Nov 13 2007

My favorite frugal clothing finds


Going along with the frugal clothes shopping theme of the day, I thought I’d let you know about some of my all-time best frugal clothing finds.

Senior prom dress
Do you know that some girls/their moms pay up to $300 for a prom dress? Is that insane? Yes. I have a hard time believing a dress to wear in high school would ever be worth that much.

My dress was found by chance. I was browsing the racks at a Von Maur, and came across a red, sequined one-shoulder dress that was drastically marked down from $120 to $20. It was a little big on top (as most things are for me, lol) but my skilled seamstress grandmother took it in no problem. She didn’t even charge me! :)

I never wore that dress again. I think I’d still fit in it, since it’s somewhat stretchy, but I probably should send it on its way to a consignment shop or Goodwill.

Winter boots
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend buying shoes at PayLess. Some of the shoes there seem to be not well-made. However, a few years back during their BOGO sale, I spotted two pair of boots that seemed pretty good. I bought black boots that had a warm fuzzy lining inside. These are great for cold days and walking through snow, even a few years later. The other boots are light brown and suitable for wearing with a casual sweater. Warm as well, but they only come up to my lower ankles. I got both for $20 total.

Super-warm gigantic puffy blue coat
My giant coat is ugly. I don’t care. When the temperatures drop below 20 degrees or so and/or it’s snowing a very wet snow, I bring out Big Blue. It’s lined with thick fleece, and filled with very fluffy warm stuffing. It covers my rear, and has never let me down–even when walking a mile to class in sub-zero temperatures. On sale at Old Navy for $30. I bought it years ago, and will probably keep it for at least another decade or more.

Wedding dress
$99 on sale + alterations + pressing = $250

Nuff said.

What are some of your best deals?


Posted under Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “My favorite frugal clothing finds”

  1. I bought my wedding dress On Ebay brand new and it was the “year before” style but I didnt care! Got it for $100!!!!!! And it was a VERY expensive dress!
    Loved it and wouldnt of traded it for anything!
    It fit me perfect and I had a friend who had a steamer so I did all the steaming myself!
    Was great!

  2. you know this is right up my alley. i’ve gotten multiple pairs of shoes that were originally $80+ for $19.99. i bought a pea coat at benetton for $60 that was originally $250. fab!! ooh. pants for 9.99 that i’d been looking for for literally years (2), they were originally $40. i could go on for days. i love clothes.

  3. I refuse to pay too much for clothing. My friend thinks the good deals just fall into my lap, but my strategy is actually to NOT be strenuously looking for something. I just browse the clearance racks and know in my head what I might need in the future or now, and work with that. I have a pair of black slacks I LOVE that I got at Macy’s for $7.56, marked down from $90. I get polos and cardigans from Target for $2.48-$7, etc. I have no issues with wearing what is so “last season,” particularly because I stick to the classics — solid colours that are flattering to my skin tone, etc.

  4. Love the red dress! Instead of donating it try repurposing into a cocktail or a tea length dress. BTW I have my own version of Big Blue..I hate to be cold.

  5. I’m with you on all of this. I have a huge red puffy coat from Lands’ End that I’m expecting to be waiting for me when I arrive at the airport for Christmas. It’s ugly, but I’m always the warmest person.
    I spent $120 on my first prom dress, but my mom made my second one out of remnant bin fabric and my third was true vintage — a cocktail party dress of my grandmother’s, from the 50s or 60s. It’s still my favorite dress. I was frugal with everything else, so my costs were pretty low.
    I agree with CDMOM that if you like the dress enough, you could change it up a bit to wear it as a party dress. But donating it would make some HS student very happy, too.

  6. Add me to the list of people who bought a wedding gown on eBay. Mine was from a bridal store across the country and I paid $120, including shipping.

    I had a friend who altered wedding dresses all the time, and she altered it from a size 14 to a size 4 – for $25!!

    Everyone at the wedding commented on how beautiful the dress was, and I love it just as much today as I did then (5 years ago). It’s so “me”!

    I also find a lot of Christopher & Banks clothing (my personal favorite for casuals) at secondhand stores. I’ve gotten pretty good at finding them amid all the stacks of clothing, and I get excited with each new find – all under $6 each.


  7. I bought a $58 pair of Mudd boots for ten cents at a consignment shop in my hometown last week. They were brand new! You can’t beat that deal!

    I always shop clearance. I’m allergic to paying full price. :)

    Lori in Iowa

  8. Great Deals! The best I ever got was when we were on vacation in Maine this past summer. My sister in law and I went to a local thrift store and they were having a $5.00 paper bag sale. So we stuffed the bag and split it. I found 7 beautiful outfits for my daughters and they only cost me $2.50! I wish their clothes would stay this little forever :)

  9. My very best deal was a pair of new w/tags levis in my size (very hard to find) that I bought for 1.00 @ a garage sale. I still wear those jeans 3 times per week, 9 years later! LOL

  10. ooooh, I love this topic! I have remarkable luck at thrift stores. My best find recently was a maternity dress from Gap – classic black with white polka dots for $4 at my Salvation Army. yesss!
    My friend and I play a game: add up the total cost of your outfit and the lowest cost wins!

  11. Thrift stores are so good, i can get the nicest clothes for cheap prices.

  12. My favorites…
    A perfect pair of Doc Martin’s mary janes for $1 at a yard sale. 5 years later, I still wear them. Funny thing is, the other day, I found another pair of them at a thrift store for $6 (but they were a shinier leather, not patent, but well polished). My husband joked that I’m moving up in the world, paying six times as much for my shoes than I did a few years ago. Ha ha.

    My other favorite find is a cherry red cashmere sweater that I got for $1 at a yard sale.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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