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Old 07-07-2004, 09:14 AM
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chuckle Frugal Fashions For Teens

One of the most popular questions I receive in my mail is "How can I have clothes that are in style without going broke?" Being the frugal person I am, I thought I'd share a few of my tips on how to keep your closet full of fashionable clothes without paying a fortune.

One of the best ways to get clothes is to accept hand-me-downs from friends, family, or your parent's friends' children. I've received clothes from both my cousins, plus my dad has a friend who has two daughters, and they both passed clothes to me. (I'm pretty short and skinny, so when most people out-grow their clothes, they fit me!) The majority of those clothes I didn't want, just because some of them were pretty worn out or old. But, there were a lot of pairs of jeans, shorts, and flannel shirts that I really needed. My style is pretty basic - I like plain jeans, flannel shirts, tank tops and jean shorts. I don't like anything really girly or dressy, so I have an easy time finding basic clothes that I like. If you are more picky, you might have a problem with accepting other people's clothing.

Thrift shops and consignment stores are other great alternatives. If you've never been to one of these stores, you don't know what you're missing! You probably think that all of these clothes are worn out and old, but the opposite is true. In fact, every thrift shop and consignment store that I've been to takes good care of the clothes they sell. If you want a secret about these types of stores, I'll fill you in -- did you know that most of the clothes that are unclaimed in your school lost and found go to these types of stores? Once, someone never claimed their $120 Starter jacket, and it went to Goodwill and sold for $15. I actually knew people who would wait and see which days the lost and found would go empty, and then go visit the thrift store to start their shopping. :-)

Another way is to buy plain clothes that can double-up as something else. For example, about three weeks ago, I needed a new dress... Usually, I don't like paying more than $10 for any type of clothing, but this time I made an exception. I bought a $30 long black dress with really classy beige flowers on it. When I wear it alone, it makes a great Summer dress because it is sleeveless. When I wear it with a sweater it looks great for church. And, when I wear it with the jacket it came with, it's professional enough to wear to dinner parties, job interviews, and other special occations. Because this one dress can be worn anywhere, I saved myself a lot of money. The average dress I can find is $20. So, if you think about it, rather than buying a church dress, a special occasion dress, and a Summer dress, which would cost $60, I only paid 50%!

Last, but not least, comes what we like to call bargain hunting. Why pay full price now, if you could have paid much less off-season? Fall is the time to buy Summer clothes. Winter is the time to buy Fall clothes. Spring is the time to buy Winter clothes, and Winter is the time to buy Summer clothes. Sound odd? It shouldn't. For example, let's say you need to buy a new complete Summer wardrobe. Rather than buy your clothes during the Summer months, purchase them during Fall. Once fall strolls along and the stores need to make room for new Fall clothes, they will sell their Summer clothing at a large discount. Just be sure to buy your clothes 1 size bigger, so they'll fit you next year.

The only problem you may run into is shoes. It's sometimes hard to find the shoes you want at a good price. The best bargain I got was a new pair of sandals for only $4.50. My mother needed new shoes, and I was planning on getting that pair of sandals for $9, but it was a buy-1-get-1 50% off sale. So, watch those sales and buy your shoes cheap whenever you can. Even if you don't need a new pair of sneakers now, if you happened to find a pair at a really good price, it's better to buy it now in a bigger size for next year.

Recommended Reading: I just reread this book after having it for almost 2 years. This book is the best on saving on your grocery bill. If you don't want to become a vegetarian or just need help in figuring out what your doing wrong. Most of this was junk food we didn't need , and on a tight budget, this really helps to remind you that you really don't need all the extras and can still eat well on little money. Remember how you ate when you were a kid and mom did all the cooking at home. McD's use to be a treat, now it seems like it's the normal dinner for most people. Not anymore for me! I highly recommend this book. Her resource list in the back is also very good. There are cookbooks listed as well as other informative books. (courtesy: Amazon)

About the Author
Suzanne Donahue is the 17-year-old Webmaster of TeenRefuge.com, the safe place on the Internet where teens can interact and share advice.
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:16 AM
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We have received this comment from a Guest here at Family Corner....


"I offer a lot of programs for teenish girls and have found another great and cheap way to be fashionable, which is fashion redesign. I have girls bring in something they no longer wear because it's "out of style" and we redesign it using trims, buttons, tie dye, or any number of other creative approaches. Sometimes a simple thing like sewing bead fringe or fur to the bottom of jeans and using some fabric paint creates a unique look girls love. We also take existing clothes and tear them apart, reattach parts, and make skirts from pants, etc., essentially go wild! Not only does this enable girls to express who they are, it's a great way to recycle clothes."



Thank you for your ideas! Keep them coming!!

Tami
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Old 07-09-2004, 07:22 PM
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Above is exactly what I was going to post!
We went to WI Dells for a couple of days this week. While window shopping (as this was all we could afford to do after paying for our hotel room) we came across a young women's clothing store. They had a couple of mannequin displays in the doorway with jeans on and some plain top. My daughter and I went ga-ga checking those jeans out! All we'd have to do is cut out an irregular piece of lace or other pretty material and stitch it on a jean leg. Then add some tiny hand painted blossoms and sequins. They were beautiful! I'm hoping to find some rummage sales in the morning to find some jeans. I feel a project coming on!

Oh, and as for tye-dying... We just did a bunch of stained socks, faded bras and undies and camouflaged a couple stainy tees. It worked great. We bought a tye-dye kit at Michael's with their 40% off any one item. We colored quite a bit for just a few bucks. Also, dying my husband's scrubs added to their useful life, too!

Last edited by beckri; 07-09-2004 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:09 PM
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a few more ideas

It's funny, my sister is the trendiest person I know, and she only shops at thrift stores. Her trick is the exact thing just mentioned in the last two posts, she gets out her notions and sewing machine and goes to work.

She and I both have long legs and are forever trying to find ladies jeans/pants that fit in the waist and are long enough (lately I've been pretty happy that capris are in!! ), but she is great at extending pants using pieces of fabric and attaching them with a ribbon or contrasting fabric over the seam.

Another great spot to find teen clothing for nearly nothing at all - Look for the different groups at the local high school to have yard/rummage sales. I know in our town, the volleyball booster club has a great sale every year and they only charge $10/boxful of clothes. Last year my son found his entire wardrobe there, we picked some things up for my sister-in-law and the neighbor and only spent $10.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:25 PM
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Since school is about to start or has already started in some places, I'm bumping this up!
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:17 AM
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Don't forget about ebay! In the past I've been able to buy quite a few things for my kids. Shipping can be expensive, but if you check out sellers that have either multiple items for sale and will combine shipping OR those selling "lots" (meaning several items all combined as one auction) of clothes, you can do pretty well. If you end up winning 10 items for $1-2 each and paying $12 shipping, you still made out!
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