Confessions of A Shopaholic: Bargain Edition


The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one. Like most girls, shopping is more than just the problem, it is the solution to ALL problems. Shopping can serve as so much more than a boost to the economy, such as therapy, a cure of boredom, creativity, or for me… the ultimate treasure hunt. If you know me personally, you know I pretty much always have a shopping bag in my car full of little things that I pick up here and there. Also if you know me, you know that my closet is only full of the best of the best that a higher middle class gal can afford. Free people, Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Hunter, Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, The Gap, Victorias Secret, Converse, are just a few recognizable name brands that I have stored in my closet…I have at least 4 items from every brand I just named. I feel like I should slip in a disclaimer here, this blog post is in no way meant to brag, but to simply tell how I have built up my closet to be so wonderful so fast and ON A HUGE BUDGET…..mostly free. It’s what I basically call a closet swap.

Here is my secret. Thrifting and sales are my favorite words. There is no greater thrill than finding something that is usually or more  $100 BRAND NEW for close to nothing.I have a huge Plato’s closet addiction. Like, it’s unreal. I HATE the Plato’s closet where my family lives and where I grew up. But, when I moved to Alabama for college, holy moly the biggest difference was made. First of all, this Plato’s closet actually has a ton of clothes. It’s the size of a small department store, and since it’s right next to a college campus, it pretty much carries everything that’s in season because girls will sell a top or a pair of shoes in order to have drinking money. Another reason why it is so good is because the employees actually take time to really look through the clothes and actually buy them. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I dropped off my clothes at my hometown Plato’s closet, bags filled with top brand NEVER WORN items, and the majority of my stuff was rejected because it had “stains”. Alongside of the $5 (if even) I made, I got served embarrassment all because people didn’t want to do their job and actually look through my stuff. But in Tuscaloosa, I finally was brave enough to bring in a small bag of clothes and they bought everything. I walked in with a bag of stuff I never wore and walked out with $53.

Where I go to school, it seems that more people have money than people that don’t. Range Rovers and nice Jeeps trump Toyotas and Hondas. Being in a sorority, you are expected to be stylish as much as possible. I found the short cut. Most girls are spending more than $200 for a complete outfit, while I spend about $20 …on the same outfit. Plato’s closet in Tuscaloosa has done me right. I sold my whole closet to them. I literally took 6 garbage bags, full to the top to Plato’s closet in Tuscaloosa. I found that the style is completely different in Alabama than in Florida so I was totally okay with this. They pretty much bought everything. I walked out with about $500 and some clothes to donate to Good Will. I invested that money back into my closet, frequenting trips to Plato’s closet when I needed some retail therapy. The best part is, everything I bought was brand new. For example, I got 3 different pairs of Free People shorts, with the price tag on it still that said $98. I got them for $14.99 each. You just can’t beat that.

You might be thinking to yourself, “why didn’t I think of this before?!’. But, items like that just don’t jump out at you. You really have to look for them. Finding brand new Piko tops in the ruff takes perseverance, talent, and sweat. You can ask my roommate, I helped train her to spot the different cuts of the sleeve. It’s the one scavenger hunt that I love the most, and the cheaper I can find it the better the hunt is. So, if you are looking for popular top brands, and a fun day, grab your best friends and set up a Plato’s date.

Now shopping sales is a hobby of mine as well. I am not a coupon queen exactly, but finding something on sale at a store and then looking up the store coupons on your iPhone on the way to the register and finding the goods (aka another % off the sale price) is another great way to score. I went to Khols the other day, looking only at the 75% off section. It’s hard honestly, to not look at the new full price stuff, but most of their full price stuff is not worth the price because the clothing is not quality. I’m not going to pay $50 for a top from MUDD. No way.  Anyway, on the sale rack I found a cute pair of pants and a long pink flower kimono. I also picked up two pairs of undies. Guess how much in total I spent? Thought of the magic number? Here is what I spent: $8.35 total. On four things.

I am not a magician, but I do know how to be patient, wait for the good sales, and keep my watch list up on Ebay ( that’s another story for a different time). I like to have current styles and basics in my closet at all times so I am okay with selling a lot of my wardrobe every season for new good stuff. If you have any questions about this post please shoot me an email! I enjoy hearing from my readers!

Happy shopping,

Emily Cline

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