Blog Post: Save Money, Help Others and Look Great!!!

So you want to save money, look great AND help others less fortunate than you?
Ok here's the solution....ditch the mall and get your clothes at thrift shops!

As someone who has just moved to Canada, I've had to become incredibly frugal and have found a few ways to accomplish all of these objectives. Hold on a tick, before you scream "NO WAY!!" at your pc, let's dispel some common misconceptions.

1." I would never wear clothes that someone else has worn!"

No? Ok, let me put this to you. Hands up who has ever stayed in a hotel? I'm guessing most of you have. Do you ask for brand new sheets and towels? Why not?? It's the same principle.You are laying on sheets that someone else has previously slept on. The answer is to simply wash the clothes thoroughly as the hotel would wash the linens and towels.

2. "What kind of clothes do they have there anyway?."

First thing any thrift shop or second hand store will do is take a good look at the clothes to make sure they are free of any major defects, rips, or stains.  Clothes that don't make the grade are ditched, the ones that are of good quality get washed thoroughly.  Let's think about this logically its only in the stores best interest to sell the highest quality garments "so people come back!  If you have any doubts, simply add some Zoflora disinfectant to your laundry to wash away any nasties! (Zoflora smells of flowers and not like a hospital as regular disinfectant does)

3. "What kind of people donate to thrift shops."

Lots of people donate to thrift shops, and for may different reasons.  Common causes are: kids outgrow their clothes, adults outgrow their clothes too (usually in the width though - lol) Another cause is something isn't considered "in" anymore. As we all know that changes about every 6 months!!  Suffice to say, alot of the people who donate expensive designer clothes to charity are generally quite well off, and I'm guessing they treat themselves to regular wardrobe changes that benefits... you guessed it, me!

4."Someone said that it's expensive!"

I still can't believe I actually read that someone thought that the thrift store they went to was expensive on website reviews. Really? Where else can you buy Dolce and Gabana shirts which have been hardly worn for $10? Please tell me...I'd love to know so I can shop there too!

5. "People will know it's second hand!"

How? Only if you tell them! Do people say to one another, "Hey nice sweater. I notice it's not entirely new. Did you purchase this from a charity shop?" Of course not. They will assume you have had it a while. Anyway, if you choose wisely, the clothes you pick up will be in near new quality to begin with. Plus, if it's a good brand to begin with it should last a long time (remember how you convince yourself this when you hand over £550 for a dress because it says Yves Saint Laurent on it!!)

A FEW TIPS WHEN BUYING SECOND HAND you've taken the plunge and entered the charity shop. Here are a couple of tips.

- Check the clothing all over for marks, rips, holes etc.If they have a small hole then this is normally reflected in the price and if you are handy with a needle and thread then you can save yourself even more money!

- Look at collars and cuffs to see if they have ground in grime *if you happen to find something, take it to the counter and tell the staff!)

- Look out for items with the tags still on. Bargains!! Remember, shopaholics often buy clothes at the spur of the moment, then never wear the items and end up donating them. Result for you!

- Always try them on. Don't get sucked into buying it just for the name. Make sure it fits and looks good on you.

- Make sure it's not a fake. For some reason, there seem to be a lot of fake items in charity shops so check detailing like the actual spelling of the designers name on buttons, quality of stitching, feel of the fabric etc. If it doesn't seem right, then it probably isn't!

- Save money!!!! Today I bought a Tommy Bahama silk shirt for $10 (regular price around $140) and a Ralph Lauren shirt for $10 (regular price around $90). My partner went one step further and bought a Burberry trench coat for $30 (originally price $2000....holy smokes!) You can treat yourself to a holiday with those savings!! Think about it.

Finally, you are helping the needy out by your patronage of thrift and charity shops and you are getting yourself involved with sustainability because you are recycling clothes. Now go out there, save yourself a bundle and look good!!!

Here are a few great places to hit up: