It’s been a great run, but alas, I am ending Thrift Class. Thank you to everyone who helped me out with the blog, including Ash Masrani, Jordan Koschei and Tyler Constance! Thanks, also, to everyone who supported me with this endeavor. I had so much fun, but I need to focus on my full-time job now. Happy thrifting!
I haven’t always been an active person. I always lived too far from a gym, or didn’t enjoy sports, or was too busy, along with a million other excuses. I wasn’t active when I was younger, but I was great at coming up with reasons not to be.
By freshman year of college, however, I decided to make a change. I joined the gym at school and tried out dozens of different group fitness classes until I found the ones I liked, and stuck to them. Personally, I get incredibly bored when I work out alone on machines. Group classes motivate me to try my best, and I like having an instructor to tell me what to do so I can just concentrate on my form.
That’s enough about my fitness journey – time for the tips. I can’t hand you motivation on a platter, but hopefully this will help keep you on track!
1. Try to join a gym with multiple locations and all-inclusive classes.
The best bang for your buck is a gym with classes, since a lot of machine exercises can be replicated without them (like running outside instead of on a treadmill). All you have to do is show up, and the teacher guides you through the steps or practice. I belong to Crunch, which has locations all over the city so I can go almost anytime, anywhere. I mostly attend yoga classes, and have found some seriously excellent instructors. At $92/month it seems pricey, but for how often I go it comes out to less than $6 per yoga class. Most gyms offer one-day passes for you to try them out, so you can afford to be picky!
2. There’s no need to invest in really expensive clothing.
This can be hard to remember when you’re drowning in a sea of pretty pastel Lululemon tanks, but it’s actually fairly easy to find cute gear at places like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and even thrift stores. I tend to spend the most on pants and bottoms because you want those to hold up for a while, but a $9 J. Crew tank typically does the trick just as much as a $100 Nike tank. Same with sneakers – Famous Footwear and other discount shoe stores carry past-season workout sneakers for decent prices.
3. If gyms aren’t an option, do some research and discover videos that work.
When I was at home over school breaks, I didn’t belong to a gym. I knew I had to keep up my routine, though, so I bought a yoga block, yoga mat, body bar and some light weights. This “equipment” barely took up any room, and I lived on free Pilates, yoga and body bar videos. Here are a few of my favorites:
4. Bring snacks and hydration from home.
If you’re a gym-goer, then you know how it feels to be hungry before and/or after your workout – no one likes to be stranded without food. It’s easy to be lazy and assume you’ll buy something at the gym, but those bananas and Vitamin Water can add up fast. I stick non-perishable snacks in my gym bag like raw nuts, and I keep an empty Britta water bottle with me so I can fill up at the gym fountains. It’s not so hard to stay away from the smoothie bar when A) everything costs at least $8 and B) I have my own stuff with me.
I arrived a little late but was still able to grab a seat. A few of the beauty editors over at Glamour Magazine (my favorite magazine!!) discussed beauty trends and tips and took questions from the audience.
These ladies definitely knew what they were talking about! According to them, dewy skin and stained lips are big for fall, and easy enough to pull off with only a few minutes of work.
I’m so glad I RSVP’d, because if your name was on the list, you received a tremendous swag bag including a $25 giftcard!
The reusable tote contained a variety of deluxe samples and full sized products from Lancome, Clarins, Ahava, Clinique and more – even an adorable flower-shaped bottle of Valentino perfume. I used my gift card on this Lancome lipstick in Wine Party, and it turned out that I didn’t have to spend a cent!
I met up with a friend and we had a great time browsing the cosmetics and enjoying free champagne, mini cupcakes and chocolate truffles. There was also a fun photobooth and I was not about to miss out on the opportunity to ham it up.
…The cupcake didn’t last very long after these were taken.
A year ago today…Madewell was in the Brand Spotlight!
Collection is a column that features a themed set of clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Sets contain items that are meant to inspire, though sometimes they are still available for purchase.
Today’s collection features shoes with ankle straps. I love heels, but as you know, they can be incredibly painful. Ankle straps offer instant support and help pave the road to high-heeled nirvana.
There are more than nine items in this collection; you can see the rest by clicking the “strap that” link below the set.
This post is part of a series called Getting Started. It’s meant to guide new thrifters (or seasoned ones looking for tips)!
