I’ll make no bones about it: Out of the Closet, right off Lakeshore Avenue, is not one of your fancy thrift stores. It’s not the kind of thrift store I usually dream of, with tattooed, hip cashiers and fun sweaters and fashionably beat-up boots. It’s a true-blue, slightly funny-smelling, cavernous, jumbled space with concrete floors and bad musak playing. But trust, it is CHEAP. No inflated prices for cast-off H&M duds here! In fact, pretty much everything I found here was less than $7. So for you poor fashionistas making minimum wage, you can swap out a burrito for some ramen and buy some cute shoes instead!

Like these:

ankle strap canvas heels

Size 8, $6.50

Cute, probably pretty comfy, picnic-ready.

I find that a good tip when doing a quick sweep of thrift stores is to focus on fabric, and avoid pattern. I’m picky about patterns, and I rarely find one that pleases me even with fancy brands. So I stick to basics, and keep an eye out for bold, simple colors in a good fabric. This one fits the bill:

woven cotton pencil pockets

Size 8, $5.50

It’s a really quality fabric, super-summer-versatile, and it has POCKETS! Surest way to win my heart.

And look! Here’s a LABEL, for you label-lovers out there. I mean…it’s only Mango, but that’s still kind of a label. They had Penelope Cruz model for them that one time, remember? Yes, I know, it’s no Dior, but you should really just take what you’re given and be grateful, ok? (And with Dior’s latest season, you ingrates should be THANKFUL it’s only Mango, know what I mean? [Dior burn!])

 Since we’re entering sunny days (right? Surely they can’t be too far away) you’ll need a sassy purse in which to throw your sunglasses, sunscreen (if you’re as white as I am, you’ll need it) and your cardigan (what, you didn’t forget about that marine layer, did you?)
green slouchy purse


This bright, sassy, and slouchy woven purse is perfect for all that, and it finds that fine line between tacky and boho-casual. You don’t want a purse at a beach bonfire that you’re worried about getting sand in, do you? At $2.50, you can pretty much store extra s’mores inside it for later and not feel too bad about the chocolate stains at all!

So, you cheap-o, go to Out of the Closet and scrounge, scrounge, scrounge. And walk away with an outfit that costs less than takeout at your favorite Chinese place!