothing with really inferior cut, fabric, and construction. I mean, we tend to think of the new article of clothing we bought at the mall as our "nice" clothes. and we end up nearly universally dissappointed in them!

    We end up with the opinion that we "don't look good" in skirts, or jackets, or whatever. When the truth is... J-LO probably has a bigger tushy than you do, and I assure you that most movie stars are more flat chested, and many male stars are shorter.

    If Oprah's figure can look good in clothes.. so can yours. It's quite a revelation when you finally have clothing that FITS, with a properly constructed shoulder, a good "leg-line", and made of a fabric that either "hangs well", or supports the "structure" of the garment.
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    Have to agree. Over the summer I bought a LLBEAN down ski jacket for $10. It looks brand new. I showed it to someone and they couldn't believe I got it at a thrift store. I will definately be warm on my winter walks.
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    Registered User dubsessedbaby's Avatar
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    wow this article was awesome thanks so much for sharing!!!!
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    ty for the info. I am a plus size girl and never find a thing in thrift stores for me. but thanks
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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    Yep! Before I moved to Europe, I shopped thrift stores and am often complimented on my sense of style. I'm tiny, size 0-2, so there were plenty of designer clothes in my size. I do splurge on nice shoes and accessories to throw people off my frugal fashion trail, but my main outfit on any given day rarely cost more than $15.

    Shopping this way also frees up money for alterations. I've had many of my clothes custom tailored for me, which makes them look even nicer, and they still cost less than comparable things brand new off the mall rack.
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    it just takes patience and a lot of return visits.
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    Registered User Liane's Avatar
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    Thrift stores are so much fun. Rummage sales are great too. We have one coming up in Cherry Hill on June 10th. They are having a bag sale-$3.00 a bag!! Can not wait.
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    Registered User thesightofoneself's Avatar
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    one word: clearance
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    wow that is impressive .
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    i LOVE love LOVE thrifting! i have found some absolutely fabulous deals!!! amazing. just take the time to look and go often and, well, one never knows what they can find! happy day....taking my brand spankin new Chip & Pepper jeans to the tailor tomorrow!!! yeah.....
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    Our Goodwill does separate by size. Its very easy to find clothes there.
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