Today’s post focuses on the differences between thrift stores and consignment stores. Once you know the different facets of each store, you can make the decision to check out one or the other if you so desire!
A thrift store like The Salvation Army, Goodwill or Savers can also be called a hospice shop, charity shop (more commonly in the UK), thrift shop, or resale shop. Thrift stores sell goods donated by the public, and are often run by volunteers.
A consignment store such as Second Time Around–or the higher-end items behind the counters at Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co.–operates on a business model where the store acts as an agent, selling the items for the consignor and keeping a portion of the profits. Unlike a thrift store, the consignor remains a part of the process, retaining ownership of his or her items until the store sells them.
Of course each type has its pros and cons…
Thrift Store Pros:
- Merchandise is typically less expensive, even dipping below a few dollars.
- Depending on the area, competition is less fierce for contemporary styles.
- Stores are often spacious and allow you to wheel around a shopping cart laden with finds.
- Stock is constantly turning over due to the size and frequency of donations.
- Proceeds often benefit one cause or another, like taking care of cute kitties!
- Items that are new with tags pop up all the time, granting you an even better bargain.
- Tag sales make for even better prices.
Thrift Store Cons:
- Merchandise isn’t always in the best condition and can contain stains, rips and other imperfections.
- Sometimes there aren’t changing rooms (but don’t worry, read this!).
- Thrift stores tend to attract families–meaning children–which can be annoying, especially if they hog the fitting rooms.
- They can be moldy, musty or dusty depending on the store’s inventory and building condition (think basement church shop or aging Salvation Army).
- Selection can be overwhelming, and you may have to sift through a lot of duds before finding something you like.
Consignment Shop Pros:
- Merchandise is carefully cultivated–typically only items in prime condition are sold.
- Again, there are plenty of NWT articles to be found.
- These stores try to attract contemporary and higher end brands and styles as opposed to big box store brands.
- Stores are commonly locally-owned, allowing you to build a relationship with employees and the owner. They’re more likely to keep an eye out for you when it comes to wishlist items.
- Consignment stores do have sales, and some operate on a color-coded label system where each color is a different discount, or prices drop after a certain date.
Consignment Shop Cons:
- Merchandise is more expensive, and not always a good deal compared to retail (think J. Crew tops for only a few dollars cheaper than if you were to buy it on clearance at a J. Crew).
- Sometimes outlet and factory items are priced like they’re from the regular store–but you can check out this guide for advice on that.
- Fast fashion can infiltrate a consignment shop just like anywhere else.
- Some stores price their items a little too ambitiously, in which case you might as well shop those items retail.
- There’s a higher risk involved when it comes to items that end up not working for you, since you’ve probably spent more than at a thrift store.
I’ve covered everything I can think of, but I’d love to hear your own pros/cons! Happy shopping.
A year ago today…Ash wrote about fall fashion for guys!
This series of posts focuses on the non-thrift-related things/topics on my mind this week. Sometimes a visual representation is literally pinned on the bulletin board on my desk. The items on the list below are sometimes random and occasionally a borderline obsession.
Here’s what’s on my bulletin board this time…
I told myself there’s no way I would ever watch a show called “selfie”, but I’m a Karen Gillan fan (loved her on Doctor Who) so I eventually caved and watched the pilot. It’s actually very funny, and obviously the leads are not bad to look at either. Some of the ridiculous dialogue that came out of Eliza’s mouth–as well as Henry’s rant about Instagram–had me laughing out loud.
I’m currently reading the third book in this series. I’m a huge fan of this author and he’s one of those writers where I’ll read everything he or she has written. If you’re into young adult/dystopian fiction, these are the books for you!
I have a severe obsession with TJ’s pumpkin products right now. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I almost cried today when I went and they were out of This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar. I overcame my grief by getting pumpkin ice cream instead.
Bo Burnham is a musical comedian/prodigy. I’ve been listening to him nonstop. I particularly love “New Math”, “Sad”, “Ironic” and “Love Is…”. If you haven’t already, go check him out ASAP.
I saw this on Sunday and had the best time – it’s too hilarious and CHECK OUT THAT CAST. The best was that afterwards I got selfies with Rupert Grint (check out his crazy makeup for the show!) and Matthew Broderick. Definitely a must-see.
A year ago today…I wore stripes and blush!