Fashion Babble: Thrifty Business

Buy. Sell. Trade. Simple luxuries are at the forefront of our budgeting, frugal minds these days. The recession has affected everyone from those who were already in poverty, the middle class now living in poverty and even the rich and famous. Evident when Sharon Stone wears a Gap turtle neck to the Oscars.

I've been a thrift nut since my LA days and for those of you needing to figure out wallet friendly ways of maintaining your swag on a tight budget, get on the bandwagon. Thrift and second hand stores have evolved over the years and while depending on where your locale is, you might go in and it smell like moth balls, don't let that deter you, go forth and conquer, the cleaners is your friend.

Goodwill and Salvation Army stores have seen some revamping and are full of buried treasures, they carry everything from furniture, clothes, shoes and accessories to books, magazines and jewelry. The organizations accept donated items from ordinary people and resale them dirt cheap. Don't knock it until you have tried it. In the majors, Chicago, LA, NY it is a designer sample sale, you will find a lot of high end merchandise at deep discounts.

The newer craze are the boutiqued out thrift stores, selling higher end, trendy, name brand merchandise. I first discovered Crossroads Trading Co when my friend Toki worked at a location in West Hollywood (shout out to Toki)back in 03'. I was instantly addicted. On Melrose was a store called Buffalo Exchange, a little more eclectic and vintage.
How it works: You take in old clothes and they sort through them, buy the items they want and you can opt for a store credit to pick you up some new digs or get cash back for the items sold. A struggling student living in high priced Marina del Rey, CA it worked back then and it is still working now. I found a Marc Jacobs wine colored peacoat for $40 on one of my visits out to the west coast about a year ago. However, Buffalo and Crossroads are practically in every major city from LA, Chicago, New York, Houston, down to New Orleans. Gents take note, all these places are guy friendly and carry men's clothing and shoes as well.

Notable Mentions:
American Rag in LA on La Brea
Crossroads Trading Co (nationwide)
Buffalo Exchange (nationwide)
Pretty Things Boutique (NY and online)- they carry plus size items is a site dedicated to selling vintage and handmade items

Google thrift stores in your respective cities to see what you can find...indulge in some thrifty business, your wallet and conscience will thank you.