Monday, January 13, 2014

Goodwill Toward Fashion...

Most people who know me, know that I have a passion for fashion.  This has been the case since my years in elementary school.  

I wasn't a girl who dressed to blend in with the crowd, I dressed to stand out in the crowd.  I would even face personal ridicule at time.  In junior high, for example, I recall a classmate telling me that I always dressed so "weird"...that day I was wearing a solid pink sweater, and had tied a grey and pink scarf around my waist as a belt as an accent piece.  

Tammie, you remember what you were wearing on a particular day in middle school?
Yes, because I'm kind of a fashion freak like that. 
I kind of took pride in the fact that I was dressing like the glamor gals in Vogue, and getting made fun of by the girl in the standard sweatshirt with a scrunchy.

Now, my "trendy" tendencies did NOT, however, mean that I wore the name brands.  Not at all.  For me, Esprit was elusive, Guess was a no-go, and Doc Martins were a delusion.  

Knock-offs were my niche.

As I got older, I continued to love fashion and worked in the retail industry for about 15 years.  I loved helping others find their perfect shade of lipstick, their new favorite shoe, or their most comfortable corset.  However, the employee discounts seemed to be more of a pain in my wallet than one would expect.  I found that I would buy, buy, buy as a reflection of stress, stress, stress.  

"You deserve it, worked so hard today." 

But, did that mean I deserved the stress of trying to pay our bills?  Of trying to figure out how to explain the bag of clothes I DIDN'T need to my husband?  I walked around feeling guilt and shame on account of just wanting to feel good about how I looked.

So, with all the fun choices out there, and only a limited amount of resources, how do I keep my fashion afloat and my our finances firm? 
The answer is simply this; never buy it new.
I fell in love with second-hand stores about three years ago.    I have been finding brands like Banana Republic, BCBG, and White House Black Market for $4 a piece!  Sure, you have to weed through some rubbish on your way; but the sewage is secondary to the delicious designs you can find for your dime!

Now you all know my secret...I'm a dumpster-diving, bargain-striving, economically thriving, markdown-momma.
Peace on earth, and Goodwill toward Fashion...
Written in response to a writing prompt from from September 2011.

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