Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Basics and Shopping for a Bargain

Thank you for your grace last week with my need for a day of rest and not giving you fashion advice last Wednesday. I had a great weekend in Michigan doing a teen event and a women's event there and when I got home late Saturday I truly could not move on Sunday. I slept almost the whole day. Finally on Monday I was able to wake up. A special thank you to Michelle Angelique for that beautiful prayer.


Since so many of us are concerned with the economy and can't seem to rid the guilt of spending any money on ourselves (I must say I'm really not included in that but thought I'd say "us"...haha!) I mean, I'm concerned with the economy but I don't ever feel too guilty about spending money on myself and I hope you won't either one day.

BUT, for now, I thought I'd help you out with
 1) an essentials wardrobe list and
2) a look at a bargain store.

First, your essentials list (taken from Chapter 8, Stop, Drop and Shop from Good Girls). This list contains the must-have items for your wardrobe. These pieces will take you FAR in having the basics. If you only have 12 items, these are the things you need:

  • Jeans in a dark wash to wear with heels or boots
  • Jeans to wear with flats or casual comfort shoes
  • A denim jacket in a neutral color (Mine is brown denim from Reba's clothing line; it's sporty yet functional and fashionable
  • A white or off-white blouse
  • A suit; jacket and pants or skirt in a neutral color that flatters you. Choose one in a year round fabric if possible.
  • A flattering dress in black, chocolate, charcoal or navy
  • A cashmere or cotton sweater in a soft color
  • A silk or cotton blouse in a print or solid pop color
  • A v-neck or scoop neck t-shirt in chocolate, black, charcoal or navy. Look for one that has 3/4 length sleeves.
  • Khaki, tweed, corduroy, linen, cotton, or wool slacks
  • A jogging suit in your favorite color (for hanging out at home)
  • A lightweight coat or jacket
I hope that helps to get you started on what your basic wardrobe pieces should be. The 'other dozen' includes things like a good fitting bra, a shaper, a good selection of panties, a statement handbag, everyday flats, heels or wedges, boots, tennis shoes, sunglasses and some nice accessories, like a fun watch and earrings you'll wear with most things.

Now let me tell you about an amazing thrift store I was privvy to visit in Waupin, Wisconsin.

This place is called Bargains Galore and I've truly NEVER seen a thrift store like it. In fact, it is said to be the #1 Thrift Store in the country. They actually have people (hundreds) stand in line every Thursday morning waiting for it to open each week. The store opens Thursday, Friday and Saturday and they feature a theme each week...for example, the week I was there they were getting ready to feature all the winter coats they'd been collecting thru the year. One week they'll feature only holiday clothes, etc. Take a look at some pics of the store:

Isn't that amazing? It's soooo big and grand and ORGANIZED.

The other really cool thing is that all proceeds go to help their local Christian school. It was started by 2 women to raise funds for the school and it turned into the #1 Thrift store in the country. Just last month the store raised $56,000 for the school. I was amazed. I got a tour of the store and all the departments, even where they keep the stuff that is not on the selling floor. They had someone come in and design all the space so it would be the most effecient. In fact, people from all over the country come and tour the store so they can learn how to do a store like this back home. They get to spend a few days with the owners and the women teach them how it's done.

The church I spoke in that weekend was the Alto Reformed Church and they offered 3 women makeovers. I was able to meet with each one and recommend hairstyles and colors and then the winners were dressed in outfits from Bargains Galore! Take a look at each of the winners and just know that most of these clothes are brand names AND nothing cost over $4-6....seriously!

Can you believe it? I was so impressed!

So now I've got a challenge for you! Will you let me and our readers know where YOUR favorite thrift store is? I'd love to post them on here.

Also, I'm going to spend some time today and tomorrow checking out your outfits you made from your own closet. I can't wait to see them!

And if you find an outfit from a thrift store that is absolutely YOU, then will you put it on, send me a picture of you in it, and email it to me at and next week I'm going to show your pics on my blog!

Will you do that, please? In the comments below, just tell me if I should be on the look out for your pics...or tell me the name of your fave thrift store. I'm excited!

Love you girls!!!!!!



Carol said...

Shari - I was just thinking about thrift stores last night and how their image has changed. When I was in high school (a looooong time ago!) and my mom would bring home something from a TS, she would tell me that I probably didn't want to let prople know where it came from. I know she was trying to protect me from being teased. Now there's a certain pride in being able to snag a bargain at one. And if it's a name-brand bargain, so much the better. This is a definite improvement over "the good old days".

Anita - Soaring Eagle said...

