thrift store blog cheap blondes houston pippa shop jen

We were recently contacted by a national magazine to contribute to an article (slated to publish in October) about the best shopping advice ever.  Of course, our advice centered on the best tips for shopping at thrift stores.  We submitted our tips, but when they asked us for our professional head shot, we told them we realized we’d never had professional photos shot!   Our first plan of action to remedy the problem was to call in some of Houston’s best professionals to make us look fab . . . Quy Tran, the photographer who did our Yahoo! wedding shoot, and Jessica Mussleman (our Yahoo! bride), an Arbonne makeup artist.

extreme budget wedding bride tips how to


The morning of the shoot, my home was transferred into a studio of sorts.  We were so fortunate that the glam squad came to us, and Jessica not only did our makeup, but gave us a full tutorial!  The breakfast area became the makeup “green room” area and the living room was transformed into a photo studio!



Kim Kardashian recently shared her makeup-free face ... so can we!

Kim Kardashian recently shared her makeup-free face … so can we!


arbonne houston makeup blog

It took ALOT of makeup to help us!

It took A LOT of makeup to help us!



Quy Tran is one of the most professional photographers you will ever meet!  He is always on-time and the quality of his photos are top notch, plus he brought the studio to us!

All glammed up in the portable studio

All glammed up in the portable studio

During the shoot we not only wanted “professional” pictures but something a little more goofy . . . like us.  We aren’t attorney’s or doctors, we are the queen’s of thrift!  Have you seen some of our “twinning” pictures we post on Facebook?

The Queens of Thrift ... "Twinning"

The Queens of Thrift . . . “Twinning”

After looking at the first round of pictures, Jen pointed out that they looked a little stiff, which is so not like us.  She asked me, “do you have any crowns?”  At first, I said no (seriously, who has princess crowns just lying around their house!), but then I thought about it for a minute and you know what, I did have a few sparkly crowns tucked away.  I guess I will have a hard time explaining to my neighbors why Jen and I were all “glammed” up at 11:00 a.m., standing in my front yard with crowns on our heads, getting our picture taken!




Buffalo Exchange Houston

Buffalo Exchange Houston

If you’re older than 35, then, after reading the title to this blog post, you are probably thinking to yourself either A: What is Buffalo Exchange, or B: Hello?  I’m not 19 and a hipster, and neither are the Too Cheap Blondes, so why are they reviewing this place?  Honestly, until a couple of years ago, I was firmly in the B category.  I used to frequent Buffalo Exchange in my early 20s and although it was a little funky, I always found some cute, trendy pieces for a great deal.  Let me tell you, times have changed!  Pippa and I, while not regulars at Buffalo Exchange, definitely hit it up every now and then and we are never disappointed.

Buffalo has become my go-to place when I need a high-end outfit, and I just can’t come up with it from my Goodwill or Family Thrift trips.  Yes, you read that right, high-end.  Buffalo Exchange is a mecca for high-end labels and they are cheap!  My all-time favorite Buffalo find is this amazing Oscar de la Renta pink cocktail dress that was worn by Leighton Meester (Blair) on Gossip Girl.  Keep in mind, this dress retails for upwards of $3,000!  I picked up this dress for $50!

gossipgirlprettyinpinkI snapped a few pictures while shopping the other day and here is just a sampling of the brands and great prices that Buffalo Exchange has to offer:


Donald Pliner Western Couture Collection mules for $35, retailed for $400.


Chloe leather flats for $48, retailed for $500.


Fendi heels for $65, retailed for $500+.


Brand new Diane Von Furstenberg silk top for $35.


Brand new North Face jacket for $25.


Brand new Gryphon silk and sequin top for $35, retailed for $200+.


Herve Leger dress for $47 (retailed for $1,000+) and Shelli Segal dress for $26.50.

I regularly run across Tory Burch, Burberry, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Citizens of Humanity, Ted Baker, and the list goes on and on of expensive, high-end brands.  Most items will run you between $15 – $40.  While Buffalo is still the place to go to when you need something quirky, like a vintage fringe jacket or funky 70s outfit, in my opinion, they are definitely more weighted towards on-trend, high-end clothing, rather than the young teenager styles that I used to associate them with.

