It’s long been a tradition to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, protecting you from a “pinch.” By buying thrift/consignment items, you can not only wear green, but “be green”… looking stylish, recycling and saving money in the process. I visited two of my favorite local stores (Discover Goodwill and Ashley’s Attic,) to find some great deals you and your family can enjoy while getting in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. And even though you may not live in the Colorado Springs area, there’s probably at least one or two thrift/consignment/non-profit stores in your area.
All of the following items were found (and are available) at the Discover Goodwill location on Circle, in Colorado Springs. I’ve included the pricing on each item but since there’s different colored tags on sale each day, a lot of these could be further discounted by 30, 50 or even 75%. All of these were in perfect condition.
The Worthington blouse, with its print design and shades of blues, greens, white and black can be worn year-round, to the office or with a pair of jeans or black trousers, tucked in or out, and only cost $3.99 (size large) Boy’s Cherokee shirt (size medium) costs a whopping 99 cents and the green cropped sweater looks festive with a little black dress, adding color and keeping you warm on cool evenings (Wet Seal size large for $5.99.)
Adorable little girl’s dress only $3.99 (baby UR it, size 24 month.) Charlotte Russe size large multi-colored blouse ($5.99) looks fresh with a pop of coral (don’t be afraid to add color instead of matching everything.) I can almost always find lots of clothes for men, usually in perfect shape. I recently saw Arrow dress shirts on sale for $24.99 at a department store…this Arrow shirt (medium 15-15 1/2) is only$5.99. Button down shirts for women have been featured in a lot of my fashion magazines this month and there were literally hundreds to choose from the day I shopped at Goodwill. This denim & co. top (size small $3.99) has slimming vertical lines and can literally be worn with anything from a suit to jeans. When buying button down tops, make sure it doesn’t gap in the chest or pull too tight in the shoulders. I suggest you always try clothes on when buying used because sizes vary so much by label and you never know how it might have been washed and dried.
March in Colorado Springs can be warm, cold, snowy or full of sunshine…sometimes all in one day! This Derek Heart sundress is super cute and with a little sweater, can be worn even on a chilly night. ($7.99 junior large.) A fun shirt for any girl who loves her dog! SO brand, $2.99 for girl’s medium 10/12. I don’t even have a dog but wanted this! A bit too small though. The Jaclyn Smith olive blouse (medium, $2.99) is super soft, machine-washable, suitable for year-long wear and would look fabulous on most skin tones. A brand new Baby Gap toddler shirt (on their website) runs $26.99. This “used” Baby Gap green and white stripe shirt (4 toddler) is only $1.99. Why pay more?
Let me say right here that yes, I could have ironed some of these items and they would have looked better but since I’m not wearing them and will actually sometimes donate a wrinkled shirt of my own because I hate ironing that much…well, it didn’t’ get done! Obviously. Jumping Beans 24 month boy’s shirt (Jumping Beans is a Kohl’s brand,) 99 cents! With the chain adorned neckline on this ALYX blouse, you don’t need to think about what necklace to wear. And you can wear it with so many different colors. (large, $5.99) Every single time I shop thrift, I run across new items that still have their tags on them. This Old Navy boy’s shirt (10/12 large) is an example. The tags were still attached with a price of $12.92…Goodwill price $3.99. I was hoping this Mossimo (size medium for $5.99) tunic top would fit me but it didn’t. I tried it on with jeans, white denim and white cotton capris and it all looked great…except for the fact the top didn’t fit. Mixing prints can be tricky but doing it in a “small” way like with this scarf $1.99) makes it easier and more doable.
If I saw a family walking by in these outfits I’d think, “That’s one stylish mom.” If I found out she shopped thrift and still dressed the family this well I’d think, “That’s one stylish AND smart mom.” Girl’s dress, b.t. kids, 2 T, $3.99. Love the wet seal sweater in gray and green (small $5.99) JC Penney boys size 10 shirt $2.99. The fun polka dot girl’s shirt (large 10-12) is from Crazy 8 and still had the tags on it for $19.95 but Goodwill priced it at $2.99. And last but not least, a BASIC EDITIONS large top for only $2.99, which is something that will always be in style and can be worn under a jacket for a more polished look or worn with shorts, capris or jeans for a more casual look.
Thrift store shopping can be fun or challenging. I think it all depends on your attitude. If you’re already rushed and trying to find the “perfect” whatever, chances are, you might become frustrated. I feel like I’m a “pro” at thrifting and it still takes me some time to go through all the racks and find my size and something I like. You do need a bit of patience. Of course, I can go to the mall and not be able to find something any faster than I do when shopping for used clothing.
- Look for…rips, tears, stains, fraying, missing buttons and broken zippers.
- Make sure you try things on. I can try 10 different things on in my size and they all fit different. If you don’t have time to try something on, make sure you find out the store’s return policy.
- Read the washing instructions and look at the material. If something is dry clean only, consider the cost of cleaning. If you’re like me and hate ironing, look for materials that don’t wrinkle.
- Remember, regardless how cheap something is or what a great deal it is, if you’re not going to wear it, don’t buy it.
Wash everything when you get it home. You know, someone told me they didn’t want to wear something that had been on someone else’s body. The way I look at it is that even when buying something new, chances are someone else has tried it on and it’s going to be washed when I get it home. Don’t see a difference really.
The following fab finds came from my friend Ashley’s store, Ashley’s Attic.
With consignment stores, you’ll usually pay a little more than at thrift since the dollar amount gets split between the store and the person consigning. Most will discount the item the longer it’s in the store. A lot of times consignment boutiques are smaller and you can build a relationship with the staff. I’ve been in Ashley’s Attic when Ashley has received calls from customers asking if she has anything in their size, and telling her what type of occasion she needs it for. Ashley will look and either set something aside or save the person a trip. Ashley sells (and accepts for consignment) quality brands that are current and in excellent condition. Besides clothing, Ashley has tons of fabulous shoes, accessories and bags and can help you put an entire outfit together. She’s one of the most stylish women I know and will be totally honest with you as to whether something looks good on you or not. She wants you to love what you buy and feel good in it.
Love how Ashley mixes and pairs things up that I wouldn’t think about. I’m not a “ruffle” kind of person but I would totally wear this ruffled jacket with the animal print, which gives it more of the edge I prefer. And of course a soft blouse or cami would work great with this jacket too. Ashley was busy with customers as I was taking pictures so I didn’t want to interrupt her to see how much the jacket or top was. I tried poking it (it was high on the wall, ok, maybe not really high but higher than my shortness could reach.) The only thing I accomplished was pulling the sleeve out of the jacket! (But if you like it, you can give her a call and she can tell you the sizes and prices.)
Well, as I’m looking at my notes as I write this, I realize that I didn’t write any sizes down from what I found at Ashley’s. Not only was I taking pictures and visiting, but trying things on myself and I just forgot! All of these items are available so if you see something you like, again, you can call her or better yet, pop in and visit the shop.
Polka dots are always in style and this button down, classic style American Eagle blouse is a good basic piece to add to your wardrobe. It can literally be worn with anything. ($16)
This Moon River blouson top looks really great with skinny jeans. We also paired it up with leggings/tights and short booties…so cute! ($14)
If you’re not someone who typically wears green, you can still get in the mood of St. Patrick’s Day with a bag or even hat. I have been eyeing this Cynthia Rowley light green leather handbag ($24) for over a week but I already have a green little bag that I usually use only on March 17th and I don’t think I NEED it? But I want it!
More simple ways to add a pop of green…accessories are always an easy and inexpensive but fun way to add color or go with a theme without a big commitment.
Ashley’s Attic has something for everyone…whether you’re looking for something casual, dressy, or more business, in sizes 0 and up.
Another item I had to restrain myself from buying, not because it was too expensive but my closet is already bursting at the seams! Love this Bandolino green on green top and it’s only $12.
Ashley’s Attic is currently accepting warmer weather clothes that are unique, up-to-date, in good condition (no holes, stains, odors, etc.) and on hangers or neatly folded.
As you can see, adding to your wardrobe or buying clothes for the family doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your budget. AND no one will guess you’re wearing thrift. You can look well-dressed and stylish without buyer’s remorse. If you’re in the area, check out your local Discover Goodwill or Ashley’s Attic. If not, explore some of the shops in your own area…you may be pleasantly surprised.