The $10 Thrifting Challenge

What kind of outfit can you get from a thrift store on just a little amount of money? And just how far will that money go? Let’s find out together. And if you’d like to play along, too, and share your findings, I think we could all have quite a lot of fun with this!

So here’s the deal. I’m always talking about the great sorts of things you can get at thrift stores. Now I’m going to put my money where my big ol’ mouth is. I’m going to set aside a whopping $10 and I’m going to go thrift a complete outfit with it, and see what I can find-- then report back here. This is a teensy bit risky, of course, because thrifting has a certain amount of serendipity to it-- and that gal Serendipity has one dilly of a sense of humor. The main donation coming into the thrifts lately might just be surplus sleeveless novelty T’s supporting Huey’s Hog Haulin’ and Embroidery. White patent leather loafers mebbe. Or fluorescent green bicycle shorts from 1990...

And frankly, I just wouldn’t want you to have to look at that.

So okay, risk is part of the challenge. But really, the outfit SHOULD be something one would actually want to wear. Outside. Without, say, making small children weep. Or folks call the cops. (Unless, of course, that’s your usual goal in choosing attire, in which case, cool-- Go for it. Just know The Thrift Shop Romantic is not responsible for making amends with your boss, neighbors or, say, sending bail).

Now by way of rules. when I say complete outfit, I mean either:
  • A dress
  • A top (shirt/sweater)
  • Bottom (slacks, jeans or skirt)

  • Footwear
  • Purse/jacket/hat/scarf /jewelry (optional, depending on how far the ol’ money goes)

Other guidelines:
  • Items must actually look like they go together. The Baglady Chic look, while entertaining, is not valid at this time unless-- again, you’re a bit eclectic normally. Be yourself.
  • No previously thrifted items may be used. Just because it was thrifted last week, or five years ago, does not count.
  • And please, don’t ask me about thrifted undergarments. I have no plans to thrift socks and unmentionables so, please folks, let’s keep them unmentioned, ‘kay?

Now-- what date is it currently? The week of February 26-- okay. In case anybody else wants to try this for themselves, let’s say I report back here by March 19. This means anybody who wants to submit stories or photos of their finds to me, please do it by Saturday, March 17 (St. Paddy’s Day) so I have time to include it. (Those who are late to the table do not get fruitcup.) You can email me a description of what you uncovered, the total cost, even a low-res JPG file. And I’ll do the same with my finds.

Can’t ya just hear the metaphorical Mission:Impossible music playing in the background?

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(See you next week. :-) )

Updated 3/05/07: A Special Word to Those Nifty Folks Participating in the Challenge:

I’ve spoken online to a few folks personally, but for anyone I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to who’s trying The $10 Thrifting Challenge, first of all-- it’s so great to have you aboard-- you guys are so cool! Secondly, as I’ve told everybody else, please don’t stress about this, this is supposed to be fun and not angsty. So while I appreciate everybody’s remarkable conscientiousness about trying to conform perfectly to the rules-- to steal a phrase from the Pirate Code, “they’re more like guidelines, anyway.” So by all means, share whatever you do find, whether it goes over the $10 or not. Whether you’re missing shoes or have no pants (not to get too personal, of course), please tell me about about your successes AND your difficulties. We’re all learning here. It’ll just be interesting for everybody to see what can, and what CAN’T, be done while thrifting on such a low set budget. And do know that I’m challenged, too, on this. I’ve found some great stuff so far, but nothing that quite meets the criteria head-to-toe. So no worries, gang! I’m tickled to death to have you involved, no matter what the result.

And now on to the initial post: