Be the best dressed…for less

Tommie & Melanie Knight Sept 2020

I love fashion, from hair and makeup to clothes, purses and shoes.

I grew up dressing my Barbie dolls in elegant gowns and even learned to sew JUST to make them more clothes. Of course, this dress up was for my dolls, not me. I was an uber-coke-bottle-glasses-teachers-pet nerd. I wanted to grow up to be Indiana Jones. He was my role model. He was educated, worked as a professor and fought the bad guys. Oh yeah, the best part, he was a treasure hunter, but just to return relics to their true owners.

My love of flea markets and thrift stores came in handy after my parents divorced. Especially since I didn’t have ANY money. I did have a part time job at Taco Bell, but my mom needed my whole paycheck to pay bills. When I did get a chance to buy something, I could only afford to shop at a local thrift store. Lucky for me, grunge was just starting to emerge- so vintage fashion was very rocker chic.

Fast forward to college, I studied retail management and apparel construction was a core class.

This clothing construction knowledge coupled with my love of thrift is still alive even though I’m no longer broke. Now it’s a badge of honor. I’ll go to see the Broadway play Hamilton in a $5 Goodwill dress and somehow to moment is sweeter. I think it’s the thrill of knowing I’m wearing something fabulous and practically stole it. In the image below, impaired with a motorcycle jacket, rhinestone tights and French heels.

Hot tip: you have to feel lucky when you walk in

Having an eye for design, construction and designer brands helps in the hunt. Since the dresses are such a good value, I’ll buy one that is amazing, even if I don’t have an event to attend. Really, it’s just $5- and that’s rounding up. If it’s considered formal wear, it’s $10. For the casual dresses, I do the same thing. This way, I keep a fresh wardrobe in the spring of cute dresses. These dress deals are casually known as “Melanie Specials” for ladies who don’t want to reveal that their million dollar look came from a thrift store.

ThredUP: Give $20, get $20 (through 12-1-20) http://www.thredup.com/r/CJSJJR

Sometimes I have to level up, and for those occasions, www.thredup.com is my go to. They have a wide range of clothing lines and prices to satisfy any budget. AND, something seems to be on deal every time I log in. The dress I wore for an outdoor even this summer- an elegant white brocade with gold- gave me Jackie O vibes. Of course I paired it with a gold shawl and beaded clutch- both of which were thrift store finds that I’ve owned for 2 decades. Seriously, this dress made me feel like American royalty. Just in case I didn’t like it, I bought 2 other cocktail dresses with a serious discount. Now, I just need a event. At least I have 2 gorgeous dresses on standby for the spring!

Have you found any steals, I mean deals lately? Do tell!

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