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Shopping For Clothing

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I have purchased brand new Brighton and Vera Bradley handbags and high end fashionable clothing by Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc. at the Salvation Army. I have found that the key to getting a good clothing bargain whether at a thrift store or high-end store is to only buy if it is exactly what I like.

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Shirts:

Raise your arms. Does the shirt rise up to your waist and stay there? Very unflattering and you are unlikely to want to spend the day pulling it back down. Put your arms straight out as though sleep-walking. Does the sleeve cut into the inside of your arm? Don't buy clothing that fights movement. You will need to raise your arms every time you take an item off a shelf.

Is the shirt likely to have a built-in wardrobe malfunction? Most ladies shirts are cut too low to wear to work unless you have a cami that matches. Do you have one? If not, is it still worth the price if you have to purchase one? Is the color and fit flattering? Will you look forward to wearing it? If not, don't bother. You will just end up stuffing it into a donation bag or leaving it at the back of your closet.

Avoid shirts with machine stitched illustrations, i.e,. kittens and birdhouses, unless you don't mind looking older.

Shoes:

Unless they are so comfortable that you could immediately put them on and wear them for the rest of the day, don't even think of buying them.

Slacks and skirts:

Only buy neutrals. They are usually the most flattering. If you will only have one top that matches the lime green pants, you will never be able to find that top when you need it. In addition, matchy-match outfits, i.e., Bonworth (my mom loves that store) are aging. Avoid elasticized waists in anything but casual gym clothes. There may be some exceptions in casual wear, but not many. Fitted just looks more together and professional.

Sit down. Does the back dip too low for decency? Don't rely on belts or long blouses to cover rear cleavage, this is just too risky, although belts will work for closing a gap in back. Stick with a style or two that are flattering for your figure type. Remember back pocket flaps add bulk. They only flatter the very slimmest of figures. Pencil skirts look good on most everyone, but contrary to the old fashion advice, A-line skirts do not. They spread out like full sail on the mother ship which is not exactly the most flattering silhouette.

Dresses:

I don't own any because I can't mix and match with them and most are too dressy for a more casual work environment. But if you need one, often the best buy is a simple style in solid black, gray, navy, or beige that can be accessorized for different looks and occasions. Dress styles go out of fashion very quickly, so trendy looks are not the best buy.

Purses:

Purses are fun and I own more than I really need. I just can't pass up a beautiful Italian leather bag for under ten dollars. But, once again, neutrals are the best buy. I have a red purse that I feel guilty about because I just don't want to take the time to seek it out on the days I am wearing clothes it won't clash with.

Glasses:

If you are over 40, get the advice of a teen or 20-something. I wore large-frame 80's era glasses I thought were cute and my trademark look until my 9th grade students started torturing me with comments such as, "Why do you want to look old?" They were right. Updating your look makes you look and feel more youthful. There is a huge difference between maintaining a youthful appearance and dressing embarrassingly like a teenager. They know the difference and so can we.

By SusannL from St. Cloud, FL

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Returning clothing you have purchased is a hassle no one wants to have to deal with. I hate when I buy something and it doesn't match, or I pass up an item on sale because I didn't remember I had a new skirt it would have been perfect for until I got back home.

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When I am deciding to buy clothing, I ask myself how many times I would be wearing the item. My rule is a dollar a day. So if the top I am going to buy is $10.00, will I at least wear it 10 times? If I don't think I will, then it is not a bargain.

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When looking for clothes, be unisex if you can. Women can wear most male styles nowadays and masculine clothing is much better made. In the old days, I wore guys' Levis 501's before they made them especially for women, and my first jeans jacket was a boy's size!

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Always double check the security sensor tags before leaving the store Even though the cashier may say they did, it is better to double check so you do not have to go through the inconvenience and gas to get the sensor tag removed.

A sensor tag on a newly purchased clothing item.

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June 3, 2008

Save money when shopping for clothing. Always turn the garment wrong side out and check the seams and hem for loose or broken threads. NEVER pull a thread to break it. Always cut it with scissors. If the garment is damaged or has a spot on it, you can ask the clerk for a discount.

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When you need new clothes, if at all possible, buy garments that are washable. Otherwise, you are definitely adding to the cost of the jacket, fancy dress, or whatever!

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This tip is for any one wanting to match an item of clothing. Take a spool of thread in the color you are looking for when you go shopping. It's much easier than taking the item of clothing with you to the store.

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June 15, 2007

I always travel with a measuring tape and a small note on which I write my measurements, especially. I save both in the plastic yellow egg that comes inside the Kinder chocolate egg.

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When you decide to go shopping for clothing, always do so at the end of the season. Just before Christmas, I went shopping for clothing for my daughter. Every item I purchased was marked down. e.g.; a $39.99 sweater for $13.00.

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14 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I'm trying to find elastic waist, washable skirts as well as "house dresses" for my granny. She's staying in a nursing home for rehab after a stroke and they have lost or ruined the majority of her clothing. I'm at a loss on where to find this type of thing. I did find one house dress at a thrift store, but that was after visiting several. I found some elastic waist pants at JC Penny, but she gets very upset when asked to wear pants. Any stores where you have recently seen this type of clothing would be so helpful!

By CKD

Answers

January 3, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Try The Vermont County Store. I am not sure they have exactly what you want, but they do have easy on/off type dresses. Nursing homes are rough on good clothes so you will want washable things. Get her some nicer things to wear when she comes home or moves to a better retirement/ assisted living home. Most decent places will allow(!) you to take the clothes home to wash yourself which is what I did for my mother as she had very nice clothes.

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January 3, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

There is a mail order store named "Haband" that sells a lot of clothes with elastic waistbands. You can find them online at www.haband.com

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January 5, 20120 found this helpful
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Just a thought, but there are an awful lot of really cute loungewear gowns (in pajama departments) that look like casual dresses available. There are also moo moo dresses that are quite comfortable. Both types come in assorted solid colors and patterns. Try stores like Target, Walmart, Penney's, Sears, etc for the lowest prices. Here's a picture example of a moo moo (also spelled muu muu) in case you're not sure what they are:

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August 9, 2009

What are some good clothing stores for juniors that offer clothing at a reasonable price? I am not looking for Hollister, Abercombie, American Eagle, or Areopostale. Sorry I don't like wearing them. I like some skater stuff and some preppy stuff.

By danielle

Answers

August 9, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Do you have TJ Maxx or Marshalls near you? Our TJ Maxx always has skater stuff for cheap. Stuff like Hurley, Roxy, DC and most of the other brands you said you disliked. My kids are extremly picky and I always find something they love. Usually off the clearance racks! Good Luck!

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August 10, 20090 found this helpful
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Try Gabriel Brothers or Rugged Warehouse (depending on where you are in the country.)

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August 12, 20090 found this helpful
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Never underestimate thrift shopping. Look up thrift, Salvation Army, and Goodwill on map quest. Prices are cheap and they have tons of options.

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August 13, 20090 found this helpful
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Hey, try Rue 21. Their clothes are skater and preppy. They have great clearance prices, ranging from .99 to like $10.

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When is the best time to shop seasonal clearances on women's clothes? I know they always have sales, but which one is the best one?

By Margaret McMeel

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December 11, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Here in the Midwest, the summer stock is needed gone for room for fall and winter merchandise beginning July 4. The winter is needed gone around Presidents Day.

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March 16, 2016

This is a page about buying pants without trying them on. Trying on clothes can sometimes be more of a chore than an adventure. Save time by learning to measure pants for a good fit without trying them on.

Close-up of a pair of jeans with a measuring tape curled on top and through the belt loop against a wooden background

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Consumer Advice Shopping Apparel & FashionJanuary 10, 2013
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