I guess by now most of you have heard about the The Compact, wherein a person pledges to not buy anything new for a year.
While we buy a great deal of our furniture, clothing and household items used, I'm not quite ready to go full-on Compact. However, I did make a pact with myself to not purchase any brand new clothing for myself this year. I'll buy clothing for myself only at thrift stores, garage sales or consignment stores. My exceptions would be underwear and New Balance tennis shoes; I'm fairly stocked up on both, so I shouldn't need to even buy those.
I'm not sure why I didn't mention my mini-Compact when I started it at the beginning of the year. I was looking at clothing on a clearance rack at the store in January and decided I didn't need anything new and really didn't want anything new.
I prefer to buy clothing used. I like that most of it has already "been through the wringer", so to speak, and has already shrunk, faded or gone through whatever other changes it's going to go through. That way I know how it will fit and look from the very beginning. So, on a whim, I decided to refrain from buying any new clothing for the entire year.
I like how it keeps perfectly good clothing out of the landfills, how it helps lower the demand for new clothing to be made, and most of all, how it lets me keep my money in my pocket. Garage sales, in particular, can be a very frugal place to buy clothing. I've found many designer items for just a few dollars, or even less.
I didn't impose this pact on Shane or Kat, although I do try to get as much of Kat's clothing from second-hand sources as I can. Shane's clothing is a different story. Unlike women who tend to change their wardrobe with the seasons, most men wear their clothing forever; by the time those jeans hit the thrift stores racks or garage sale tables, there is usually not a lot of wear left in them. So, I get what I can for him at garage sales, but we have to buy some of his work jeans new.
Here are some of my past finds:
This cotton summer dress is from Kohl's and is brand new. I paid $3 for it, but the tag says it was originally $42.
I love Coldwater Creek's styles and they seem to be easy for me to spot on the thrift store racks. This silk blouse doesn't have tags, but it looks and smells as if it's never even been laundered. I think I paid $4 for this one. No telling what it sold for new. $40? $50? More?
I bought this heavy microfiber Fleet Street coat last summer at a garage sale. It had been worn (I could smell perfume on it), but I don't think it had ever been washed or cleaned, and it looked brand new. It was about 100° that day, and of course, no one was looking at the coat. It was priced at $10, but I offered $5 and the lady took it. Similar Fleet Street coats online cost $70 to $100.
As an aside, all three of the items above are keepers, but I sometimes buy especially nice items even if they aren't my size, then resell them. Now, I know some people have a problem with that and say that it's "taking away from those less fortunate" when I buy things at the thrift store to resell. I don't see it that way. The needy people who are helped by Goodwill, Salvation Army and the like are not given a free pass to enter the store and take whatever items they need or want. It's a part of the proceeds from selling the items in the store that is used to help those in need. And as for garage sale finds, well, all's fair. You sell it for what you can get and I'll do the same once it's mine.