Thriftstyle Fall Wardrobe: Village Discount Outlet Clearance Sale!

This past weekend (9/22) was my second Village Discount Outlet half-price sale (well, third if you count the time I inadvertently went to one on Father's Day) and I. Am. Hooked.

I was able to update my fall wardrobe -- and I spent less than $35.

And, just to prove that I'm not walking away with a bunch of useless crap, here's a rundown of what I purchased (pictures below):

  • Two pretty necklaces, one bright gold chain with a  pendant and one with mixed pearl and gold beads
  • A black belt with gold buckle
  • A pair of gold and silver flats
  • A pair of grey sneaker flats
  • Three sweaters (one reddish-orange with awesome leather, bead, and lace embellishments; one silver and black, zebra patterned; one light blue with knit flowers and pearl beads embellishments)
  • Two cardigans (one beige with gold tint, one purple with gold tint and a pretty brooch embellishment)
  • One grey sweaterdress
  • One amazingly beautiful wool scarf (seriously the picture does it no justice)
  • One amazingly beautiful, Jackie-O-esque, purple and maroon jacket -- its insanely lovely and I got a ton of compliments when I wore it to work yesterday
  • Some of the brands I purchased (just to prove its not all junk) were Old Navy, The Limited, Carson Pirie Scott (vintage, love it), Isaac Mizrahi for Target, Ann Taylor, and Bisou Bisou by Michele Bohbot

I still can't believe that all of that cost me only $33.24. Its crazy to me!

Having been to more than one half-price sale now, here are my...

Tips for Village Discount Outlet Half-Price Sales

  1. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes. The stores are crazy packed with people so you want to be able to grab what you want and hit the mirrors with a bunch of stuff to try on quickly. I suggest wearing leggings, a tank top, and a loose sweater or cardigan over the tank top. That way you can easily take the sweater/cardigan off and throw what you want to try on over the tank top. I also suggest shoes that easily slip on and off. I made the mistake of wearing boots so it was a pain to keep taking them on and off to try on shoes.
  2. Its tempting to want to roam around to all the different departments all at once, but I suggest starting somewhere and doing that entire section before moving on. I usually start with shoes and then more to sweaters, coats, etc. I will likely never check the jeans/t-shirts sections because I don't really wear t-shirts, I'm trying to wear jeans less, and, to be honest, with the condition that most of the jeans are in at thrift stores, it would be more cost-effective to make an investment in a few decent pairs of jeans from Victoria's Secret, etc. that you know will fit you and last a long time. If you think about people's wardrobes, they usually have only a few pairs of jeans and then a million tops. So the jeans get worn out a lot more than the tops typically do. All of the sweaters I purchased (including the older, vintage ones) were in near perfect condition. But I couldn't seem to find a pair of jeans that was even worth trying on. So I think I might have to break my own rules a little and buy non-thrifted jeans. Old Navy has some awesome skinny jeans for $19 right now so I think I'll have to venture over there with the money I saved buying thrifted tops.
  3. Bring some music with you -- the strange mix of modern country and top 40s music gets REALLY annoying after the first like 30 seconds.
  4. Make sure your car is parked in a safe spot and that you have enough time left on your meter --  the checkout lines will take awhile!
  5. Also bring a book or something to do while you wait in the checkoutline!
  6. Always check the weird endcaps and all areas of the store -- really dig deep because that's sometimes where the best things are hiding. Most of the people shopping the sales are families so they aren't interested in awesome wool tops and Isaac Mizrahi jackets and will fling them off to the side. So be sure to look everywhere you can!
  7. Try to make a day out of it and visit several stores. I went to three altogether and while I found most of the stuff I bought at the one on Milwaukee near Armitage, I was able to find a few key pieces at the other stores as well. They all have different inventory, unlike regular chain clothing stores, so it helps if you hit a bunch.

Happy thrifting everyone!


DIY thrift store clothing updates
I've been scouring the DIY fashion blogs (I'm not going to link here -- just google "DIY fashion blogs" and you'll come up with more examples than you'll ever have time to check) for ways to update my existing and thrifted clothing. One example of an update I made recently was to buy some Crayola Brights Fabric Markers (about $5 at Michael's craft store) and make my own neon sweater, similar to the one on Style and Pepper. You can see the end results in the photos below (and its already gotten a ton of compliments). I've also purchased some pearl studs to glue to the collars of some of the blouses I have (fall is all about embellishments) as well as some materials for DIY jewelry. Next step is to get a sewing machine. Once you have supplies and tools, making updates to clothing costs next to nothing and keeps you looking stylish.
I also plan to make a DIY rug out of thrifted turquoise t-shirts, seeing as finding a turquoise rug has been so difficult.




Thriftstyle Friends: Networking to save money
I plan on writing a larger post about this at some point in the future, but its always helps to know a lot of people in a wide range of social circles and industries if you're trying to save money. Friends will be able to help get you deals on things, pass on information and advice to you, and possibly pass on some other things too. Over the years, roommates have passed on to me the clothing and shoes they no longer want. I've gotten some pretty sweet items, such as the polka-dot silk shirt (which I'm wearing today under a strapless black dress), polka-dot skirt, and Steve Madden blue suede flats all pictured below. My current roommate was nice enough to pass these along to me. And some pencil skirts from a previous roommate are some of the staples of my work wardrobe. I'm a very lucky girl to have had such amazing ladies in my life.
Have a great week, thriftstylers!

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