Adventures in Thrifting

Adventures in Thrifting: New Year's Clothes Resolutions

In honor of the New Year, I thought I’d think about some of my bad shopping/clothes-related habits. Thus, it is resolved that in 2012:


  • Take that enormous bag of clothes that need to be mended/dry-cleaned to someone who knows what they are doing. There’s cute stuff in there that I bought at at thrift store and resolved to have cleaned or mended but never did. And there’s even cute stuff I bought new, but the seam ripped and I lack the wherewithal to fix it myself.

  • Hmmm, maybe I should just learn to sew?
  • On a related note, maybe some of the stuff that claims it needs to be dry-cleaned really doesn’t. Maybe I could handwash it?
  • I should figure out where I stand on dry-cleaning. It sort of creeps me out a little. But I’m scared of damaging a piece of clothing that claims to need it.
  • In any event, deal with enormous bag of slightly damaged/claims-it-needs-to-be-dry-cleaned stuff. I miss those clothes, dang it.


  • Expand my horizons when it comes to jewelry. As of now, I only buy earrings: the bigger and dangle-y-ier the better. I almost entirely eschew necklaces, bracelets, and rings. Why is that? I don’t know.
  • Buy some cute nightwear, rather than simply wearing my oversized t-shirt with a bear gardening on it that says “Hairy Potter.” Even though I love that t-shirt.

Not a good look

  • Attempt to scale the personal Mt. Everest that is buying dress pants. It’s hard enough to find pants that look good on me, and I’ve largely abandoned the field in favor of skirts and leggings. But I should have some dressier, formal pants right? For when I need to dress like a grown-up? I must promise myself not to break down in the store, beating the ground with my fists and shouting, Why do formal pants look so bad on me? AND DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON CAPRI PANTS.
  • Buy more belts, because you can never have enough. Even though I find belts difficult to shop for second-hand. Maybe people just hang on to their cute belts forever?


  • Buy more heels UNTIL I actually wear some of the cute, colorful heels dangling in my closet that I always chicken out of wearing in lieu of wearing comfortable flats.
  • Buy ironic t-shirts.

  • Avoid buying new bras until the only bras I have are held together with duck tape or I’m wearing a swimsuit as underwear, Liz Lemon-style. Even I have to resort to this.

Any New Years clothes/shopping resolutions?

Photo by Brave New Films. Image take from TheDigeratilife


  • Sarah Hanasewych

    Go to The Gap for dress pants, I had to buy some for work and they have like 6 different styles to choose from, plus they do reg-short-tall so you should be able to find a really nice fit, not too mention they usually have some awesome sales on them. (got mine for $15)

  • Rebecca Kennedy

    Despite the gift vouchers from Christmas, I’m plannin’ on resisting shopping for as long as I can, no matter how nice the sales might be, due to the fact that one resolution is to run the Flora Mini Marathon, and I’m bound to change size between now and then, so why buy new clothes now, when I can treat myself after I’ve completed the marathon? Here’s hopin’ I stick with that resolve!

  • Sarah Bjarah

    also target is great for dress pants – they have most of the same fits that they have for jeans, so it’s sort of like trying on black jeans. and hey, just by dryel for your dry clean only stuff – it’s a big bag that you use to dry clean your clothes in your dryer at home. do not, however, use it for a nice fuzzy white sweater and a nice gray wool skirt at the same time. ill-advised.

  • Robin Sharp

    I’ve resolved to stop buying things that I think that I’m going to re-fashion into something really cool looking, because I never do.

    You really should learn how to sew, though. Even if it’s just hand-sewing. I bought a $100 purse for $20 because the lining was ripped and I made it look brand new in 5 minutes with a needle and thread! Shopping off the sale rack is way more fun when you know that you’ll be able to take it home and fix it and wear it the next day rather than throwing it in a bag of stuff that you have to pay someone else to fix.

  • Becca Uecker

    The Limited, too, has different styles that work well for different body types. They are pricey, though, but I have a pair of pants from at least 10 years ago that are still holding up. Sort of. The color is fading, perhaps I can dye them? Anyway, you get the point.

  • Laura Owen

    Thanks for the dress pants tips, everyone! And yes, I should really learn to sew. :) It would make thrifting/buying on sale much easier. Someday!

  • Brennan McDavid

    Get a nice pair of pants and visit a tailor. Life is short.

  • Jessica Benn

    I find the New Year a refreshing and motivating time to look through my clothes and pull out anything that I didn’t wear in the past year. Chances are, if I didn’t wear it at all in an entire year, I probably won’t miss it. Unless it’s that fancy, sparkly, special-occasion dress, of course.

  • Sofie Marks

    Agree on the gap– they have a whole section devoted to the working girl. But never buy anything full price there because they almost always have a sale. Also, Old Navy sometimes has dress pants, and the LOFT always does. But yeah, ditto what Brennan said. Tailors are a short-girl’s best friend.

  • Fenna Blue

    “Dry Clean Only” is a lie. Ignore it. Everything can be washed. If it seems delicate, hang it out to dry.

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