We received the following e-mail from one of our fans: 

“I work in a middle school.  My birthday is in July and I am wanting to start a new wardrobe.  It is a present to myself.  Can you help me spend $100 to build a new wardrobe?  I am not a fashionsta and desperately need help with this.  I have cute shoes but not outfits to go with them.  I am not into designer names, just because I don’t know who they are.  I created a “My Style” board on Pinterest and it is what I try to go for but seem to fail when I actually go shopping.  I succeed on a hit and miss basis.  I welcome the change.  I have had the same clothes for several years now.  I am overdue.  I love seeing your “finds”.  Please help me!”
We were more than happy to take this lovely woman shopping for her birthday.

 

A few of our tips:

  • Start with the basics, such as skinny leg white and dark denim jeans.  These were the foundation to her EASY wardrobe makeover, knowing that her day needs to be professional, yet casual.
    With these staples, she can wear them with tanks and flip flops in the summer and sweaters and boots in the winter.
  • Look for tops that can be worn as a tank in warmer weather and layered under a sweater or jacket when it gets cold.

We also found a few dresses, a sweater and a jacket, giving her a quick wardrobe makeover for well under $100 . . . $30 to be exact, shopping at the Family Thrift Outlet where everything is priced at only $2 each.

Her wardrobe came to fruition in a little over an hour.  We gave her a mini styling session and showed her how everything coordinated together.

She sent us the sweetest message!  I want to thank you both again for taking the time out to help me. I have a better idea now of how to mix and match outfits. I’ll also be doing a lot of thrift shopping this summer.  Watching you to go through the racks to try to pair things up showed me I can shop without spending all day in the store.  I now have a better idea of how to shop to build a wardrobe rather than just buy pieces of clothing. There is a difference.”

Happy Birthday!!!!!

thrift store wardrobe basics

thrift store wardrobe makeover

thrift store dresses wardrobe makeover

trash to treasure tory burch

Thrifting Trash to Treasure ~ Tory Burch Reva Shoes

We recently found this pair of snakeskin Tory Burch Reva flats for only $2 at a Family Thrift OUTLET Store, they originally retailed for $225.   The soles and insoles were in great condition, the snakeskin looked worn out and dry.   For a $2 investment it was worth our time to see if we could salvage them with some over the counter shoe products.   We didn’t have much “skin in the game” … lol

tory burch celebrity reva thrift trash treasure

The snakeskin leather was dried out but after applying “KIWI” Color Shine / Brown it brought a lustrous, sheen.  Use a Sharpie to fill in all of the spots the shoe shine doesn’t cover.   They turned out quite fabulous!

tory burch reva flats thrift store find

thrift store winner contest wardrobe capsule family thrift

We were so thrilled to meet this month’s “Shop with Jen and Pippa” contest winner, Michele.  Michele’s contest entry really touched our hearts and we knew that we definitely couldn’t have chosen a more deserving winner once we met her and her husband, Jim.  Here’s Michele’s contest entry:

“I would love to win this contest is because it would mean so much simply to meet both of you. I’ve learned so much just reading your blog and learning all your tips for thrift shopping. It has done wonders to help us with our limited income. I’m a 51 year old happily married woman for 25 years. But in 2003 my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia, a neurological brain disorder that makes the cerebellum deteriorate over time. My husband is 57 years old and can no longer work or drive and he uses a walker, too. I have essentially become his full time caregiver. I had returned to college at the University of Houston/Clear Lake and graduated with cum laude honors in 2010 in order to increase our income. But as Jim’s illness progressed, I knew he could not be left alone. And paying for a full time caregiver would have defeated the purpose of me working, as so much of my income would go towards his caregiver’s salary. So I care for him daily and we live on his Social Security disabilty. It’s not a lot of money, but we manage, but since I’ve discovered Family Thrift Outlet, it has helped us so much to find nice, nice clothes at such reasonable prices. I would absolutely love a chance to meet you both and to shop with you, too. I love so many of the videos you both make and the clothes you find. It would be an honor and a thrill to be able to meet you both and to shop with you. Thank you so much for the time you spend in teaching others about the “art of thrifting.” For those of us on very limited incomes, you have been a God send like you will never know. I really would love the chance to do this!! Thanks so much”

Michele and Jim with her "thrift haul!"

