Express. American Eagle. Coach. Ah, there are so many incredible opportunities to spend money out there! And girls, we all know the unspoken law: to be fashionable is a must, thrifty … eh, not so much. Let’s face it, we’re girls! It’s Saturday, and you’ve just gotten your first paycheck from Panera. You jump into your mom’s minivan and head to the mall, bounce past Limited Too (Wow. Throwback!) and suddenly, you see it: that $239.99 designer jeans, lacy blouse and cardigan trio with the unmistakable Anthropologie tags. Wearing such an award winning array should automatically boost you to at least the outermost orbit of the popular group at school. You swallow a squeal and bounce inside. Within the space of 30 minutes, you’ve just spent your first paycheck. After two more weeks of the same routine, you finally realize that money cannot indefinitely be invested in silky threads and stiletto heels, but should be wisely earned, managed and spent (or given away. Hey now, that’s a novel idea!).
So are fashionability and frugality mutually exclusive? Does one have to be stylish and poor or dumpy and (relatively) rich? Sister, I am tickled pink to tell you “Absolutely not!” Beginning a few years ago, I started to buy my own clothes. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I had never received an allowance. My father was the owner of a successful company, but taught us the value of money by making us work for it, rather than rely on an allowance. I was also taught that money ultimately came from God, and that when I earned or was gifted money, I essentially became the “steward” of those funds. Just in case you aren’t sure what that archaic word means, here’s a definition: a person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others. OK, ok. Don’t freak out—you aren’t required to now clothe yourselves economically in tatters and rags (although some jean styles call rags to mind). However, we are supposed to handle what God has given us wisely. And that just makes sense doesn’t it? Even if you are not a person of faith, it would be silly for you to be frivolous in your spending – why not make the most of what you have and shop smart by going to garage sales/goodwill/etc.? As a Christian I believe that God expects me to be a good steward and that makes it that much more important to me to spend wisely.
“C’mon Sarah, I already know all of this.” Well, maybe you do! But you are still reading this post, which means you aren’t completely mad at me for reminding you again of this important truth. So, let’s talk fashion. Well, wait. I’m going to preach again.
Never think that you are too “good” for Goodwill.
The Salvation Army can really become your fashion “salvation.”
Garage-saling may sound daunting, but can be super rewarding.
Yes, your friend’s clothes may look better on you!
At this point, you may be suppressing your gag reflex or scratching your head going “But, how can I create an outfit out of random garage-sale pickings, or castoffs from my bff?” The answer to that question far exceeds one post, but I hope to have shaken your world and perhaps gotten those creative juices flowing.
Keep an eye out for my next post! Over the course of a few blog posts a month, I’ll show you some examples of my personal finds, explain how you can begin to hunt out those amazing deals, and provide practical tips on how to find absolute gems amongst 80’s warmups and granny suits.