As an added bonus, Buffalo will buy your used, on-trend, quality label clothing from you for cash on the spot!  I regularly sell my items back to Buffalo to recoup some of my investment.  A win/win in my book!

I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with your trip to Buffalo Exchange.  Just a note, I’ve only visited the Buffalo Exchanges in Houston, but they are a national chain and can be found throughout the U.S.  You can find a list of their locations here:

Happy shopping and let us know what you find!

(ABC13 listed Buffalo Exchange on of the list “Top 10 resale shops in Houston“)

houston buffalo exchange

buffalo exchange houston

shop buffalo exchange houston


A pair of scissors was all we needed to make this costume a little bit cuter :)

The Halloween Mannequin ALWAYS Dresses From a Thrift Store!

Every year I (Pippa) have bought costumes for my mannequin and posted them on my blog  This year, Jen and I are consolidating our blogs to, so let me share with you all of my thrifted finds these past few years.

A few tips about Halloween, it should be:

  • Fun
  • Creative
  • Not expensive

The best part about my mannequin is how many random people drive by, discretely roll down their window, and take a picture!   The UPS truck, the garbage and recycle truck all had to stop today.   Maybe it is because I have an AMAZING yard (thank you COLORFUL ENVIRONMENTS).

$2.00 Family Thrift Outlet

$2.00 Family Thrift Outlet

A pair of scissors was all we needed to make this costume a little bit cuter :)

A pair of scissors was all we needed to make this costume a little bit cuter 🙂

thrift store halloween

Another $2 Family Thrift Costume!

Another $2 Family Thrift Costume!

halloween costume blog

Happy Halloween from the Too Cheap Blondes!

This leather duster was only $2.00 at the Family Thrift Outlet Store!

Last Minute Costume Ideas for Halloween

Are you one of those that have still not put together a costume for Halloween?   Today we are showing you regular clothing we have found in a thrift store for CHEAP, to create a costume.   We find Pinterest to be our biggest source of inspiration (follow us HERE)!

This morning we were on Fox 26 News, sharing a few ideas.  Here is the link:

Jose Grinan and Melissa Wilson from FOX26 morning news

Jose Grinan and Melissa Wilson from Fox 26 Morning News.

An easy way to recreate Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” jacket with duct tape.

Create a similar jacket to the one Michael Jackson wore in "Thriller" video with duct tape

Create a similar jacket to the one Michael Jackson wore in “Thriller” video with duct tape

Here are some more inexpensive ideas for costumes!

We found this gold 70's dress at Family Thrift Outlet Store for $2.00

We found this gold 70’s dress at a Family Thrift Outlet store for $2.00.

This leather duster was only $2.00 at the Family Thrift Outlet Store!

This leather duster was only $2.00 at a Family Thrift Outlet store!

Queen Ravenna, from Snow White and the Huntsman.  This vintage velvet dress was only $2.00 at the Family Thrift Outlet Store.

Queen Ravenna, from Snow White and the Huntsman. This vintage velvet dress was only $2.00 at the Family Thrift Outlet Store.

Lace blouse for $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet and frilly vest for $4.99 at Goodwill

Eyelet blouse for $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet and frilly vest for $4.99 at Goodwill

"Too Cheap Blondes" on FOX26 News

“Too Cheap Blondes” on Fox 26 Morning News.

Track suit for $4.00 at Family Thrift Outlet Store

Track suit for $4.00 at Family Thrift Outlet store.

A perfect cruise director suit, found for $4.00 at Family Thrift Outlet Store

A perfect cruise director suit, found for $4.00 at Family Thrift Outlet store.

Red dress with white polka dots?   Minnie Mouse of course!  $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet Store

Red dress with white polka dots? Minnie Mouse of course! $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet Store

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Did you purchase any part of your costume from a thrift store?

halloween costume blog


Happy Thrifting …from Jen & Pippa



Live on FOX 26

Join us Thursday morning, October 30th, on FOX 26 during the 8 a.m. hour, as we show you how to use regular clothing, found at Goodwill and Family Thrift Center Outlet, for your Halloween costume.

