Community Thrift

Alright so I graduated college. But I have a couple more blog posts scheduled for the future so don’t give up on me yet; we’ve only just begun! I also traveled to Panama (and Canada) recently (please refer to the photos below to reach maximum jealousy). As a Spanish speaker who has never traveled to a country where the language is predominantly Spanish, I have reassured myself that I am definitely still at the 5th grade level of speaking (the same I level I have been on for the past 3 years; Duolingo, you need to step up your game). But enough of my personal business, let’s get to thrifting business!

A couple days after I graduated university, I visited Community Thrift with my friend, and this post’s model, Sabrina! My roommate, and previous model, Iris, joined us for the ride (and Starbucks) and we had such a blast!

To begin, Community Thrift has the coolest neon turquoise sign above their store front. I wish I had taken a picture of their sign while I was there. If you’re curious I’m sure you can find it online. But besides the sign, this store has many other great qualities: everything is very well organized, they have a large selection, the staff is super friendly, and they always have a discount on their already discounted items.

The discounts are a little complicated, and it took me a visit and a phone call just to get everything straight:

There is a 25% military discount every day.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, senior citizens get 25% off.

On Tuesday and Thursdays, students and teachers get 25% off.

PLUS

Everyday two colored tags are discounted, one at 50% off and another at 35% off, except Sunday, when there are three colored tags with a 50% discount. With these discounts, I honestly don’t remember ever paying the full tag price for any item.

This store is also relatively quiet; whenever I want a super relaxing shopping experience (i.e. no maneuvering around shopping carts in narrow aisles and no waiting in line for a fitting room), this is the first place that comes to mind.

We spent about an hour browsing and Sabrina and I ended up finding some really cool items. I left with a new pair of shoes and a handy-dandy purse that traveled with me to Panama, Canada, and back to Texas. My total purchase cost me ~$10 and a tear after I had to leave behind the cutest pair of cheetah print boots which, sadly, weren’t within my price range. Sabrina also found a few super cute items so let’s dive in to some pictures, shall we?

The first item Sabrina bought was a red top, which caught her eye because of the unique flowy collar. This top cost her $6 and she paired it with a previously thrifted tan skirt that she was gifted. So this outfit cost Sabrina a total of $6 (excluding her cute shoes from Urban Outfitters).

What I really like about Sabrina’s first outfit (and the next one too) is that the items she found are totally work-appropriate, and finding work-appropriate clothes can be a difficult (not to mention expensive) task at any store. But finding work-friendly clothing at thrift stores it totally doable, it just takes a little more patience while browsing. Plus, since thrifted items tend to be a bit more unique, your work outfits will be less bland and, perhaps, a little more memorable.

Sabrina’s second outfit consists of a skirt that she found in a two-piece set and a relaxed black button-down. The two-piece set cost her $10 and the top $4. Again, a totally work appropriate outfit for a total price of $14 (excluding the cool clogs from Free People); if you can find a better deal than this at a mall retailer then I applaud you, you shopping genius.

So what is another reason why Sabrina looks so bad-ass in her thrifted outfits? Maybe it’s because she knows her purchases indirectly benefited charities: Community Thrift supports the DAV (Disabled American Veterans)AMVETS (Americans Veterans)UCP (United Cerebral Palsy), and Easterseals. Or perhaps Sabrina knows that her purchases at Community Thrift allowed her to play a key role in reducing her environmental footprint by reusing clothing items that others have recycled.

Either way, I think we can all agree that it’s super rewarding to wear an outfit that makes you look and FEEL fabulous!

If you’re totally digging this, I encourage you to sign up for email updates to notify you when I publish a new blog post! My upcoming posts are a little different from what you’ve already seen, so stay tuned!

Here are some of the more peculiar items we found at Community Thrift:

Texas Thrift

Alright buckle up, this is a good one.

About a week ago, my roommate (and model for this blog post), Anne, and I went to Texas Thrift on I-35 to destress after a hectic school week. We went on a Friday around noon and there were only a few other people there. So we had a warehouse-sized thrift store pretty much to ourselves, and, to be honest, it was kind of overwhelming (in an exciting way). I knew I wanted to look through the tops, shoes, dresses, skirts, bathing suits, and shorts. I also had all of my camera equipment with me, so I ended up only making it through the shoes, shorts, and bathing suits. There is just SO MUCH STUFF here. If you are planning to sift through multiple sections and try things on, you have to have at least a couple of hours to spare.

