I've always been aware that I will be an eccentric old lady. Even when I was young (er) I knew that. I'll be the one who has dyed her hair way too black, and it will go way past my hairline on my forehead. My red lipstick will look stained and overdone and go far too much outside the lip line. My eyebrows will be black as coal, and drawn on to make me look like I'm surprised all the time. I will wear gold lamé track suits and canvas sneakers with flowers all over them. And I will smell good...like any respectable eccentric old lady should. These things are expected of me, and I will own it.
I'm already well on my way. I dress a little outside the box most days, but at 41 I know exactly who I am without question and my sense of style or fashion (I use those words loosely!)goes along with that. But at 41 I also know the value of a dollar, and I've found a way to beat the system: Goodwill.
Some of you may frown upon the thought of second-hand, or shudder when it comes to wearing what someone else has worn. Understood. And I warn you to stop reading here if that is you. I wouldn't want your skin to crawl at the thought of the red linen Versace shirt I bought Cameron with the $80 tag still on it for $3.99. Or the $200 couture suit that Adrian still says is the best one he owns for $13. Or even the $26 Prada knock-off purse I bought for myself for exactly $ .99 (that's ninety nine CENTS, Ladies and Gents).
For those of you who don't mind saving money, then read on because there is a method to the madness. Some Goodwills are VERY proud of their stuff; by this, I mean that the pricing is left to each Goodwill's discretion. I found a really cute wooden salad bowl I was going to get that I THOUGHT was $1.99. It turned out to be $11.99 when I got to the register. When I inquired what made this bowl so special, they couldn't tell me and I abandoned the purchase. I found a cuter wooden bowl at Target (pronounced "Tar-jzay") for half that. So definitely be cautious - just because it's Goodwill doesn't mean it's automatically a good deal.
And ya gotta be willing to DIG. You can't just peruse...you must find your arm strength to be able to move the hangers as you look because they pack those clothes in there like cattle and you may miss the perfect bargain find if you ridicule the practicality of digging.
Look, I already know that Goodwill is mostly the place that people go when they're looking for a Halloween costume cheap, or to just drop off the stuff they wouldn't be caught dead in when they want to feel charitable. But don't count it out for help with your everyday wardrobe. It makes up about 98% of what we wear and saves us money that we can use for lots of other things.
Be careful to wash or dry clean the clothes and to get those dreaded plastic tags off before heading out of the house. I've been caught with one sticking out of the shoulder of a dress and though I'm not ashamed of where I shop, it was not one of my finer moments.
I don't have to dye my hair yet, but I will do so proudly when the time comes. My lipstick has always been and will always be far too red and outside the lip line, and I draw on my eyebrows with careful precision (for now). I don't own a gold lamé track suit, but am on the lookout for one all the time...and I always smell good, like any respectable ANY-aged person should! And I am a proud thrift store shopper who wishes you all peace on earth and Goodwill toward men (women, and children).