Teacher style thrift wardrobe contest

 

 

In order to enter the contest, you will need to write a short paragraph letting us know why you would like to win.  We will choose one deserving winner (you can bring a friend) for a special shopping day with us at a Family Thrift Center Outlet store after hours.

How to Enter:  Fill out the form below.  Please do not leave a blog comment.  Entries will only be received via the contest form in this post.

When:   Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 from 11am-1pm (in Houston, TX … you are responsible for your own transportation)

Where:  Family Thrift Outlet, Houston, TX

Read HERE about our fun teacher shopping trip with Jade!

 

Plus we will share our hands on Thrifting Tips:

  1. Don’t try to put together an outfit or you will get frustrated.  Look for individual pieces and then try to build an outfit.
  2. Focus on dresses, jackets and skirts…this is where you normally get the most value for your money.
  3. Skip lower end brands such as Target, Forever 21 and Walmart.
  4. Pay attention to fabrics…avoid synthetics.   Look for natural fibers such as silk, cotton and wool.
  5. You can usually find much better deals by “digging” rather than shopping from the boutique section of a thrift store.
  6. All thrift stores are not created equal.
  7. Look through Pinterest, magazines and fashion blogs to recreate trends.
  8. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 minutes or 2 hours, you can always find something you love!
  9. Pick an area of town and go to 3-4 thrift stores since they are often near each other.
  10. Hard Fast Rule:  NEVER pay more than 10% of retail price, we try to pay 5% or even less.
  11. Be open to finding anything!

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!

The Cottage Shop has an upscale look!

The phone rings, “What are you doing?”  This is code for, “Do you want to shop?”   Wanting to change up our thrifting routine this week, we decided to follow our tip #9, visit multiple thrift stores in one shopping trip, they’re usually near each other.  Spicing it up even more, we put a 30-minute time limit on each store to see what we could find.  We didn’t necessarily look for stuff we wanted to purchase, but focused more on finding things to share with you guys to show you that you can almost always find something at most thrift stores.

TIP #9: Pick an area of town and go to 3-4 thrift stores since they are often near each other. (11 Best Tips)

For our challenge, went to Goodwill (2030 Westheimer), Cottage Thrift Shop (811 Westheimer), Charity Guild of Catholic Women (1203 Lovett Blvd.), and the Assistance League of Houston (1902 Commonwealth St).  We even threw in a bonus surprise store at the end!

Goodwill (2030 Westheimer)

VIETRI, handmade Italian dishes. These sell for $44 per plate, we found 8 plates for $4.99 ($352 retail).

VIETRI, handmade Italian dishes. These sell for $44 per plate, we found 8 plates for $4.99 ($352 retail).

Maggie Weldon handmade lace pottery plate retails for $124, found at Goodwill for $4.99.

Maggie Weldon handmade lace pottery plate retails for $124, found at Goodwill for $4.99.

Long, hooded sweater by Anne Klein, for $6.99.

Long, hooded sweater by Anne Klein, for $6.99.

Easton Pearson blouse retails for $200+, found for $5.99

Easton Pearson blouse retails for $200+, found for $5.99

 

FITZ and FLOYD spreaders

FITZ and FLOYD spreaders

pottery thrift store shop houston

Vera Wang wedding dress was in perfect condition for only $59.99

Vera Wang wedding dress was in perfect condition for only $59.99 (it’s a size 4, BTW).

Cottage Thrift Shop (811 Westheimer)

From the moment we walked in the door, we loved this store!   It was decorated beautifully, the staff was very friendly and we were pleasantly surprised to find tables and tables of brand new items still in the package for thrift store prices! (A local boutique donated a bunch of their inventory.)  We both did some Christmas shopping for stockings and gifts.

The Cottage Shop has an upscale look!

The Cottage Shop has an upscale look!

All of the jewelry was 25% off the day we visited!

All of the jewelry was 25% off the day we visited!

Tables of brand new items still in the box at thrift store prices!

Tables of brand new items still in the box at thrift store prices!

Look at all of these brand new poncho's!

Look at all of these brand new poncho’s!

 

thrift store shop cottage boutique houston

the cottage shop thrift store houston bloggers

Tights, leg warmers, boot cuffs, socks, belts and more ... all brand new with tags!

