I used to hate to shop for clothes. They may be featured in magazines on skyscraper tall models, but the clothing in stores usually doesn’t fit the lankier frame, i.e. one like mine. I’m an inch shy of being a six-footer. Two of my three daughters are six footers, and the youngest is not so shrimpy; she’s five foot nine.
But now I love to shop, because it’s fun! The four of us have discovered thrift stores and consignment shops. Prowling these outlets becomes a treasure hunt, except you don’t really know what the treasure is going to be until you lay your hands on it.
Rarely do I go into a store with a goal in mind; I flip through the racks, usually going up and down a size. Women’s sizing is not standard, and one maker’s size 8 will be another’s 10. The cut of the garment also matters.
Something I’ve noticed is that the more expensive clothes—that is, they were expensive to begin with—are more likely to fit me. I’m not sure why this is, but I’ll take it. Especially if the original tags are still on the garment, which happens more often than you might think.
Some recent acquisitions:
BCBG Max Azria dress, perfect for two holiday parties
Louis Feraud red dress, perfect for a fancy holiday party
Calvin Klein blue cotton dress, which will be great when the weather warms up
Vince Camuto striped silk dress, just for fun
Talbot’s jacket, woven with my favorite blues and greens, good with nice jeans
Lauren Ralph Lauren jacket, black and white herringbone
Lucy workout top
White House / Black Market shrug—not sure what I’ll wear this over yet
And what’s wonderful is if you try on the dress or the shirt or the sweater at home and notice something off-putting about it, that you didn’t notice in the store, well, there is scant remorse, considering the price you paid. You return it, or you donate it back to the thrift store—most of them are operated for charity, after all, so this is what I prefer to do.
If you bought something with a tag that says “Dry Clean Only,” because you did not pay a pretty penny for it, you can take a risk and hand-wash it. I haven’t ruined anything yet by ignoring that label.
These are my favorite haunts in Tucson: Assistance League, Casa de Los Niños, Goodwill (Tanque Verde location), The Green Monkey, Salvation Army (Tanque Verde location), and The Teal Saguaro (new!).
I still have to buy shoes and most jeans and pants new, but on-line, because I have big feet and need a longer inseam. I’ve rarely gotten lucky with pants.
P.S. In case you are wondering, I buy most of my books new, or check them out at the library.