TREASURERS a store ran by Aid to Women - using mainly volunteers. (Aid to Women is a Christian organization who help women make THE RIGHT CHOICE on pregnacy with the help of client advocates and they offer so much more - classes, Bible Studies, and other support that I couldn't possibly mention all here.) Everything they sell in Treasures are donated (must be in good shape, cleaned, seasonal, etc.) All the money they get goes right back into helping Aid to Women. I have found so many cute brand name tops, sweaters, and pants. If you ever get to Cedar Rapids,IA - you must go to Treasurers at Aid to Women.

Mariah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mariah said...

NU2U in Laramie, WY...haven't found one in Vancouver, WA yet, anyone know of one in this area? Or anyone know of one in Cheyenne, WY???

Great post Shari! I've been wanting us to join together and have support in this way, SO cool!!!!! :D

btw, forever 21 have great prices on accessories...I just recently found out though, that a lot of stores have a final sale policy on jewelry or other accessories...SO...
be careful and asked the store before you buy. Also, the goodwill only give back store credit when you return...just so you know...

Seams Inspired said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I'm thrifting my way to Fall Fashion by first shopping my closets, and then moving on to my sisters' closets. I've also found some fabulous pieces at local consignment and thrift stores. Having a list is something I've always adhered to, and I appreciate the reminder. Thanks for the great post! Larri at Seams Inspired

God's Girl said...

HI Shari!
I don't have a thrift store to share but a fabulous consignment sale of gently used clothing. It is held in different locations. The next one is in Chatsworth Ca this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can check out their facebook page "Dress on a Dime." Have a great day girls!

God's Girl said...

Here is the website for Dress on a Dime...

~Brenda said...

Love the pictures of the thrift store and how it was founded!
It's the 'in thing' to shop at thrift stores in today's economy.

Wander said...

Love the whole post.

I have a mad love affair with thrift stores. I can find a bargain with my eyes closed.

No pictures to share, sorry!

Melanie said...

My fave thrift store is The Kimberly Home Thrift Shoppe in Clearwater, FL. Its proceeds benefit The Kimberly Home Pregnancy Resource Center.
Each Monday is 1/2 price on clothing. I got most of my summer wardrobe there. I found Ann Taylor, J Crew, White House/Black Market and some were new with tags. Most pieces cost $2.50.
I'll send you some pictures.

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments makes me wish I lived in the States... Your thrift stores have a lot more brand names at bargain prices than here in Canada.
Thanks, Shari, for telling us about Bargains Galore. I'm going to have to put Waupin, Wisconsin on my list of places to visit!

Anonymous said...

Pass it on in Raleigh goes to the women's shelter and has nice stuff.

Dina-Marie (Dimes2Vines) said...

I shop Goodwill in Lubbock TX. It is definitely hit or miss and not organized but when you find something it is a good deal!
Sure wish we had a Bargains Galore - but I bet my husband is glad we don't :)

Kathy Friend said...

I LOVE Thrift Shops! Some of my favorite are:

Goodwill - always worth my time. Found Jimmy Choos there once! They didn't fit me, but I got them anyway...I felt like some kind of drug dealer...taking them with me to meetings- opening my purse to show my friends - HA!

Also love:
Serendipity Consignment, Granger, IN
Carmel Consignment, Carmel, IN
McShane's Exchange, Chicago, IL

(will send you some pics!)

Anonymous said...

Shari, loved what you shared about not feeling guilty. I have actually felt guilty that I don't feel guilty spending money on myself after reading these blogs the last few weeks. (does that make any sense???) I have not been a thrift store shopper but several higher end ones have opened up around my area and I think I might be taking a look around them. I do have a good friend that thrift shops all the time and finds great deals. She mostly does the Goodwill shops (we have several in our area).

Thanks for the great posts every week.

Katie said...

Hi Shari,

Quick question about wardrobe budgets: What would be a good breakdown of funds, no matter how much you have to spend? (ie. 40% on shoes (because they tend to be more expensive and can last a lot longer if you spend for quality), 30% pants, 20% tops, 10% accessories?) Does that make sense? What are your thoughts?


Katy-Anne said...

Hey I have a question about bras. I am sick and tired of being in pain because the wires in my bras keep jabbing me. I've been fitted, and one of my problems is that I'm in between a 38C and 38D, so nothing will fit perfectly.

I need underwire and really need push up as well, but the only comfortable thing I can find right now is a high impact sports bra.

How do I find a bra that is comfortable? My husband is so tired of spending money on them only to have to spend more money a couple of weeks later because my bras are hurting again.