First Person: The $20 'Back to Work' Wardrobe

Yahoo Contributor Network

My wife is preparing to go back to work after a three-month maternity leave. After the birth of our second child, the maternity wardrobe has been packed away as my wife readies her regular work clothes. However, after her pregnancy and maternity leave, she has realized that she needs to bulk up this portion of her wardrobe since certain clothes have seen better days or don't quite fit as they used to. Therefore, we've been taking some trips over to the area resale shop to see what they have in the way of affordable, yet higher-end work attire.

We were quite pleased with the results, which included several shirts and multiple pairs of pants from brands such as Gap, Limited, Old Navy, and Michael Kors that would likely have retailed for at least $200 or more, for about $20.

Getting to Know the Resale Environment

We know where to look for good clothes. We don't just hit any old resale shop. We look for shops that are in higher income areas, that are clean, well maintained, and that we've had good experiences with before. This doesn't just happen since we know certain resale shops can be hit or miss. Sometimes it takes a trip or two to such stores to check them out first in an effort to get a feel for what they have, and even then, it might take several more trips to get a good idea of what types of products or brands come in on a regular basis.

Not "One 'n Done" Shopping

We just never know what we might stumble across at our area resale shop. A while back, I overheard a male customer telling his friend about the Armani suit he found at our local resale shop and what an amazingly deal it was. This is exactly why we check in at our areas resale shops regularly. There is a constant supply of incoming inventory, and while there might be nothing of interest one day, there could be some great buys the next…and those great buys can sell in a hurry.

Therefore, we don't go for "one 'n done" type shopping, preferring to pop in when we're out on walks or in the neighborhood if it's a resale shop in a neighboring community. This way we aren't left scrambling when it comes to our clothing needs, and we're able to supplement our wardrobes before we become so desperate that we have to go out and pay full price in a retail setting.

Assisting in the Sale

As a man, shopping is not my favorite thing to do; however, I try to look at resale shopping as an investment. It's certainly an incentive knowing that taking 20 minutes of my day to pop in and help my wife could add up to significant savings. And my being there to assist her in the process can help her find the clothing items that are not only priced well and fit her needs but look great on her too.

Having another set of eyes when resale shopping can come in handy in spotting hidden buys or just pointing out issues in clothing such as spots, tears, or other slight imperfections that might not be noticeable to her when she's trying them on.

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The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.


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