How To Buy Clothing At Resale Shops

About a year ago, I rediscovered my love of resale shopping. When I was in high school and college, I did a lot of resale shopping, because it was what I could afford at the time. After that, I began shopping at malls, and kind of forgot about resale shopping.

Anyway, when I went to Salvation Army for the first time last year, I was amazed at the options that the store held.

At this point, Nearly half of my most worn and most loved clothing items are from the Salvation Army or another resale shop.

Here are some things that I think make for a successful shopping trip. These are tailored towards people who are looking for quality and workmanship. If you are just looking for cute clothes (forever 21 or H&M) those are few and far between at these stores. 🙂

  1. Know your brands – Some people hate shopping, so if that’s the case for you, skip this one, however, I think that it’s honestly the biggest reason why I find such good things. After I got out of college and got a “real” job, I stopped shopping resale and began shopping at malls and boutiques.I love to window shop and browse at stores like Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom and went to many different stores and got to know a wide array of different brand names. I started to be able to notice differences in quality and the attention to detail between stores and brands. I remember thumbing through the racks of dresses at the Salvation Army the first time, and realizing that I could guess just based on the style detail, and material of dress what store somebody could’ve bought it in. Most of the time, my guess is correct.
  2. Understand what quality is – It is important to get a feel for quality workmanship as well. Many times, the brand name does determine whether or not a garment is high quality… Usually you will find very high quality in vintage items, or in designer dress garments – ex. Christian Dior. To check for quality, get to know different fabrics. Check buttons, and linings, etc. for attention to detail. Another idea on this note is that taking a sewing class and learning the basics of clothing construction can really help you view garments with a more technical perspective.
  3. Look at EVERYTHING – I know that this is a big no-no if you are trying to create a sleek streamlined wardrobe, but I usually find my best clothes by looking at every section in the store with an open mind… I go through every dress, every shirt, every pair of pants, etc. After I find something that I really like it is at that point that I decide if I have enough existing clothing items to be able to make at least 3 outfits with it. The good stuff is usually hidden.
  4. Don’t buy it unless you love it and would pay full price for it – Trust me. If you like shopping, and anticipate coming to resale shop on a regular basis, you need to be VERY selective. Don’t buy something unless it’s absolutely perfect, because if you buy everything that you kind of like, you will have a very crowded closet.
  5. Check for holes or imperfections – You should do this with any garment, but it’s especially important with pre-owned clothing. Make sure you check for holes, pilling, stains, discoloration, etc. before you buy it. Check for these things when you try it on and when you hold it in your hands. if it is damaged, determine whether or not it can be repaired, and if it is worth repairing.
  6. Check the racks by the dressing rooms – People generally try on the cute stuff, so keep track of what’s hanging there.
  7. Don’t overlook the lingerie department – This is kind of more on a personal-note, but lingerie and slips are just not made the same way anymore. I love silk lingerie, and have found a few pieces for $2 a piece in this section… I’m sure I’ll do another blog post exclusively on vintage lingerie, because it’s become a bit of an obsession of mine.
  8. Go to mid-to upscale locations to shop –  You’re much more likely to find nicer clothing in more upscale neighborhoods.

I think sometime in the near future I’ll post a video or a blog about some of my best finds… And I will definitely do one on the lingerie that I have found.

Anyway, these are some of my tips. I hope that they help you. If you have any to share, I’d be really happy to hear them!





Why Are My Dreams Always So Weird?

I don’t know why, but these last 3 nights in a row I have had the most random/disturbing/weird dreams of all time.

I woke up last night from this one, and I just had to make a note of it. So at 2 in the morning I opened the Keep app on my phone and recorded it. I’m really glad I did. Here’s a portion of my dream from last night:

There were 2 average looking men modeling a new lipstick line from loreal. They were smiling awkwardly next to a well dressed male announcer at a potium. The “models” were average guys wearing normal guy clothes. Except one guy was wearing a nude pink lipstick and the other was wearing an almost pastel barbie pink. The announcer was announcing the colors in the new line. He said, “The colors range from nude pink (Tabitha in the bath) to Red (Tampon in the rug)”. The lipstick have a glossy finish.

