Thrift Shopping - Bargain your way to Glam
Not near as shabby as it sounds and yes you can still shop, say it with me "YES WE CAN!" You've found yourself trying to look good on a budget, but relax, its no longer just you, the whole world has been ordered on one. You still hit the best stores, but you hit the bargain racks, mostly on weekdays when it's less populated ;). In the twisted way the world makes sense sometimes, pieces on the bargain racks are usually odd pieces, funky, ‘out of style'... this is so not going where you're headed right? But for those who prefer standing apart from the crowd then not getting what's on the mannequin is the aim, and so the bargain rack rocks.
When thrift shopping, shop with a plan, a preconceived plan of mix and matching pieces already in the wardrobe. Then load up on easy to match-up bottom pieces like blues, blacks, khakis and pin stripes, mix these with blazers/jackets that complements and next add a bundle of ‘inside' pieces, simple shirts, frills, casual vests you can snatch these suckers for as low as $35, yes TT dollars. That ought to get you a good 3 months of mixing and matching, super effective for office-wardrobe restocking time.
This one's a given, wait for sales; even though they lie like crazy, switching price tags and all sorts of unscrupulous behaviour very unbecoming of a respected store owner *look of disgust and mistrust*.
Thrift heaven is discovering a gem outside of Port of Spain and the Malls, like that one on that back street in Curepe. These saintly souls, go abroad and shop with a different frame of mind, not the "lets get these cheap quality hottish looking stuff which we can retail at 150% mark-up." No, these trusted few in their good saintly souls sing to the tune of, "Gosh if I was shopping for me, I'd get this and this and this... and they're so reasonable!" Get to know them, build that relationship and soon you'll be getting amazing SMS and messages that make your little heart flutter: "Sale on this Saturday or New Stock arrives in 2 days. Have a nice day!" Amazing right! Still there will be the bargain-rack stocked with cheaper and still rocking pieces that you can get a number of. Like 3 good-ta-go tops at $65 a piece, sweeeeet! Totally thrills you to glimpse it in the mall stores next month at $145; by which time yours is now ‘wear to the grocery' material... ahhh life's little frivolous satisfactions.
Accessories, beaded chains, available anyway for a hungry $15, fedoras at $60 bucks around the city, bangles $10? Huge handbags seem to still be the in thing, let it dominate your outfit, not every time though. Don't overdo with the ‘stuff' either, wouldn't want to walk around looking like a Gypsy, wearing everything you own. If you're wearing rainbow coloured earrings you don't need the rainbow coloured bangles and the rainbow coloured flip-flops... those people starring at you, stare not with doting admiration of your flaming fashion sense, yet there you go strutting even harder, head right up in the clouds.
Luckily as you mature you discover, simplicity rules and less is more... unless you live on Ariapita Avenue and have entered at least one fashion show, model show, been on TV, went up for Ms T&T, work in the media etcetera etcetera but, yea simple people rule. Few years ago you'd be in the malls looking for that dress that ensures no one, and absolutely no one steals the spotlight tonight, now you've morphed your wonderful self into "These people are lucky I'm even showing up to their thing." Yes, there's a little Kanye in each of us, and true to West form we still gotta look good, recessionary and all.