How To Dress Your Teen For Less (from a teen’s perspective) is a post by Contributor Hannah.
Many teens spend a lot of money on fashion thinking it’s the “only way” to find trendy pieces, but today I want to share four tips to find fashionable clothing without spending all your moolah.
Tip #1- Keep An Open Mind
At times these next two words will make a teenager cringe, but really they just mean “a mother load of savings”. Those two words are “thrift store”.
I know what you’re thinking, “Thrift stores = old people clothes. Ew!” But once you dig past the ugly denim shirts and freaky blouses, you’ll find your treasure.
One of the greatest pieces of advice that I can give to you is to keep an open mind. At first glance you may think that hand-me-downs would look terrible on you or it’s just not “in”, but if you experiment a little you’ll be surprised!
Tip #2 – Look for Name Brands
You might be surprised to learn that many name brands can be found at the thrift store. I have found some top notch brands like Forever 21 and American Eagle for an eighth of the original price by shopping second-hand!
The skirt on the right is from Forever 21 but cost only $3.00.
Not only can you find casual clothing at thrift stores, but dressier items as well. The dress on the left is White House – Black Market and the dress on the right is Anne Taylor. One cost $10 and the other cost $12.
All three of these formal dresses were thrift store finds and they each cost between $8 and $12!
Tip #3- Change It Up
Something I find consistently in second-hand shirts is that they are typically stretched out or just too big. Well, here’s a solution: bunch up the end of that shirt to one side, give it a twist, and tuck it into the waist of your pants. Loosen it up a little bit and voilà! You have a comfy, but cute ensemble.
With basic sewing skills you can also change the hem of a skirt, the sleeve line of a blouse or turn a pair of pants into shorts. If the shirt’s too basic add some bling.
These formal gowns were both found at the thrift store. The red one was a little too big but we sewed on shoulder straps with a matching thin velvet ribbon and it worked perfectly.
Tip #4- Be Original
A huge money saver when you’re getting bored with your clothes and want to go shopping is to play mix-n-match with the clothes you already own! Spice up an old outfit with a different accessory or wear that t-shirt you’ve shoved way back in your drawer with that skirt you’re getting bored with. The reason I say “be original” is because by getting creative with old things, you create new things. Don’t be afraid to dress outside what’s trending because YOU could be the next trend setter! Create your own style!
Wearing cute clothes doesn’t have to cost a lot of money – just a little creativity and thinking outside the mall.
What are your favorite ways to save on your wardrobe? Leave a comment.
Hannah is the teen contributor to The Peaceful Mom.
photo credit: Picture Youth; FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Peaceful Mom says
My daughter just found a couple of pieces there too. Great store if you like name brands.
I took my daughter to Plato’s Closet. It’s a used clothing store, but they are all name brands and in good condition. She actually likes it better, because she gets to buy alot more clothes than if we were buying new. She was so happy with her school clothes this year.
I find that I actually buy cuter stuff at the thrift store than at regular stores. Since it’s dirt cheap, I feel more free to buy colorful & interesting pieces and also layering pieces. When I’m paying full price at a retail store, I tend to buy more boring clothes because I want that expensive top to “go with a lot of things.” 🙂 My thrift store tip: search the rack outside the changing room first. Those clothes were cute enough to catch someone’s eye already, but maybe just didn’t fit. Found a gorgeous Juicy Couture top for $3 that way.
Kimberlee Stokes says
Ooh – great tip! Thanks Karen.
Godly Indian Mom says
Thank you Hannah for this post.Although I do not have a teen.I thought your advice was spot on.I’ve been very skeptical about Thrift stores,but now I might give it a try.Thank you 🙂
KSue G. says
Hannah!! What awesome advice!! Thanks for your post about “thrift store” shopping. Our family does this and we LOVE IT!! My kids find some of their best clothes at these stores. We are also working on learning how to sew so we can make some of our own dresses and things. Thanks again for your
these are some great ideas for teens – but for us older crowd as well… especially in this economy… you have to cut back and cut down… but you still want to look cute, right?
I buy all my work khaki shorts at thrift stores and they work just fine. Some times you just have to adjust your attitude. Ever had a friend… or co-worker give you a blouse or pair of jeans they didn’t like/didn’t fit anymore?
Well… did they fit you? did you like them? did you end up wearing them a long time? well – just work on your mindset and you’re good to go. It’s no different buying at a thrift store… somebody’s friend or co-worker donated them and you’re the friend getting them!
over the years, i’ve found many items at thrift stores… when my step-daughter got married – i needed a very nice dress [and i was a single mom again… i know, it’s complicated… but stay with me…] i looked and looked in all the shops at the mall – hoping to find something i liked/it fit/suitable that had been marked down. Just didn’t happen. So I started my rounds at thrift stores and i found IT! a gorgeous 2 piece Jessica Howard in her Evenings Collection. In MINT CONDITION. It was longer than i wanted – tea length if i remember correctly. She was getting married outside in the afternoon.. so i shortened it to suit lenght.. got a cami with a lacy neckline and wore it as a suit. It was perfect. Girls if you work in an office – skirts and tops galore. I actually used to work in an office – a high-paced large office with snooty girls who spent WAY TOO MUCH on their clothes for my budget – i had to wear suits – i bought most of mine in Thrift Stores… made some adjustments… they were mine… and everybody always commented on my cute clothes… so don’t think i looked frumpy…
PS: I’ve also found the best things at thrift stores… i’ve found collectible figurines – legos for my nephew – games & toys – i found the coolest old glassware cup & pickle tray which i repurposed and use on top of the antique vanity [for my makeup and brushes etc] my husband refinished from “distressed” to beautiful stained wood again — they are beautiful and i love looking at them! i found the coolest cabinet for my craft room w tons of drawers… you know those wreaths on pinterest with all the Christmas ball ornaments? I found 2 large ziploc bags of ornaments for $2 a pc and made mine! If you haven’t been – stay away!! i don’t want you finding my honey-holes [as they say on American Pickers!].
But if you go – don’t go with your nose turned up… go with an OPEN MIND just like Hannah said!
Kimberlee Stokes says
I love the thrift store! Thanks for all the great ideas Cheryl.