Who do you think Jen is going to be with this fabulous leather trench coat (found at the Family Thrift Center Outlet for $2.00)?

Leather trench jacket found for $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet Store

Leather trench jacket found for $2.00 at Family Thrift Outlet store.

Pippa, wearing a super awesome 80’s jacket, was attempting to be part of the “Fashion Police” and her sister-in-law, was Elizabeth Taylor.   They are both wearing clothing that was found in a thrift store.

Elizabeth Taylor and "Fashion Police"
Elizabeth Taylor and “Fashion Police.”

Have you found your Halloween costume yet?

What are you planning on wearing?

Did you shop at a thrift store for your costume?

thrift shop style blog houston


Follow us on Facebook, we post new finds every day!


ann taylor suede thrift skirt

What Was Your Favorite Find of the Week?

Pippa and I have what we call our Monday-morning Brain Storming Session.  We call each other, discuss what we have going on that week, talk about any new fashion trends we’ve noticed, peruse through Pinterest, adding things to our shared boards, and then go to work shopping the thrift stores trying to make our ideas and inspirations come to life.  This week we are working on the following:

  • Wardrobe Contest that will begin this week, gifting a deserving woman in the Houston area (details to follow) with a thrifted wardrobe, styled by us!
  • “Too Cheap Tuesdays” begins with Family Thrift Outlet Stores.   (Here is a link to that article)
  • Halloween Costumes from everyday clothes in a thrift store, Thursday, with Rita Garcia, FOX 26 News.
  • “Thursday Thrift Challenge” begins Thursday, with ABC Patricia Lopez, “Stretch Your Dollar” (details to follow).
  • “Preparing for Holiday Parties,” Saturday, with Courtney Zavala, KPRC Channel 2,  “Morning Show.”

We always end our conversation with the question, “What was your favorite find of the week?”

Pippa found both this suede A-Line skirt, fully lined, by Ann Taylor for $2 at the Family Thrift Outlet (6724 Hillcroft St) and a black DKNY silk tie front blouse for $2, and paired them with a Burberry scarf (gift) and Tory Burch Boots (Nordstrom Sale).   Pippa wore this outfit from 6 A.M. until 11 P.M., traveling by plane all day, and then dining in the evening at a 5-star restaurant.  This outfit was not only stylish, but warm and comfortable!

ann taylor suede thrift skirt

Here are some more ideas from Pinterest (follow us HERE) on how to wear a suede skirt:

suede skirt thrift store

Jen found this vintage purple and gold dress for $2.00  (6724 Hillcroft St.).  Vintage clothing is usually much higher quality than today’s ready-to-wear clothing and is so well constructed, it can many times be comparable to our current couture clothing.  Using Oscar de la Renta 2014 Runway show as an inspiration, Jen is going to do a make-over to convert this dress into a skirt.  Jen loved this dress because of the vibrant colors and attention to detail.  Once she converts it to a ball skirt, it’s going to be fabulous paired with a t-shirt, turtle neck or button-up blouse.

vintage dress

vintage oscar de la renta purple

We post our shopping trips each week, here are the links to both the retail and the outlet Family Thrift Center shopping trips last week:

Retail Family Thrift Center HERE

Family Thrift Center Outlet HERE

What did you find this week?   Please share, we would love to hear from you!

thrift shop style blog houston

Follow us on Facebook, we post new finds every day!

“The Fabulous THRIFT SHOP Challenge!!!!!!!” “ST. JOHN” ~ vs ~ TOO CHEAP BLONDES Panther Style

st john knit sweater blog


Trends are recycled over and over, a new color or different cut … longer, shorter, more or less texture.   We found this ST. JOHN COLLECTION sweater this summer at a thrift store for $1.75 and imagine our surprise when a very similar sweater was shown at Nordstroms and Saks Fifth Avenue this fall!    The biggest difference is the price tag …. $695 vs $1.75.

