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By SHONNA SHECKLES
I have been dressing up ever since I can remember.
I think my mother is the cause of me loving clothes the way I do. It all started with the Bo-Peep Shoppe, Spalding’s and Dobbs Family Shoe Store in Bardstown. I would walk by their windows every day after school and admire all the outfits on display. I was a pretty-plus child, so all my clothes were expensive because of my size. As time went on and I was able to buy my own clothes, I would get fashion ideas from magazines, TV and just watching people.
I love all clothing, but my weaknesses are shoes and purses. Not just any shoe; I love stilettos. If the heel is less than three inches, I really don’t want it.
One day, I got to thinking, “there has got to be a better way for me to purchase more with the money I’m able to spend on clothing.” That was the birth of thrift shopping for me. I started visiting consignment stores in my town and in the towns where I work.
Bingo. I had hit pay dirt. My new philosophy was, “why do I have to pay full price for anything ever again if I wait on someone else to purchase it first. That is exactly what thrift shopping is: gently used, recyclable clothing at a fraction of the cost.
Don’t get me wrong, I still frequent the mall, but it is only to see what this season’s fashion craze is. I have gotten so good at thrift shopping, I can make an outfit I have seen on display for up to 60 percent less than retail price.
I know some people wonder how they could wear someone else’s castoffs. Easy, get rid of that mindset, first of all. In my travels, I have found most of the stores I frequent are clean, and the clothing is clean, on hangers and up to date. Now, I will say if you don’t like to look, and pull through things to find your treasure, then thrift shopping might not be for you.
On a typical shopping day, I have found Coach, Ann Taylor, Gucci and Kate Spade bags. It gives me such a rush to find designer fashions for a fraction of the cost. Also, I find that if I shop for all seasons all the time, I fare better.
According to those who are dear to me, I have a sickness, but what in the world is sick about saving money? I think they think that way because I’m in a thrift store of some kind almost every day. How else am I to continue to get the bargains if I don’t check the racks on a regular basis? Unlike regular stores, thrift stores don’t carry all sizes all the time; they carry what they get.
So if you pride yourself, as I do, on being a fashionista, know that shopping is way more fun and less expensive when you are a diva trying to hold onto every dime.
Shonna Sheckles works in Elizabethtown and lives in Bardstown. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column appears the second Wednesday of the month.