Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thrift!

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 7:09 PM

Welcome to Save Memphis, a blog about how not to spend much money - while still having fun and occasionally acquiring new and fabulous possessions - in the city we all love.

First up (I'll go ahead and reveal my inclinations early on): cheap clothing. For me, dropping money on new clothes is as easy as finishing the whole bag of Doritos, so I try to restrict my shopping experiences to places where costs are low. That way, I get more for what I spend, and I've recycled some clothing that might have gone to waste rather than buying something brand-new. And in terms of clothes, Memphis has some great saving opportunities at its disposal:

THRIFT STORES
There are amazing pieces to be found when you do a little searching. I have so many great things from thrift stores, and they always end up being my favorites because I feel like I really worked to find them.

My friend Charlotte found this pair of brown woven leather wedges at the Disabled American Veterans store on Summer. To my memory, she spent about $6 for them.

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Here's a dress my roommate, Kimberly, found at Mid-South Outlet, also on Summer. $9 and it looks brand new (and even better on). These are just two examples of how lucky thrift store shoppers can be.

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And if you're not finding pieces that are already fabulous, there's always potential for something to improve. With a little rehab, I've turned long skirts into dresses and vice versa, shortened sleeves or removed shoulder pads to make great tops. For example - when I found this dress, it screamed kindergarten teacher at near floor-length with a neckline deep enough to necessitate an undershirt.

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But a quick hemming and shortening of the straps - in total, I spent about an hour doing this while watching a movie - gave me this beauty, and I even had pieces left over. It came with a matching belt, which I set aside to wear with plainer pieces, and I turned the extra material from the bottom of the skirt into a circle scarf (a real weakness of mine). And there you go: $6 for a scarf, a belt, and a one-of-a-kind dress, all from the Mid-South Outlet.
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My favorite thrift stores - Mid-South Outlet, Disabled American Veterans, and Summer Outlet - are all next to each other on Summer, between Holmes and Highland. I've also recently discovered the AmVets store (2526 Elvis Presley), which is massive and has a fantastic selection of women's AND men's clothing, for those of you who are tired of looking at my dresses.

Also, here's a great directory of Memphis thrift stores if you're interested in finding more.


ESTATE SALES
I've always been a fan of garage sales - and I certainly encourage perusing them - but the logistics of finding them and getting there before everything's cleaned out are overwhelming. Recently, I've been alerted to the existence of estate sales, where entire houses full of possessions are priced and ready for you to come grab them.

www.estatesales.net
catalogues registered estate sales all over the US, and you can check the addresses and starting times for upcoming sales. Not to mention that there are excellent photos in many of the listings, so you can see what you're getting yourself into before you decide to drive to Collierville at 9 AM.

Recently, art blogger Hannah Sayle and I stopped by a Midtown home to check out some home furnishings, but I ended up buying more clothes instead. I'm talking nice pieces here, at a little more than thrift store prices but at much higher average quality.

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I got this blouse (check those shoulders!) and these two skirts - the latter of which is made of silk and which I'm definitely planning on wearing as a strapless cocktail dress - for $30.

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Hannah found this cute box, proving that not everyone is as clothes-obsessed as I am. And I promise to you, dear readers, that this blog won't be, either!

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