Yes, the current version is a different color and there is only one panther instead of three of them.   This shows that you can find something in a thrift store, remove the shoulder pads, add some skinny pants and you have a modern look.


  • ST. JOHN sweater $1.75
  • TOTAL:      $1.75

nordstrom fashion bloggers



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Linked up with : Patty

Behind the Scenes ~ 3 Minutes Until We are “Live” @ FOX 26

We were scheduled to do a live segment at 9 a.m. for a FOX 26 news segment, “Designer Styles to Real Life.”

The purpose was to show you how to take these three trends we saw at New York Fashion Week 2014, find them in a thrift store, and give you ideas on how to wear them.

nyfw 2014 thrift store

Jen sent me a text the night before, “We’re going to need at least 30-45 minutes to fit the girls (our models) and make them look good.”

No problem, I live 45 minutes away so I thought I would double the time needed for the morning drive.

Unfortunately, that morning a semi-truck caught on fire near the news station, completely shutting down a major freeway in Houston and clogging almost every other adjoining freeway or avenue around it.   Jen lives close by so she got there in just a few minutes.   She kept calling, “Where are you?  We are on in just a few minutes!”   Realizing I would be hours late if I continued on the grid-locked road I was on, I told her where I was and using her phone, she talked me through an alternate route (thank God for modern technology!).   When we arrived, it was 9:25, eight minutes past our initially scheduled time slot!

The models and I run into the station, go through security, and are sprinting to our dressing room just as we hear,


Now I am not sure if I am conveying the adrenaline, or fear, or nerves, or I don’t know what that was racing through my body!   Look at how our models were dressed and, remember, had not even tried on the clothes!

fox news houston models

Jen and I look at each other with sheer panic…is this going to come together?   Maddy tried on the first outfit, a velvet jumpsuit and it was hideous!!!!  Eeek, no way!   Cassie tried on the vintage peplum dress she would end up wearing and it wasn’t even close to zipping up the back, forcing us to use rubber bands and clips to hold her together!   Then we put the second outfit on Maddy, yeah, it worked!  (Sorry there was no time to take pics of Maddy’s first ugly outfit nor the back of Cassie’s dress…funny stuff!)

LETS GOOOOOO…RUN, RUN, RUN…down the hall we went carrying the mannequin!

We race into the studio, “here is your place stand here, lets microphone you up, no time to talk to the host!”  Its, “3, 2, 1 .. New York Fashion Week just came to a close…”

fox26 melissa wilson

My "blonde moment" ... quite appropriate being our blog is "Too Cheap Blondes"

My “blonde moment” … quite appropriate being our blog is “Too Cheap Blondes”

My “blonde moment,” I was TRYING to say “everything old is new again.”

We are still trying to figure out how the girls went from this…to this in under three minutes!!!!!!!!!!

fox style blog

We felt like rock stars for pulling the live segment off, well other than my stumble on my words!

Oh wait!  We finally took a breath and for the first time looked at what we were wearing…ha ha…it looked like we planned for our outfits to match!  Normally, Jen and I will text each other what we are going to wear on air, so we don’t clash.  For some reason, we didn’t that day.

jen and pippa houston

That’s a wrap!  Next we needed to just catch our breath…

jen houston blogger

Happy Birthday Maddy!  Thank you for taking time our of your special day :)

Happy Birthday Maddy! Thank you for taking time out of your special day 🙂

Once we were done filming, we thought, “Hey ,we have a little bit of time, want to go thrifting?”   OF COURSE!!!!    We couldn’t go dressed like we were (heels, long-sleeve silk shirts) so both Jen and I rummaged through our cars to find more comfortable clothes.   Jen had a t-shirt and flip flops, I had these weird ugly booties…well, it was either those or my running shoes!   We went from glamorous in the studio to thrifting, in minutes!

fox fashion blogger


jen pippa houston bloggers Be sure and follow us on Facebook HERE, we post new finds every day!