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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shopping at discount or consignment stores

If you are on a budget then you can find great deals on name brands at discount stores and clothing consignments stores. Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall’s all sell current trends and name brands for around one-third of the price you would pay in the department store, however, sometimes they get merchandise for which sizes have been mislabeled or pieces of the garment- say a belt that was originally attached, is not included. This is where garment inspection is key. Consignment stores tend to sell “gently used” clothing and you can literally build an entire wardrobe of name brand clothing for $100, however, garment inspection is the only way to ensure the lasting quality of any item you purchase from these stores.     
  • Things to look for at discount stores: 
    •  Check to make sure there is no loose stitching or tears in the garment- just the fact that other people may have tried on the garment before you means it could have some wear and tear already.
      • This means ALWAYS trying it on. You don’t necessarily have to do this at the store since they tend to have pretty lenient return policies.
    • Make sure that all enclosures (buttons and zippers) are in good shape.
      • Make sure zippers shut easily and stay shut - walk around outside the dressing room to make sure the zipper doesn't come undone.
      •  Make sure buttons are securely fastened, if they are loose and you love the garment, I suggest buying a spool of thread to enforce them. This is the easiest thing you can do to prolong the life of a garment
    • When purchasing shoes make sure that the tread is not worn (sometimes items are not fully inspected when they are returned), look to ensure the construction is solid and, in particular, when buying heels, that the heel is firmly attached.
    •  Finally, make sure everything fits true to size- this is why trying everything on is so important!
  • Things to look for at consignment/ thrift stores:
    • Clothing is gently used, fabric is not overstretched, there is no loose stitching, and the bottoms of jeans are not ripped, cut, or shredded at the bottom.
    • Check to make sure all enclosures (buttons and zippers) are securely fastened and in good working order, not to mention that they are all there in the first place.
    • Smell the clothing- Okay, maybe this sounds weird, but if it’s made out of cheap fabric it can retain someone else’s body odor for a very long time!
    • For shoes, inspect wear and tear, only buy ones that look like they were never worn or only worn once.
      • Also, since the soles of shoes tend to take the shape of an individual’s foot, I ALWAYS suggest buying shoe liners/pads  for the shoes. Not only will they make them more comfortable, but they will help the shoe conform to the shape of your own foot.
    • For purses:
      • Inspect the straps to makes sure they are not worn,
      • The tubing inside the straps is in one solid piece and not broken up- this means the straps are about to give.
      • The straps are securely attached to the purse and not in the process of separating.
      • All enclosures are accounted for and are in good working condition.
      • Liner is not ripped inside the purse (look around the seams).
You can find amazing deals on great items at discount or consignment stores, just always follow these steps to ensure the quality of every item you are buying.

This was a skirt I tried on at Forever 21. It fit perfectly and the zipper worked fine. I would have bought it if I hadn't inspected it. I found this loose seam on the side and decided NOT to purchase it. While some may say that would be an easy fix, since the fabric is chiffon it is very difficult to sew without leaving needle marks or having it unravel entirely.

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