Sunday, October 4, 2009

The big seasonal clothing change

With fall here, it is time for the big clothing change out. The shorts are put away and out come the winter coats. That is about all it is in Michigan since pants and long sleeve shirts are in the dressers year round.

As I pulled the coats out of the big storage bin, I handed them to my children and crossed my fingers. I am so happy to say that last years coats still fit. For now. If they can hold off growing out of them until February, I will do a happy dance because last spring I completely forgot to get the next size up when all the coats were on clearance. I can't even hand one down. The younger kid wears the same size as her sister.

I love buying clothes and shoes. I am a typical girl when it comes to shopping. The difference comes from where I shop and how I shop.

I don't shop at consignment stores. It isn't that I am too proud. It's just I find all the local consignment shops to be too expensive for what they carry. If I want to pay $10 for a pair of Jeans, I will go to Kohls. Yes I said Kohls. I do 80% of my shopping there. They have the best clearance sales I have come across. I go straight for their 70-80% off racks. I bought an entire summer wardrobe for me for about $100. That included several pairs of capris and several shirts. I don't normally spend that much at once on clothing, but I was working at the time, and it was necessary. In general though, $4 for a pair of capris is garage sale pricing, but the stuff is actually new.

I also peruse good will for my clothing. It means a lot of searching through Rider brand mom jeans, and Guess jeans left from the 80s, but I have come across some great deals. Silver Tab jeans normally $75 and custom sized for about $4. American Eagle jeans for $1. I don't put a ton of stock into brand names but I am learning which brands look decent on my butt and fit right.

For my girls, I shop at good will. I pay about $1.50 an item and in childrens sizes, the stuff looks new and is still in style. I will let other people pay $20-30 for a pair of Hannah Montana jeans. When their kid outgrows them in a month or two, they become my great find for $1.50. I also shop kohls clearance racks, but kids clothes are so easy to find elsewhere for even cheaper than I can find there.

The other place I shop for the girls is Kmart. I normally try to avoid the big box stores, but there are some things I do not buy used such as undies, socks, and hats. Kmart has decent deals on these items, and the joe boxer brand is fairly decent. I find they last longer than hanes when it comes to underpants.

My husband is the difficult one to shop for. The thing I have learned about men and clothing is that they will wear clothes until they literally disinegrate around them. Have you ever looked for mens clothing at places like good will and salvation army? This is what you will find. You will find old man clothing purchased in previous decades. You have to do something with grandpa Bob's clothes when he passes away. You will also find some great finds from the 70s and 80s. These treasures were probably carefully snuck out of a man's closet by a wife who is rolling her eyes that she has to perform a James Bond to get rid of the dayglow parachute pants and the powder blue leisure suit.

Stores know how hard it is for men to get rid of clothes, and therefor how hard it is to come across decent used attire. The sales in the mens clothing section is never as good as the womens. Ever. Still, Kohls sale items tend to be a better deal than Walmart or Kmart when it comes to jeans and khakis. T-shirts can come from either place for about the same price.

In any case, if my girls can just stop growing until about February, I will get another year out of their coats which means paying $15 per coat instead of $40.


  1. Ha! I bought three great work shirts for my dh (for $6!) at the GoodWill in Saline last week.

    The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift store on S. Industrial also has great deals sometimes. I got a pair of $120 jodhpurs for my dd there for $3 (usually she rides in jeans). The turnover is really fast there, so even if they don't have much one time, the next week they may have lots of clothes in particular size.

    (This is Zea, btw)

  2. I may need to expand my shopping circle. Thanks for the tip :D

  3. I'll be doing the clothes bin job today..hate this job lol! If only I could just buy all new every year...

    I've been shopping GoodWill for household stuff and occasional clothes for the kids but just last week had time to look at clothes for myself and I scored! Jeans are $5 and I found 3 pair!

    (and I'll follow Zea-I'm fatbastardswife)