What’s great about Texas Thrift though is the spectacular organization. Every aisle has a different size and all items within in each isle are organized by color. This makes it really easy to hone in on one specific section and then move on to the next. Texas Thrift is the first place I go when I am looking for something very specific; if you want a medium-sized floral red blouse, you go to the blouse section, medium aisle, and walk to the part of the aisle that looks red. I have also found Texas Thrift is a great place to buy shoes, purses, and jewelry. Plus, they have some great discounts too! Every day two colored tags are discounted; one color is 30% off and the other is 50% off.

Now back to our trip. Anne had a slightly different approach to finding cool clothing items, which was to focus on the vintage section. Here is some background on Anne and her thrift shopping experience:

“I started thrifting at young age with my mom because it was a fun activity for us to do together and was more economical than shopping at a mall. As I got older, I realized that buying clothes and home goods from thrift stores is not only easy on the wallet, but is more environmentally friendly than shopping at fast-fashion retailers. My favorite part about thrifting is finding unexpected treasures and feeling good about my eco-footprint as a consumer. I’m always impressed with the cleanliness of Texas Thrift, and the sheer volume and variety of their stock. I especially enjoy the vintage section of Texas Thrift – it’s just so fun and unique. Though I enjoy shopping at Texas Thrift, I don’t go there often simply because its location is out of the way for me, especially considering I live very close to my all-time favorite thrift store, Boysville.”

Anne is right about the cleanliness of Texas Thrift; I always feel comfortable looking through hanging items as well as shoes, and the dressing rooms are great too!

Now, I have never actually shopped the vintage section of Texas Thrift, mainly because the prices are a bit higher than the general stock. On the other hand, you are going to find the coolest, most unique items in the vintage section, that’s for sure! Plus, you can find some lower priced items in the vintage section, it just takes patience, and Anne showed me that this is what really pays off. She took her time looking through the vintage items, while I was frantically running around taking photos and hanging as many cute items on my camera bag as I could in the process. And guess what?! Anne found two very unique tops in the vintage section. I also found some cute stuff, but I was definitely out of breath by the end of it.

Ok now you can look at the photos.

The first item Anne found was a really cute embroidered Billabong top. It was $12 but that’s because a) it was in the vintage section, and b) it still had tags on it. I later looked up the original price of this top and it was $45. So instead of spending $45, Anne spent $12 and her money went to a thrift store that supports local and national charities. You can find the list of charities Texas Thrift supports on their website, but I’ll list them here for you as well: AMVETS (American Veterans)Arms of HopeThe National Children’s Cancer Society, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.

So Anne bought a super cute top, and a charity indirectly benefited from that. Simple as pie, amazing as pie.

The shoes Anne is wearing in the photos above are a pair I found at Texas Thrift a few months ago for $8. They looked as good as new when I bought them, have held up great, and are extremely comfortable. The skirt Anne is wearing is not a Texas Thrift purchase, but is still a thrifted item Anne bought a while ago. So there you have it: an amazing outfit, totally thrifted, no mall necessary.

The next item Anne bought is a little bit more fun, a little bit more daring, and perfect for our Fiesta adventures. I don’t even know where to begin with this top. Actually, I’ll begin by telling you that it was $5, and I’ll let the photos tell you the rest. *NB the photo of Anne in Texas Thrift when she first reveals the top to me*

Anne’s shorts are also thrifted (surprise) from her favorite thrift store, Boysville (which I will have a blog post about in the future, so stay tuned).

Our shopping trip was a perfect way to relieve some stress from the school week. It was also the perfect way to find cute clothes (I left Texas Thrift with a pair of shorts, a dress, and a lace top for around $12) and support local and national charities. We also reduced our waste footprint on the environment by purchasing recycled clothes and reusing them in our wardrobe (I hope you aren’t tired of hearing those three words).

Whether you want to play a bigger role in protecting the environment or you’re just tired of the mall, I encourage you to check out Texas Thrift, or really any thrift store in you area. Remember read my tips on thrifting if you’re still unsure about the process and check back soon for a new thrifting adventure!

Are you still there?

Really? I gave you so many photos this time!

Ok there are more… of course there are more.

