Pitty Pat and I arrived home on Sunday and we have been settling into the final days of summer routine. I have one more week left until I have to start going in and working in my classroom. I don't actually report for work until August 14th, but I have several trainings to attend ( I AM GETTING AN IPAD, YIPPEEE) and our open house is earlier than usual, so I have to get things set up in my classroom BEFORE I "officially" go back to work.
The last days of summer are great. Sleeping late, running errands, reading books, catching up on movies, beach time. Not much else going on. I do have to take Pitty Pat for his vet checkup next week and get my hair cut and colored. I have been putting off getting my hair done and my roots are terrible! But I figure the longer I wait until August, the cuter my hair will be for Open House!
Y'all also know how I LOVE a good shopping deal. I would not describe myself as a "cheap" person, but there is really NO NEED to pay full price for clothing. Unless. 1. It is a formal occasion. or 2. It is an emergency, like a funeral. Other than that, let the deals begin!
Last week while I was in Beaufort, I found several consignment stores. Let me tell you, if you can find a consignment store in the area of a base or fort you have hit gold. Many officers wives will "dump" their wardrobes when heading to a new location. Lucky for you! And, if you are getting the hives about going into a consignment store, let me share a cautionary tale with you!
Last week, Mom and I were in a store. It was more "thrift" than consignment, but it still had some deals. As Mom was holding her nose in the air, I proceded to pick out THREE AWESOME Lily Pulitzer pieces. A top and two pairs of shorts. Ahem. All in her size. In like new condition. How much did she pay for those items? $10. FOR THREE LILY PULITZER ITEMS!!! YUP.
Now, I have some rules about consignment shopping. These may help you if you are leery of entering the consignment world!
1. Go to major department stores. If you see something you like, TRY IT ON. TRY ON LOTS OF THINGS. You do not have to buy. But this way you will see what size you wear in certain labels and what styles look good on you. This makes shopping in the consignment world easier!
2. Don't let things like missing buttons turn you off. If a sweater or shirt is missing a button, it is an easy fix!
3. Check the clothing carefully for rips or stains. I will not buy anything that has a stain. Just because you don't know what kind of stain it is and you won't know how to get it out. I really look for clothing that is in like new condition or still has it's tags on!
4. Check the label to see if it is dry clean only. This may not be a big deal for you, but it is a pain to get things dry cleaned. But, SOME pieces are worth it!
5. Become a label snob. I only buy certain labels because I know their quality. And the fact that it will last longer. That's not to say if I find a cute shirt, I won't buy it, but I mainly look for Talbots, Ralph Lauren, Jones of New York, Liz Claiborne, Ann Taylor.
6. If you see something in a consignment store and you like it, buy it. I promise it will not be there later. Also, get in the habit of stopping by on a weekly basis. Their stock changes daily.
7. Do not be afraid of the Goodwill. I know. I hear you. You are scared people will think you are poor. But y'all. The world has changed. Lots of folks who HAVE money shop at Goodwill. Yes. You have to dig. But, what you find may be well worth it. At most Goodwill's shirts are $3, coats are $3 and dresses are $5. But, if you are going the Goodwill way, you will have to stop by weekly. Because their stock changes daily. And if you like something, BUY IT. It will be gone.
8. Have a good idea of prices. Let's not forget, this is clothing that has been worn. Or if it has tags, it has been hanging in a closet. You should not pay full retail price EVER. Your goal is to pay less than what you would pay if the item was on a deep sale. I use this guide.. shirts if they are NICE $12 and under, pants $15 and under, skirts will vary. Be careful, some consignment stores mark stuff UP.
9. There are items I will not buy. Shoes. I can't wear someone else's shoes. And. Sleepwear. Enough said.
10. I am a big Vera Bradley fan, but I won't pay $50 to $70 for a purse. Consignment stores and Goodwill carry Vera Bradley! Just check the straps for wear and tear. :)
Now, just because I shop at consignment stores doesn't mean I don't shop in real stores too. It's just about who has what I like and who has the best sale! Sometimes shopping at a major department store is better than a consignment store. You just have to look!
Now. If you still aren't convinced.. here are some of my recent finds at a consignment store!
Like new Ralph Lauren tops. I paid $7 for both!
Liz Claiborne jacket.. $5!
Now. Here's a final caution about consignment store shopping. Just because it is only $5 or cheaper does not mean you need it. If you don't love it, or it is just OK, don't buy it. Leave it for someone else. Because there may be someone who needs it more than you!
Also. Don't forget to clean out your closet and take things to Goodwill or a consignment store too. Because I bet there is someone out there who could use your stuff too!