It should be noted that one of the men (the one wearing pastel barbie pink) had previously been in a dream scene where he was upset and moping by a lake because his wife had misplaced his zippered binder full of music CDs.

I just can’t get over the names of the lipsticks though. “Tampon in the Rug”? Really? Who in their right mind would wear that???

Anyway, I’m sure that I will not be hired by Loreal or any other cosmetic line to name their colors, so whatever. 😏



When Are You Having Kids?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been getting asked more and more when I will be having kids. It’s a question that I get asked by family members, but I also get asked by strangers, and I really don’t like it, regardless of who is asking me.

It bothers me when people ask when I am going to have children because I feel like that’s a very big expectation to put on somebody and it’s a very personal decision. Heck, sometimes there is no choice! Some people physically can’t even have kids.

When people ask me when I’m having kids, I always joke saying that we already have 2 kids – Lily and Meatball (our cats). I never say whether or not I’m even planning on it because that decision is personal if I even have the choice to have them.

The question of “When are you having kids” is much more loaded than some people realize.

There are many reasons why people may not want, or may not have kids by the time they’re in their thirties. Many of those reasons are deeply personal and some of them may be extremely painful.

Here are a few reasons why married couples (or women in general) may not have kids by the time they’re married and in their 30s:

  1. They just don’t want kids. Yeah, that is a legitimate reason. Some people are happy just being together, and maybe they just don’t feel the need to start a family. This is okay! Just leave them be with their happy selves! 🙂
  2. They do want kids, but they aren’t financially ready.  It is very hard to get good paying jobs in this day and age, and childcare is very expensive. They may be struggling just to support themselves, and do not feel like they can support another person.
  3. They’re not emotionally ready yet. The idea of having kids is scary. You are basically responsible for caring for a little human up until they turn 18. Maybe the person just isn’t ready for that yet.
  4. They don’t feel confident about their futures. Maybe they’re doing decent now (or seem to be), but something is making them feel like their futures are in jeopardy. Maybe their company is in the process of downsizing and they’re worried about losing their job, or maybe their marital situation is rocky, or maybe they have an incurable disease… For whatever reason, they do not feel confident enough to bring a child into this world. It is very jarring to be asked ‘When are you having kids’ when you are going through these kinds of situations.
  5. They are trying to have a kid, but haven’t gotten pregnant yet. This could easily be the case. If it is, you asking when they plan to have kids is not going to make them get pregnant any quicker.
  6. They are in the process of dealing with a miscarriage. Miscarriages are much more common than people realize(about 10-20%). This is one of the worst times that you could possibly think to ask when they will be having kids… Women do not talk about miscarriages, and they often happen in the first trimester when nobody else knows that it could be happening. You asking them this kind of question is likely to upset and to hurt them since they are essentially already grieving the loss of a child
  7. They are not capable of having kids. Either the man or the woman in the relationship is infertile. As with miscarriage, this is not an issue that people talk about.

Assuming any of the above situations, it is never a good idea to ask somebody when they are going to have children. If they want you to know, they will let you know when they’re pregnant.

Anyway, since this is a (somewhat) personal blog  mainly created for my own rambling and thought organization, I’ll get into how I feel about the whole having kids thing… Right now I am in situation #3 and (kind of) #1.

Children are very expensive (especially childcare), and I’m happy just being with my husband. We can go on long trips, buy crazy things for ourselves and each other, and just do everything that we could possibly want to do. We’re in a really nice place right now, just he and I, and I feel like us having this time to grow as a couple without having children thrown into the mix has been great for our relationship.

I am naturally concerned about when my friends, family, acquaintances – even strangers -think about me. But over time, I’ve learned that a person needs to be able to put themselves first and should not be influenced by other peoples desires. I know that they want me to have kids, but I’m not ready yet.

I hope that I will be blessed to be able to eventually decide to have children, but for right now I’m happy, my husband is happy, and life is good.