Tights, leg warmers, boot cuffs, socks, belts and more … all brand new with tags!

cottage thrift store shop houston

houston cottage shop thrift store

Oh my ... these are little baby leg warmers (obviously you take them off the chick!)

Oh my … these are little baby leg warmers (obviously you take them off the chick!)

Totes and purses ...

Totes and purses …

cottage thrift store shop houston

Here are a few of the clothing items we found in the thrift store:

Bluemarine dress still has original tag of $760 attached. $125 and 75% off = $31.25

Bluemarine dress still has original tag of $760 attached. $125 and 75% off = $31.25

Rebecca Taylor dress still has original $350 tag. Was priced at $70 and now 50% off = $35

Rebecca Taylor dress still has original $350 tag. Was priced at $70 and now 50% off = $35

Escada dress was $60, marked down 50% = $30

Escada dress was $60, marked down 50% = $30

This hand forged kettle, for $4.50, will be perfect for a rustic flower arrangement.

This hand forged kettle, for $4.50, will be perfect for a rustic flower arrangement.

 

Charity Guild of Catholic Women (1203 Lovett Blvd.)

guild shop thrift store houston blog

Rows and rows of Christmas items.

Rows and rows of Christmas items.

houston guild thrift store shop

guild thrift store shop

We both fell in LOVE with these gorgeous dishes!

We both fell in LOVE with these gorgeous dishes!

FITZ and FLOYD dishes

FITZ and FLOYD dishes

guild shop thrift store

shop houston thrift store

Brand new La-Tee-Da lamp & oil for $10, retails $60+ for both

Brand new La-Tee-Da lamp & oil for $10, retails $60+ for both

Assistance League of Houston (1902 Commonwealth St)

They were closed.  🙁  Lesson learned, always do your research since many charity stores have limited hours.  Open Wednesday – Saturday.

Closed. Open Wednesday - Saturday.

Closed.
Open Wednesday – Saturday.

We weren’t expecting this store to be closed and not wanting our shopping adventure to end, we decided to head over to one of Houston’s best kept secrets … Craftex.   No, it is not a thrift store, think Hobby Lobby on steroids!  They also have a dedicated Christmas store that is almost overwhelming but we never fail to walk out empty handed.

Craftex (7215 Ashcroft Dr, Houston)

houston discount floral craftex

craftex houston

paris christmas tree eiffel tower

christmas craftex houston discount store

craftex

christmas craftex

houston discount flowers

christmas houston craftex

christmas houston discount store

We would love to hear from you!   Any favorites from our shopping adventure?

 

 

 

 

We had a last minute cancellation with one of our recent contest winners and, looking through the entries, one story stood out.  Candyce was starting her career as an Academic Director and needed a mature, professional look.  We thought this was quite appropriate, considering it was in August, right before school was going to start and teacher style is our #1 request.

Candyce was so bubbly and enthusiastic about life, I knew the second I met her that she would be fun to shop with!   As we started shopping, she kept saying things weren’t her style UNTIL I started showing her similar outfits on Pinterest.  Then she started getting really excited about all of the possibilities!   She decided that she loves sun dresses, cardigans, leggings and longer, loose blouses.

Here is a picture of her talking about everything that we found and how we used these photo’s for inspiration!

thrift store wardrobe style fashion lookbook pinterest

family thrift contest school teacher wardrobe

thrift store teacher style

teacher style family thrift store shop blog style teacher

To top it off we found this pair of COACH blue flats in excellent condition, these retail for $150+.

family thrift store outlet shop blue coach ballet flat shoes

Candyce has her own blog and here she shares part of her story.  It was meant to be to shop with her!

“Ok so here’s how it all happened. About a month ago I was talking to one of my best friends Ramona about revamping and maturing my look. I stated that I need to start dressing like an almost 30 year old Academic Director. She told me that I have a unique style and that I should still embrace it but enhance it with matured pieces. So I said you’re right and I pray that I could get help from someone to find those pieces to complete my matured look. On my phone when you go to google search it will post random post from sites that you have visited before. So last Monday I saw a post from Too Cheap Blondes about a contest that they were having and to submit a small paragraph stating why you should win. I stated that I need help maturing my look and how much I respect and love what they do etc.. I wrote it down on my Tuesday to-do list and sent it off with a prayer Tuesday morning. A couple of hours later, I received a text from Pippa asking if I could meet her to shop with her. So after I stopped screaming with excitement I texted her back saying yes ma’am! I thought it was a joke at first LOL! So on Wednesday morning, still clueless that I won the contest, I woke up energized and excited to receive help shopping. God always supplies your needs and desires that He sees fit to bless you with when you are doing your part. He will bless you in abundance!

