0 In Beauty & Fashion

New Looks Without Breaking the Bank

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

I spent my Saturday afternoon thrift shopping and I loved it! Every year there is a big sale in the parking lot of the local arena, where people can come and sell/get rid of their stuff. This year, because I’m in town, I decided to join my mom and my cousin on their expedition there. It was a fun few hours and I ended up buying a couple of books and movies, so did my cousin and my mom. She even bought a few cute teapots (for our old house, remember?).  The most expensive thing I bought? A 3$ ring. I like that kind of price 😉

thrift shopping

I actually bought the hat for a 1$ because I was melting in the sun!

This brings me to the topic of the day: buying things without breaking the bank!

When I moved to the UK…well, let’s say that I was new at budgeting (still kind of am). I love clothes but my naïve self didn’t really put much budget on the side to buy new ones. I had basically brought my entire closet with me so I thought I wouldn’t need to buy new things. Boy was I wrong! I repeat ‘I love clothes’ so I wanted that pair of purple trousers, that cute top and a new dress to wear to the welly ball (yes there is such a thing). My budget didn’t allow for much leeway…granted that I didn’t want to starve!

Here’s the secret of how I got (most of) my new clothing items: thrift shopping.

I know it’s not a revelation, but good thrift shopping can bring us to find some real hidden treasures. There is one shop in Canada that I always visit and the amazing thing about it is that the price decreases the longer it stays at the boutique. So if it’s been over 3 months it might be a quarter of the original (and already reduced) price. I bought a fringe dress for a 1920s party for a couple dollars, found a light grey woollen coat and a super awesome tweed jacket (It was probably for men, but hey finders keepers!)

grey coat - thrift shopping

the famous grey coat

Thrift shopping in the UK is a much bigger thing that I ever anticipated. There are charity shops everywhere. St Andrews had approximately 8 of them (on 3 streets). At the end of the year when most of the undergrads left, a few friends and I went thrift shopping knowing that most of them had probably left lots of their possessions behind in order to move. We found some great things and had so much fun! From a cute bowl for my keys/spare change at home, to a work dress, to cute summer must-haves, I found a bit of everything in those shops!

Note from the Brit: He’s always reminding me that St Andrews is very different from the rest of the UK and so obviously the charity shops around the UK might not be as well stocked as they are in St Andrews! I have no personal experience from other towns’ charity shops!

blue love thrift shopping

good finds: blue maxi skirt and blue and white polka dot dress

You know another great thing about thrift shopping? I absolutely love the blog A Pair & A Spare and if there is one thing she taught me was that going off to buy a piece of clothing for a few bucks is always great to try a DIY/redesign project! A few pieces from my wardrobe have definitely been DIYed 🙂

Have never thrift-shopped? Here are a few advices for your first adventure:

  1. If you see it and like it, grab it! Don’t think ‘oh I’ll come back later’ because it might be gone.
  2. You never know if there will be a changing room so you might want to wear light layers.
  3. Always have cash on you. Thrift shops take cards more and more, but just to be sure! They might not want to hold the products for you if you have to leave to go to an ATM.
  4. Have fun: Bring a friend or two! My friends and I definitely made a day of it! Also, in times of uncertainty friends are always good to tell you if you should splurge or not.
  5. Think of when & where: Like I said earlier, go where students live. At the end of the year, the shops might be full of very good items to buy for only a few dollars.

Other tips for saving money for clothes?

Clothes swap is also a good idea. I bought a pair of shorts off a friend one day and I said I really like her quirky style (very Luna-esque if you ask me) and she then admitted to finding me always ‘well-dressed’ (which is a massive compliment as I always feel like a slob). She then proposed to swap clothes. A top for a top or a pair of shorts for a pair of shorts. Doesn’t it sound fun? A way to borrow friends’ clothes permanently!

Accessorise. That sounds like a detail but sometimes adding a scarf or a necklace completely change how we look at a top. Reinventing ways to wear what you already have might deter from spending money you don’t have on new clothes.

Do you have tips and tricks for renewing a wardrobe on a small budget?xx

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