Recently I went to a Marshall’s store to look at clothing items and do some early Christmas shopping – they have a GREAT selection of children’s books and toys at discounted prices.
There I found a women’s pajama set by some unfamiliar designer for $19.99, originally priced at $80. Eighty dollars! It looked nice on the hanger – black with classy small white polka dots, thin cotton fabric. I tried it on. UGH! I looked horrible in it and realized why it was discounted at Marshall’s. How can any designer justify charging $80 for an unflattering, flimsy cotton set of pj’s?
Another Option: Thrift Stores
On the OTHER hand – while I normally purchase night clothes in new condition, I have found some good, flattering night clothes at thrift stores – and for SUPER CHEAP! Of course I’ve found more, too – pants including jeans, shorts, skirts, sweaters, cardigans, jackets, and lots of clothing for my little toddler. Some of my favorite wardrobe pieces are from the thrift store (my favorite pair of jeans, my favorite skirt and sweater, to name a few).
I’m not sure if I mentioned this before – as a teen I thought little of thrift stores – so little I never went to them (ha!). I HAD to have brand name clothing from nice stores so I could feel “cool” – Maurices, Vanity, Deb, etc. Of course that meant pricier clothing for my parents to buy me (sorry, mom and dad). Maybe thrift stores weren’t as big then – I’m from Duluth and there are fewer there anyway – but here in the Twin Cities they’re EVERYWHERE. Bigger, more upscale stores and small, nonprofits at your nearby shopping plaza. There’s good stuff at all the ones I’ve been to.
A Few Twin Cities Options
Another one to mention is Arc Value Village in Golden Valley. (Check out their website at http://www.arcsvaluevillage.org/.) The store is small and to me, packed and cluttered (little room to move in aisles). HOWEVER – they have a good variety of items – I like checking out their toys and children’s items – and best of all, their prices are LOW. Lots of bargains. But I don’t care for their clothing. I’ve never found good clothes there, but again, the prices are low, so it never hurts to look through what they have.
Have I mentioned SAVERS? This may be my true favorite (I especially like the one in Duluth – it’s new this year) – but there are also several in the Twin Cities, including Columbia Heights and Maplewood. (Their website is http://www.savers.com/.) The stores are fairly big, and the clothing selection is very good. I enjoy their large book and movie collections. The Savers stores I’ve been to tend to be cleaner, neater and more organized than other thrift stores. Prices are reasonable but fair – after all, they are a for-profit chain.
Deal Days at Thrift Stores
By the way, with the economy the way it’s been lately, thrift stores are getting plenty of business from other bargain-hungry shoppers, so it helps to plan your visits. Go on weekdays – they’re less busy, plus some thrift stores have customer appreciation days on weekdays; Unique Thrift Stores have theirs on Tuesdays (25% off everything!). Use coupons (yes, thrift stores have them out there! Look at what comes in your mail!). Go without your kids if you can – I recently went to a Unique Thrift Store location by myself on a customer appreciation day, leisurely tried on lots of clothes, left with three really nice, name-brand skirts, a jacket and a sweater, plus a Little People playground toy with 2 Little People figures – all of this for only $20!!!! It was so much fun to see my daughter’s delight when I brought home the toy and gave it to her (disinfected first, of course!).
Happy Thrift Store shopping!