Popping Tags: How to Stay Stylin’ While Poor


So, as we saw from my last post, my budget is set, I am formulating a plan for paying off debt. I’m nowhere near out of the woods yet, but I also think that, if you have stuck to the plan, it is ok to treat yourself and splurge just a bit.

Because I do have so little fun money, I have followed the lead of great lyricist of our time Macklemore, and I have learned to pop some tags like nobody’s business and go thrift shopping. Something I literally had never done before beyond looking for an outfit for an 80s Prom party. And you know what? I love it! It’s like an adventure almost, digging and searching through all of the clothes like a Good Will Indiana Jones until I find the Holy Grail of ensembles. Best, most accomplished feeling ever!

So here are my tips to having a successful, economical thrift shopping experience.

1. Look at your Pintrest boards. Are there a lot of recurring articles of clothing in there? Anythjng you dont have that you specifially want? Make a list of them, as specifically as you can. (If you need help I LOVE this list!) When you walk into a thrift store, it can be a bit overwhelming, but having goals can break it down for you a bit. And if you happen to find something you absolutely love thats not on the list? More power to you!
2. Wow! You just got a bunch of clothes for $20!… But did you get them because you loved every piece of clothing, or did you get them because they were cheap? Spending money on clothes you will never wear is a waste of money, no matter how much money it is. It’s ok to walk out empty handed if you don’t find anything. Thrift stores are constantly getting donations, try again another day!
3. Quality is important. I have shopped at cheaper stores like Forever 21, Papaya and H&M for years. They have really cute things, but you get what you pay for. Colors fade after a couple washes, fabrics stretch, seams fall apart. These stores clothing also sometimes show up in thrift shops, but I stay away from them. Why? Because often times, each type of clothing has 1 price ($2 for t shirts, $4 for skirts) I don’t know about you, but I want the most bang for my buck. Since shopping at thrift stores, I have some really quality brands wo my closet that I never dreamed I could afford to have in there. Cynthia Rowley lace pencil skirt for $4? Don’t mind if I do….
4. You can’t always find everything in a thrift shop. I have found that there are some things that are are nearly impossible to find at a thrift shop and you have to venture out into the mall or the world wide web, namely  jeans. Really, who gives away a good pair of jeans? You don’t, you wear them until they practically fall apart on your body. With jeans, and other items, it is actually worth it to save up and spend good money on something you really love.

Another way I’ve gotten some amazing clothes is through friends. If you have a friend whose style you love, ask if they wouldn’t mind you going through their donation piles before they turn them in. I got my favorite leather jacket that way!

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t buy things for yourself, it just means you might have to get creative. Which, so far, for me, has been really fun!

Feel free to share your favorite way to splurge frugaly!



2 thoughts on “Popping Tags: How to Stay Stylin’ While Poor

  1. Great post, Liz! I have been shopping on a budget for years and I do follow all of the rules you mentioned above. The things that you may want to splurge on are staples in your closet ie little black dress, a nice blazer, a good pair of jeans, nice boots, a good bra, etc. – but even these items can be found at places that won’t break the bank. Always try your local Marshal’s, TJMaxx and Ross stores. I have also noticed that lately, Payless has had a great turnaround in their style and line of shoes ( Izsed to think payless was sooo not trendy) and I find them to be comfy, dependable, cute and affordable!

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