Michele and Jim with her “thrift haul!”

We met Michele at a Family Thrift Center Outlet store where everything in the entire store is just $2.00 on Thursdays and drops by .25 a day until the next Wednesday, when everything is just .25.  In order to get started, we talked with Michele to find out what her lifestyle is, how she perceives her “style”, and finally, what items did she consider her wardrobe to be lacking.  Michele told us, “I’m pretty casual for the most part.  I love, love, love skinny jeans.  I love to wear them with tops/sweaters/boho tops that are longer, usually with boots or some cute flats.”  Michele also sent us some photos of outfits that she was drawn to.

With a wealth of information and a good idea of Michele’s likes and wants, we got started!  Here are just a few of our favorite high-end, high-quality items she picked up for just $2.00 each (BTW, Family Thrift Center donates the wardrobe to our winners.  Thanks Family Thrift Center!):

  • Michael Kors bag (retailed $257)
  • Longchamp Le Pliage bag (retailed $145)
  • Calypso St. Barth blouse (retailed $149)
  • J. Crew toothpick jeans (retailed $115)

With just the first four items, we were well over a $500 retail value, plus she found so many more basic pieces that she can mix-n-match from brands such as J. Crew, Free People, David Kahn, Ann Taylor and more.

thrift store winner contest wardrobe capsule family thrift

thrift store style blog skinny jeans

Below, we show her how versatile her chosen pieces are and how putting together an outfit is super easy!

thrift store outfit collage

Since there are no dressing rooms at the Family Thrift Center Outlets, we often wonder how our winners’ outfits actually worked out once they got home.  Luckily, Michele wrote back and let us know!  She says, “I had such an amazing time today thrift shopping with you both!  It was so much fun!  It was such a fun experience and I loved all the new clothes and two new bags, too!  I cannot wait to wear them all!  I tried them all on already and everything fit great, yeah!  Thanks so much again for everything!  Y’all are both so awesome!  Keep up the great work with your blog and videos! Take care and thanks again.”

Michele was such a delight to shop with . . . she definitely makes our volunteer “job” rewarding!
Don’t forget to follow our Facebook page so you never miss a contest.  You could be our next winner!

 

During our trip to Phoenix to preview Family Thrift Store ($2 outlet), we partnered with them to help dress a group of young women from Neighborhood Ministries’ (“NM”) Education for Life (“EFL”) program.

Education For Life offers comprehensive education assistance to over 100 at-risk youth, making a long-term commitment to their growth and development. The goal of EFL is to see youth succeed by providing an educational and mentoring support system aimed to decrease deviant behavior such as truancy, drug abuse and gang activity and increase educational aspirations.  They support their youth every step of the way, providing mentors, tutoring, and even scholarship assistance.  As one of the members said, “NM was there for me and my family whenever we needed anything, help financially, food, clothes, whatever. NM was always there, keeping me busy and off the streets.”

Our first objective when working with the girls was to figure out what their fashion style was and assess their fashion needs by asking, “What is your typical day like?, Does it require professional or casual dress?, or Are you a stay-at-home mom who needs more practical, yet still stylish clothing?”   One of the girls was starting a job as a legal assistant so she needed a more professional wardrobe, another wanted a more mature look than her regular t-shirt and leggings, and most of the others needs a professional wardrobe for work.   We were able to show the girls that just because they may have a small budget for clothing, they can still look professional and put together for a fraction of the cost simply by knowing what their fashion needs are committing to a style.  Once the girls decided what their needs were, we were able to show them how to find good quality items, which means we showed them that even though the styles were trendy, it’s not always a wise investment to spend your budget on cheap quality clothing, even from a thrift store.  Thrift stores are full of high-quality garments if you know how to find them.  We taught them to look at labels and shop by fabrics rather than by brand.

phoenix family thrift store shop

phoenix neighborhood ministries

thrift store shopping phoenix

shopping thrift store shop

neighborhood ministries phoenix

Our next strategy was to show the girls how to shop for basic pieces that can be worn multiple ways.  This blue blazer is a perfect example of a multi-use item, it can be worn both to the office or with jeans as shown.

thrift store shopping tips

phoenix thrift store shopping

wardrobe basic tips thrift shop

phoenix thrift store shopping cheap

too cheap blondes phoenix neighborhood ministries thrift store shop

HERE is a list of our thrift shopping tips.

