In this financially unstable economy there is no shortage of advice on ways to stretch your dollar or maximize your buying power. As the mother of four fashion conscientious offspring I am always on the lookout for a bargain or better way to get them dressed for less. Some of my favorite places to find low cost yet still fashionable clothing for them is thrift and consignment shops, garage/yard sales and non-profit donation centers like Goodwill and Value Village. There are deals and steals to be found if you know what to look and inspect for. Below is the checklist I use to make sure that I am putting together ensembles that don’t look like worn out hand-me-downs.
- Check outfits for stains, holes and worn spots (think knees and elbows). This is a common symptom of donated clothing.
2. Check clothing tags for special cleaning instructions. Dry Clean Only translates to extra expenses.
3. Check outfits for any missing buttons. If one is missing you may be stuck replacing all the buttons for a new matching set.
4. Check inside pockets to make sure there are no holes or tears. Your children’s lunch money is likely to end up in there.
5. Check all seams. The common areas for seam separation are usually in the crotch of pants, the sleeves of shirts and dresses and the hemline.
6. Check for snags. Another common reason a garment gets donated is because of snags.
7. Check for pilling. A frequently washed garment or one constructed from cheap material is always victim to these little fuzzies.
8. Check for missing rhinestones, studs, iron on patches and such. It can become a quest to find an exact or even close match to replace the missing ones.
9. Check screen-printed designs for cracking and/or fading. A t-shirt or jacket that has seen a washer/dryer one time too many will have this affliction.
10.Check that the price tag matches the garments value. Know your brands so you can spot a real value versus an overinflated one.