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How to save money on clothes - Goodwill and garage sale clothing styles

Updated on November 6, 2011

Saving money on clothes

I am a very frugal person by upbringing and choice. My grandparents were all from the depression era, and taught me how to save money and spend money wisely. Now that they have money from saving their entire lives, they still are responsible with their finances.

In college, I was a Business Administration major, and took classes on banking, finance, and money. With all of this life training, it is engrained in me to be smart with money. But what did I know about being stylish?

What to wear, what to wear?

When I first graduated college, and was preparing for the start of my first real job, I asked my friend (a fashion minor), what I should buy to wear. I did not have much money to spend, and needed to spend very little. She told me something invaluable that I have taken with me all throughout life - "buy the basic colors: a black skirt, a brown skirt, a navy blue skirt, a gray skirt, and a white blouse, a cream colored blouse, and a print blouse". I did not spend too much, and did not buy designer fashions, and it worked. My mom gave me some hand me down scarves, and my grandmothers gave me some hand me down clothes of their own (and they fit), and before I knew it, I had a professional wardrobe to start out with.

Am I from money?

My boss actually asked me if I was "from money" because I quickly learned how to put together outfits that matched, with inexpensive accessories that had the appearance of looking expensive. What a compliment!

I even got a part-time, seasonal job at a local clothing store to get discounts on clothes, until I had enough outfits to get me through.

Over the years, I have bought nicer clothes on sale with coupons, and have visited Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and am not ashamed to wash them and wear them.

Lessons from my Aunts

Two of my aunts would show up in "unique" outfits on holiday and family parties, which would seem like outlandish choices to some. I always complimented them on their outfits. Even at a young age, I was so proud of them and admired them for being themselves. They never cared what others thought, and were fulfilled to reflect who they were by their sense of style.

One of my elderly aunts (who was a hairdresser) would sometimes show up with purple hair. Did she mean to die her hair purple? As she aged and was well into her 80's, I do not think so, but nonetheless, it was what made her feel good. She would always have bold nail polish colors on, and very her clunky costume jewelry, and to me, it made her so special.

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My personal style

My personal style reflects who I am - not afraid to be me. I dress eclectically and I have stopped worrying about what people think.

I love the history behind a broach I have (from Grandma), a shirt I got for $2.00 (what a steal), a hand me down scarf from my Mom (so out of style, but do I care?), and my first blazer I bought (I still have it). These pieces reflect my style, and for some reason, I have the ability to remember the special memories they have to me.

I still do not have to spend a lot on clothes to feel happy and stylish, as long as I am comfortable, happy, and have found harmony being me and with the simple things in life.


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    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 9 years ago from United States

      Dafla, you make an excellent point!! Salvation Army and Goodwill stores in richer neighborhoods always seem to have the nicer clothes. I got a designer dress for a wedding for $8.00, and everyone thought I spent a forture. Now the secret is out...

    • profile image

      dafla 9 years ago

      I love this hub! When I worked as a legal secretary, all the other girls seemed to hate me for some reason. One of them actually came up one day and asked me how much I was being paid. I asked why, and she said "Because you wear designer clothes and we can't afford to wear designer clothes, so you must make a lot more than we do." I laughed and said "What are you doing Saturday? We need to go shopping!" I had "discovered" a Salvation Army store on the edge of a very wealthy neighborhood, and was getting my designer clothes, sometimes only one season old (you know how the rich are, never be caught in last season's clothes), for anywhere from $2 to $10 apiece. After I showed them my trick, they were all my best friends, and they started finding little consignment shops, etc., and we would all go "thrift shopping" together on weekends.

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 10 years ago from United States

      Thank you blessedmommy - I really enjoy your articles too!

    • blessedmommy profile image

      Carisa Gourley 10 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Lovely. I can tell by your "style" of writing that you are a unique and wonderful person. Glad to have to have you at HubPages, you are a welcome addition!