12 items for a total of $24!

12 items for a total of $24!

thrift store contest winner blog cheap houston

One of our most frequent requests from our readers is asking for the opportunity to thrift shop with us.  We recently started teaming up with Family Thrift OUTLET stores to do private shopping contests.  This month, we chose our first male winner and he certainly found some amazing $2.00 deals!

  • Burberry sweater  (retailed $459)
  • Burberry plaid shirt (retailed $295)
  • Neiman Marcus leather jacket (retail prices start at $595)
Burberry sweater found for $2 at Houston Thrift Store

Burberry sweater found for $2 at Houston Thrift Store

Plaid Burberry shirt and leather Neiman Marcus jacket both found for $2 each at Houston Thrift OUTLET Store.

Plaid Burberry shirt and leather Neiman Marcus jacket both found for $2 each at a Houston Family Thrift OUTLET store.

With just the first three items we are well over $1,000, plus he found all of the following name brands:

  • J. Crew shirts and shorts
  • Nordstrom
  • Banana Republic
  • OBEY t-shirt
  • Under Armour
  • Nike
  • Columbia Sportswear
  • Tommy Hilfiger
Shea's thrift haul!

Shea’s thrift haul!

Family Thrift OUTLET stores sell all of their items on Thursday for just $2, then they are marked down each day until Wednesday, when everything is priced at only .25!   It truly is a treasure hunt each week, you never know what you are going to find.

Amazing prices every week at Family Thrift Outlet Stores!

Amazing prices every week at Family Thrift Outlet Stores!

You will love his enthusiasm and what he found in this YouTube video:

We post something new every day on Facebook so be sure and follow us!

Check out all of our thrift store finds on our YouTube channel.

 

 

Houston ReNew ReDux Fashion Show “Fine Print” Scene IV ~ 2013

Featured name brands such as DVF, Malandrino, John Galliano

“Too Cheap Blondes” are quite excited for the upcoming ReNew ReDux Houston fashion show, featuring amazing “thrifted” designer clothing.  The show will be on August 20th, click here to purchase your tickets!

If you see us please come say hello, we would love to meet you!

Please come say hello to the Queens of Thrifting!

Please come say hello to the Queens of Thrifting!

houston blogger fashion

renew redux fashion show

houston fashion show

womens home fashion show

houston style bloggers

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houston thrift store

ReNew Redux Fashion Show 2013 (stay tuned as we add the scenes)

Scene I, Classic ReDux

Scene II, Color Therapy

Scene III, Autumn Sonata

Scene IV, Fine Print

Scene V, Gray Expectations

Scene VI, Noveau Romantics

Scene VII, Midnight Special

Scene VIII Color of the Night

Houstons Highly Anticipated Fashion Show!

Burberry Purse for $1.75.   Ugggh, neither one of us bought this purse .... Now that I see the pictures I am kicking myself!

Burberry Purse for $1.75. Ugggh, neither one of us bought this purse …. Now that I see the pictures I am kicking myself!

 

Burberry, JCREW, Kim Kardashian Cape, Eddie Bauer, Chico’s,  all for $1.75 each @ Family Thrift Outlet

Jen and I did a quick stop at FAMILY THRIFT OUTLET store (in Houston).

  • Thursday:   $1.75
  • Friday:  $ 1.50
  • Saturday:   $1.25
  • Sunday:    $1.00
  • Monday:   $ .75
  • Tuesday:  $ .50
  • Wednesday:   $ .25

 

Black and White Houndstooth Cape for only $1.75!  (at family thrift outlet)

Black and White Houndstooth Cape for only $1.75! (at family thrift outlet)

CHICO'S floral jacket for $1.75 @ thrift store

CHICO’S floral jacket for $1.75 @ thrift store

JCREW Velvet Jacket currently retails for $178.  Found @ thrift store for $1.75.

JCREW Velvet Jacket currently retails for $178. Found @ thrift store for $1.75.

Eddie Bauer Parka Jacket, retail $109.99.  Only $1.75 @ Family Thrift Outlet

Eddie Bauer Parka Jacket, retail $109.99. Only $1.75 @ Family Thrift Outlet

 

 

 

#1  This is the OUTLET store, this is not a regular Family Thrift Store.    This is the clearance store for items that did not sell in the Family Thrift Store(s).

