05, 05, 2012

Confessions of a Shop-a-holic on a Budget

As I have mentioned in prior posts, I am, like many other women out there, into style, fashion and beauty. This comes as no surprise. I am also, like many other women out there – a shop-a-holic. No, this is not so much a  full blown Compulsive Buying Disorder (though, there are elements of that). Put simply, I just find enjoyment in shopping and perhaps even see the antidote to day-to-day problems  is by expanding your wardrobe and decorating your wrists, ears and neckline with sparkly things.  However, often synonymous with being a shop-a-holic means you gotta break the bank. And, that’s simply not true all the time. Forgive me, but not all of us have the luxury of being the daughter of a wealthy banker or the wife of a NBA star. Money doesn’t grow on trees for most of us.

Even with this fact, finding enjoyment in shopping and spending money on things that make us feel and look great are not experiences reserved for the wealthy. Unless you’re going for the “I’m all brand baby” look, being true to style doesn’t mean there is need to spend $5,672 on that Prada bag when you know you can find something almost equivalent to it somewhere else, for less the price. On that same note, being a shop-a-holic, I confess I have splurged on over priced Wilfred tunics at Artizia and sheer blouses at Club Monaco. However, I too, have made the conscious and creative decision to buy and wear secondhand clothing. I am a bargain hunter or a shop-a-holic on a budget. I am a Thrifter (by choice).

Cringe and shudder if you must, but like many co-thrifters, we see value in this type of shopping – it’s affordable and unique. Where else can you find high waisted Levi’s cut off shorts and crochet belly top tanks? Oh, Urban Outfitters? Sure. But, I paid under $10.00 for both at my neighbourhood thrift shop and not $10.00 on just taxes. While some may find themselves staring at the other girl across the bar on a Saturday night wearing the same pencil striped skirt from Forever 21, the thrifter could be wearing that vintage styled pencil skirt you’ve never seen before anywhere else.

Thrifting is not a new phenomenon. As a kid, I remember my sister who is 10 years older than me, was doing some of her shopping at Value Village and Salvation Army. However, thrifting I believe, has grown in appreciation especially in the fashion realm where everything that is old is considered new, again.

While there are many thrift shops in and around Toronto, Stacey and I decided to hit up the thrift shops super North-East of where we live. There is a common assumption that downtown has all the treasures, but we discovered that its just simply not the case. Everywhere, all over the city, the reality is people throw away good things. They often say, “one (wo)man’s trash is another’s (wo)man’s treasure”.

Dropping by two thrift shops in suburbia, going through rack after rack, and shelf after shelf, Stacey and I stumbled upon pieces of clothing and accessories reflective of current pieces found at higher end retail stores. On this adventure, we took home about six pieces we thought were distinctly original, justifiably priced and within our spending budget for the day.

An intricately woven leather belt (shown far left in above photo) with a touch of a cowboy wistfulness cost us only $3.99. While, a pair of  vintage Guess denim jeans, that we later want to cut up into shorts cost us only $0.99. Trending all over the city streets and magazine editorials are long skirt and Stacey and I, couldn’t help but fall in love with a warm orange coloured and a rich forest green silk ankle skirts that cost us only $4.99/each. The finishing touch to any outfit is the accessory and the brown vintage clutch for $5.99 acts as that perfect asset.

Stay tuned to see how we put these thrift finds together to make a Spring/Summer 2012 outfit…

One response to “Confessions of a Shop-a-holic on a Budget”

  1. Great post, Hana! Where abouts are these stores that you shopped at?! Levi’s jeans for $0.99?! That’s crazy!
    Another great tip is to shop at garage sales! Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, there are tons of sales in the city! Just last weekend, I bought a Danier suede houndstooth vest for $2!
    – Charmaine S

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