Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cheap & Chic at the Salvation Army!

I was excited to do a shoot yesterday for That's Life on Fox 8 at such an unexpected location. For years, I have helped friends of mine - especially those who are single moms with a limited budget - shop for themselves at local thrift stores.

Not only does it help them save money and look great, but it can be really fun!

And with the current state of the economy and with gas prices going crazy, every little bit helps.

That's Life correspondent Rebecca Wilde from Q104 is a true thrift store diva. She really shops at the Strongsville Salvation Army, which is where we were taping, I love that about her - she has a fun and funky sensibility about clothes that matches her personality.

The four tips we highlighted were:

1) Know your days
Yesterday was "Blue Tag Day", where everything with a blue tag was 50% off. Every day of the week has a different tag color. If you shop at any Salvation Army on a Wednesday, you've hit the mother lode - EVERYTHING in the store is 50% off. Whoo-hoo!

(Unique Thrift in the Cleveland area is half-off on Mondays)

2) If you like labels....
They have labels! All in one place. Just look for the "Brand Name Labels" sign. We found Ann Taylor, Talbots, Land's End, Jones NY all on one rack! And you know what's great about that? All those brands are classic. You can wear them anytime and look great. They have a better chance of becoming worn out than going out of style.

3) Watch your styles!
There's a lot of great stuff, but you do have to weed through some potentially disastrous choices - like the multicolored bright, boxy jacket with huge shoulder pads or the plethora of Chanel-inspired bouclé jackets that were all the rage like 4 years ago but today just look outdated. An excellent alternative are cute little tailored corduroy jackets. Bec actually bought one that we used as an example.

4) Shop out of season
I was surprised to see that they had the winter coats out. I assume it was because they have a nice big store and there was plenty of space. Well, you know that when it gets cold, the pickins' will be much slimmer, so buy a coat now when you have your pick of the very best! In Cleveland, winter is always in the back of our minds!

I also put together a couple of outfits. (I took these pics with my BlackBerry, so excuse the warped color.)

This one is an example of something that can be worn to work. It's an Ann Taylor Loft suit (off-white) with a print blouse, some cute peeptoe pumps and green mock-croc bag. This outfit came in at under $30, and just imagine how many different ways that suit can be worn!

Below is a navy linen dress. How fun is this?! Pat Field said that the big fashion statement for the Sex and the City movie is the belted waist. So I took off the matching fabric belt and replaced it with a yellow-orange straw belt. A little straw bag in yellow, orange and pink helped tie the bright pink shoes and large orange earrings together.

It can be fun to shop at thrift stores because you never know what you will find! But limit yourself to 45 minutes to an hour because it can become overwhelming.

Remember - even if it's $8 and a designer label, if it doesn't look great on you and you probably won't wear it, it's still $8 out the window.

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