Stylish Clothes on a Budget

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Does anyone remember watching the episode of Lizzie McGuire, “Best Dressed for Much Less” where Lizzie is appalled that her mom wants to shop at a discount store?

Lizzie’s mom is into bargain hunting and Lizzie rather buy the pair of expensive jeans at a high-end clothing store. In the end, she realizes that cute clothes can be bought at a discount.

I love a good bargain. It is exciting going bargain hunting and finding a sweet deal.

I would say a good 50%-60% of the clothes in my closet are second hand, from Goodwill or bought from a discount store.

You would be amazed to find how many NWT (new with tags) clothes can be found at thrift/bargain stores.

I personally don’t like shopping at consignment stores like Plato’s Closet, and My Sister’s Closet (although they have great selection) because in my opinion, they are too pricey to be second hand.

I can often buy brand new clothes on clearance at Macy’s or Kohl’s for less than what they charge.

And unless you have high-end designer clothing and accessories like Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, you won’t be able to sell your gently used items to them.

On my recent trip to Tennessee, my friend Danielle and I went shopping at a store called Bargain Hunt.

They sell overstock items from various retailers such as Amazon, Target, JC Penney, etc.

Each dress I bought was either $10, $12 or $15.

They had their original tags on them, and I calculated what I would have paid full price for them… $476.39 before tax.

Wowzers. I only paid $150 including tax!!

One of my favorite shows from TLC is “What Not To Wear”. What I don’t get is how the contestants go on a $5,000 shopping spree and end up with like 10 items lol. It is crazy how much you can actually spend on clothing! If I had bought those clothes at full price, I wouldn’t have much leftover for groceries and bills!

It is important to note that cheap clothes do not mean quality.

At the mall, there are clothing shops with crazy low prices, but after a few washes and wears, you see why they were so cheap.

Whenever I shop second hand, I pay attention to the clothing brand, which says a lot about its reputation and durability.

Where to Score BRAND Name Clothes for 60-90% Off

Goodwill

Goodwill is #1 on the list for a reason. I so appreciate that Goodwill keeps its stores clean and organized. I like to organize my clothes by color and love that Goodwill does too. It helps if I need a specific color to go with an outfit, I know where to start. Goodwill also organizes their clothes by the type e.g pants, shirts, dresses, etc. I have found so many awesome deals at Goodwill. I have bought blouses, pants, skirts, and dresses originally from H&M, Forever21, Banana Republic, Express, Liz Claiborne, LuLaRoe, Gap, New York & Company, The Loft, to name a few! Goodwill is easy to find with over 3,300 stores in the United States and Canada. Additionally, 85% of households in the United States and Canada are approximately 5 minutes away from a Goodwill. https://www.goodwill.org/shop/ I have also always been impressed with the condition of the clothes from Goodwill. I either find NWT, or gently worn clothes. I say the second you wash an article of clothing, whether new or used, no one can tell if you are the first owner or not! Goodwill prices depend on your area, but the average I spend for clothes is about $3-$7 per item

Swap.com

Swap.com is an online second-hand retail store. They offer up to 90% off clothing for women, men, kids, babies, toys and housewares. They have a huge selection of name brands such as Calvin Klein, Alfani, American Eagle, Banana Republic, J. Crew, New York and Company, Express, Michael Kors, Karen Scott, and more! I definitely recommend checking out their clearance too for even cheaper finds ($4-$10 range). What I like about Swap.com is that you can filter by brand, size, type, color, material, condition, accent, pattern, price, and even season. They have a great selection of new with tags also. Shipping is free for orders over $60. To get 40% off your first order, use this referral link: https://refer.swap.com/s/merrymaddenmail *Valid for first time customers only, minimum cart value of $20.

Bargain Hunt and Dirt Cheap

These two stores apply to certain states in the south such as Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and so on. As mentioned earlier, these stores are discount stores that sell excess merchandise from the nation’s largest retailers such as Amazon, Target, JC Penney, etc. I went to the Dirt Cheap in Murfreesboro and Bargain Hunt in Cookeville, Tennessee. Bargain Hunt is where I bought 9 dresses and 1 pair of pants for $150. One of my dresses was originally $89, but I got it for $10. Bargain Hunt will also further markdown their clothing too. My recent trip to Bargain Hunt, their prices were in the $10-$15 range for women’s clothes, but Dirt Cheap had women’s clothes were more in the $5-10 range.  If you are ever traveling to Tennessee (or a nearby state), look up Bargain Hunt or Dirt Cheap, you will find some incredible deals!

TJ Maxx and Ross

TJ Maxx and Ross are both American chain discount department stores. Ross says they believe in “no-frills” (no window displays, no mannequins, no fancy fixtures/decorations) so they can pass more savings on to their customers. They don’t have the option to buy online, so that’s a downside. However, Ross has some incredible savings, and they have lots of beauty/home accessories that make great stocking stuffers, and gift “extras”. The longer an item sits on the racks at Ross, the more it gets discounted. So depending on when you go (and if the item is still there), it could be discounted even further from 50%-70% off of the first listed price. TJ Maxx is more of a step up, meaning they have what Ross considers “frills”. TJ Maxx willl have more designer brands such as Christian Siriano, Morrisday The Label, Free People, Saint Laurent, Gucci, etc. They also have a large variety of clothes, home goods, and accessories like Ross, however, their prices are more in the 20% – 60% off range. When I go to TJ Maxx, I look out for their red tickets (clearance price) and even better, yellow tickets (final clearance price).

I personally prefer second-hand shopping because of the great savings, and it is kind of a fun adventure, you never know what you may find!

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