#2 Another tip is that if you go to the OUTLET store, disregard the prices on the items. Regardless of what the price tag says, everything in the store is the price of the day ($1.75, $1.50, etc.).   The price tags may be confusing your first time there…just ignore them!

#3 NO Dressing rooms or mirrors.

(HERE is a link for a list of both the regular and the outlet store locations: HERE)

 

Family Thrift Outlet Stores:

  • Thursday $1.75
  • Friday $1.50
  • Saturday $1.25
  • Sunday $1.00
  • Monday $ .75
  • Tuesday $ .50
  • Wednesday $ .25

 

 

Remember to Always Donate and Pay it Forward!

(all of these purchases benefitted our local community!)

Jen and Pippa are virtual volunteers working to promote non-profit thrift stores in the Houston area.

Jen Meneely www.shopjenscloset.com

Pippa Williams www.shopwithpippa.com

 

 

 

 

 

Thrift Shop Challenge with "O" Magazine

Thrift Shop Challenge with “O” Magazine

 

We immediately fell in love with inspiration picture from “O” Magazine, not only because it incorporates a velvet jacket but also has this deep rich wine color, one of the hottest colors this fall.

The unexpected pop of teal keeps this outfit playful.

Velvet Revolution

The key to wearing velvet without looking like an extra from Downton  Abbey is to choose clothing in clean silhouettes and vivid colors and pair  it with modern pieces like leather pants.

“O” Magazine:

  • Blazer, Maggy Frances,  $475
  • Top, Tribune Standards,  $395
  • Pants, Tory Burch,  $325
  • TOTAL:        $1195

Thrift Shop:

  • Jacket,        $9.99
  • Blouse,      $5.99
  • Pants,          $6.99
  • Purse,       $3.99
  • Flats,         $7.99
  • TOTAL:      $34.95

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/style/Fall-2013-Fashion-Trends-Best-Clothes-for-Fall/6#ixzz2fH6C3cN0

Remember to Always Donate and Pay it Forward!

Jen and Pippa are virtual volunteers working to promote non-profit thrift stores in the Houston area.

Jen Meneely www.shopjenscloset.com

Pippa Williams www.shopwithpippa.com

 

mirror mirror livewell

Be sure and watch the new Mirror/Mirror episode airing tonight at 7:30 (central) on the LiveWell Network.

Jen and Pippa will be styling @RebeccaSpera in this Fall’s hottest trends!

This was a style challenge where we had to recreate looks inspired by Neiman Marcus Fall Look Book.

What a fun show this was to film!

 

Fall Style Challenge at a Thrift Store with Rebecca Spera from Mirror Mirror

Fall Style Challenge at a Thrift Store with Rebecca Spera from Mirror Mirror

Remember to Always Donate and Pay it Forward!

Jen and Pippa are virtual volunteers working to promote non-profit thrift stores in the Houston area.

Jen Meneely www.shopjenscloset.com

Pippa Williams www.shopwithpippa.com

 

 

 

Reindeer, Angels and Trees ~ Christmas at a Thrift Store

Jen and I had just finished a very non eventful day of thrift shopping, we had found almost nothing and were at the check-out with a couple of items.   I asked Jen to wait for me while I went to use the restroom but before I could even make it there I saw this Fabulous gold reindeer for $12.99, that lights up and still had the original tags on it …. Woo Hoo!

This is how "Too Cheap Blondes" roll at a thrift store!

This is how “Too Cheap Blondes” roll at a thrift store!

 

Jen helped me get it into my car and then I remembered “oh yeah, I still need to use the restroom” so we headed back in the thrift store and once again, before I could make it there, they had just put out more Christmas stuff!   Look at all of these gorgeous trees, another reindeer and an angel.

More Christmas items ...

More Christmas items …

Brand New with tags!   This beautiful gold angel lights up.

Brand New with tags! This beautiful gold angel lights up.

So our “find almost nothing” thrift day turned into a major score of Christmas items!

It was hard to fit all of these big items into our cars but thats how Too Cheap Blondes roll …  🙂

 

Remember to Always Donate and Pay it Forward!

Jen and Pippa are virtual volunteers working to promote non-profit thrift stores in the Houston area.

Jen Meneely www.shopjenscloset.com

Pippa Williams www.shopwithpippa.com