Here are some weird items we found at Texas Thrift (those flowers on those shoes though):

Family Thrift Outlet

And so begins our next thrifting adventure! Two weeks ago, my roommate (and model for this blog post), Iris, and I headed over to Family Thrift Outlet. We went on Tuesday, so everything was 50 cents. Family Thrift Outlet is really a thrift store for a thrift store; they are associated with Family Thrift Center, and they sell items you would find at an Family Thrift Center location, but at a further discounted price. In fact, the highest price you will ever pay for an item at Family Thrift Outlet is $2. Now this is a pretty sweet deal, but you definitely need a little bit of prep for a successful shopping experience at this store. Luckily, Iris and I are pretty familiar with Family Thrift Outlet (and thrifting in general). Here is what Iris has to say about Family Thrift Outlet:

“I started thrifting in middle school and it became my main source of clothing by high school. I love thrift stores’ unique items and wide selection, it allows me to define my style. Thrift stores are also usually very inexpensive; Family Thrift Outlet is particularly cost effective. In addition to these personal benefits, I appreciate that thrift shopping is a form of recycling. Lastly, thrift stores are often connected to non-profits, donating their proceeds to good causes. Thrift stores sell cute and interesting clothes, at great prices, and provide a shopping experience that I feel great about.”

Now I know you have probably already looked at the photos, and read that you won’t pay more than $2 for an item, but there are couple things you need to know to be prepared to shop at this store. So slow your roll because I promise these tips are going to make your life much easier. If you’re still unsure about the thrift store, you can check out some of my other pro-tipsand you’ll have the prowess of a seasoned thrifter in no time.

There are two really important things you need to consider before you head over to Family Thrift Outlet: Do you have cash? AND Are you prepared for NO fitting rooms?

I don’t mean to destroy your hopes and dreams of finding that perfect floral dress that fits perfectly for only $2, because it’s definitely possible (see photos below). You just need to be PREPARED. I suggest having a $5 bill on you, as there is a minimum card requirement of $5. This doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you pick out 6 items on a 50 cent day, you wont reach that minimum and it’ll feel like a waste of time.

It’s also just nice to know that a thrift store doesn’t have fitting rooms before you get there. The first couple of times I visited Family Thrift Outlet, I picked out a handful of items and then wandered around the store desperately looking for a fitting room just so I could give my arms a break. The thing though, is that this store doesn’t really need fitting rooms. When you are never paying more than $2 for an item, and you are really diggin’ that dress, and it looks like it will fit, then you can buy it and try it on at home. If it doesn’t fit when you get home, well, you spent $2. And that’s OK! Especially because that $2 goes to a place that supports local charities. Family Thrift is associated with Charity Clothing Pickup, which donates to San Antonio Texas Paralyzed Veterans and Rainbow House.

“Ok that’s dope, but I’d still like to try my clothes on first.”

Understandable.

You can try most items on over your clothes (i.e. sweaters, skirts, tops), and it helps if you wear shorts or leggings and a tank top (then you can try on pants too). Whenever Iris and I shop at Family Thrift Outlet, we pick out everything we want, meet up in an empty isle, take a minute to look over what we grabbed, and try on any items we aren’t sure will fit. And, if you really can’t shop without the full dressing room experience, then check out Family Thrift Center; they have what you’re looking for.

Ok, now to get to the good stuff. Iris and I spent about an hour at Family Thrift Outlet; she left with a floral dress, an adorable embroidered blouse, and a sparkly black sweater. I left with tube top (which I later destroyed in the washing machine, but that’s a different story), a purple velvet knit sweater, and a light blue silk blouse. Again, everything was 50 cents on Tuesday so we spent a total of $3 for six items.

So Iris bought her dress, blouse, and sweater on Tuesday, but everything else you see in the photographs below (minus the socks) are also previous Family Thrift Outlet purchases. Yes, her clear jelly sandals, black leather shoes, and black velvet lace skirt are also from Family Thrift Outlet. These are old purchases, so we can’t remember how much they cost, but let’s just say they each cost the max price of $2. This means Iris’ two super cute outfits cost her a total of $7.50. Hopefully your jaw just hit the ground.

Sometimes I will realize my entire outfit is thrifted and I’ll play a little game where I try to recall where I bought each item and how much it cost me. It’s so pleasing to realize you managed to look fabulous head to toe for only $10. But it’s not just about going easy on the wallet, it’s also about going easy on the environment and making purchases that benefit the community. Iris’ and my purchases at Family Thrift Outlet is one way we participate in recycling, by reusing previously-owned clothes and reducing our fast fashion purchases (there are those three key words again). Plus, when we no longer want these items, we’ll donate them, so that someone else can feel the thrill of looking good and making good choices.

One of a kind items, low prices, sustainable purchases, donations to charity; you can’t get this at a fast fashion retailer. I hope this blog post encourages you to explore your local thrift store or to make more sustainable fashion choices in general. Thanks for stopping by!

Are you still there?

Is it because you want more photos?

Of course you do. I do too.

Here are some fun items we discovered at Family Thrift Outlet: