I gave in to an impulse last week and bought a new jacket for $29. When I got it home I checked the tag and found that it was made in Vietnam.Yikes, pangs of guilt. I know that it was made with sweat shop labor. Slave labor really. I find no way to buy new clothing without these feelings. So normally I just avoid buying new clothes.When the urge to buy hits me I try and show a little restraint until I can get my fix in the second hand market. This not only assuages my guilt – it saves me lots of money. Last year I spent a total of $407 on clothing. That includes those things that I didn’t buy in the aftermarket like some shoes, bras, and pantyhose (which are a requirement for my day job).
My favorite place to shop for clothes is at the Goodwill store. Salvation Army is less expensive, but they don’t have dressing rooms nor as big a selection. I understand that Goodwill actually rotates their stock and ships it to a store in Springfield after a period of time. You pay about $3 for a shirt, pants or dress. Salvation Army does carry more non-clothing items like furniture and dishes. I recommend donating items to Salvation Army. I once donated a perfectly good microwave oven to Goodwill. I went back the next day and found the microwave in the dumpster.
I also shop at Karen’s Closet. This store bills itself as upscale retail, which it is. Only name brands and nothing too funky here. It is well sorted and sized with roomy dressing rooms and a large selection. It is a good place to shop for work clothes. There is a teenage version of this store called Plato’s Closet. Both stores take consignments by appointment and are adamant about the quality, condition, and it being the appropriate season.
If you like more retro, a little funky, or downright outrageous there are a number of shops in downtown Champaign that might be the ticket including Carries, Dandelion, and Le Shoppe.
I love going to what in these parts are called garage sales whether there is a garage involved or not. I don’t waste my time trying to map out which sales are where, but instead let luck be my guide and just follow the signs. Two good tips if you are a serious saler: (1) Wear body hugging slinky clothes with some easy-to-pull-off loose clothing over them. This is best for fitting without a dressing room. (2) Take time to peruse the merchandise. It sometimes taking some digging to find the gems.
Carries, 204 N. Neil, Champaign352-3231
Dandelion, 9 Taylor, Champaign, 355-9333
Goodwill, 1102 N. Prospect Ave, Champaign, 356-4021.
Karen’s Closet, 231 N.Mattis Avenue, Champaign, 355-9395
Le Shoppe, 110 E. University Avenue, Champaign, 61820
Plato’s Closet, 29 E. Marketview Drive, Champaign, 366-8200.
Salvation Amy Thrift Store, 119 E. University, Champaign 373-7825