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

$2.50

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!

 

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