I am beyond grateful and thankful to Pippa, Michelle and Jennifer that gave their time to help me out and for others as well. You ladies really touched my heart ♡! It wasn’t until the very end that I realized that I won the contest, I thought that she was just going to give me some shopping pointers and help select outfits for me to purchase. Pippa selected dresses and other items that I would of never took the time to look at because it wasn’t my “normal” style. I thought about how God does the same thing with us when He designed and created us for our purpose. Many times we “look past” things that we think don’t fit our feelings and way of life and end up missing out on those hidden treasures that God created just for us. Pippa found a nice pair of Coach shoes that were my size and I would of never found them if it hadn’t been for her. The funny part about those shoes was I passed right by them and they were right in front of my face the whole time. ” 

To read her entire article on her blog click HERE.

family thrift contest outlet cheap blondes school

(Jen was out of town that week and wasn’t able to make it)

Cheap Disney Halloween Costume Thrift Store Shop

 

 

Ditch those ready made cheap costumes and go for a high quality getup.  My family went for a “Disney” theme and this photo will be our Christmas card this year.    (Quy Tran Photography)
When shopping at a thrift store, go in with a few costume ideas already in mind.  As we share with you all year, thrift stores are a new store every single day so be open to new suggestions.

If your goal is to win the costume contest than your best bet is to do a DIY costume!

We think shopping at a thrift store is definitely a cheaper way to get an amazing Halloween costume!  You might want to stop by several thrift stores within a close region, check out www.ThriftShopper.com.

 

$2.00 Family Thrift Store Outlet Dress

$2.00 Family Thrift Store Outlet Dress … this was a professional dancing dress

 

$9.99 Goodwill dress

$9.99 Goodwill dress.  Probably a really bad bridesmaid dress from a wedding in the 80’s

 

$2.00 Family Thrift Store dress

$2.00 Family Thrift Store dress.  A yellow prom dress is befitting.

 

$2.00 vest $2.00 drawstring pants

$2.00 vest
$2.00 drawstring pants …

this costume is a pair of silky draw-string pants, we used rubber bands to “blouse” them up around the calves, the vest is the inside liner of a jacket.

king queen disney halloween cheap thrift store shop costume

My husband was a Disney king, we added a crown from Party City, and the sash from “Belle’s” yellow dress.   I was an evil Disney queen, I am wearing a $2.00 dress from Family Thrift Store Outlet dress, I bought a crown from Party City and I hot glued mardi gras beads to it.

 

Tips for putting together the Best DIY Halloween Costume from the thrift store:

  • Don’t pay over of 10% of retail (we didn’t spend over $10 on any of our clothing!).

  • Look for higher end luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvets, and brocades.

  • Shop with several themes in mind.

  • Find a dress or article of clothing you really like, do a search on your phone for costume ideas.

  • Think outside the box …

A great resource for thrift shopping is thethriftshopper.com.  The next time you want to find a new thrift store in your area, or anywhere else, just enter the zip code on thethriftshopper.com.  The site lists all of the stores in that area, complete with their hours, location, how to sign up for their mailing lists, and even reviews from other shoppers.

For more tips and tricks, check out our “11 Thrift Store Tips”.

Follow us on Pinterest to see our latest thrift store shopping finds!

Our videos are on YouTube, HERE

We post on our FACEBOOK page everyday HERE.

Remember, this whole process takes time so have fun … Happy Thrifting from Jen and Pippa!

phoenix outlet thrift store shop cheap

 

Who in their right mind would hop on a plane and travel over 1,000 miles to go thrift shopping?  Well, the Too Cheap Blondes, that’s who!  We recently traveled from Houston, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona to check out the Family Thrift Store Outlet, where, like their Houston counterpart, opens each Thursday with over 30,000 new items all starting at just $2.00 each!   The Phoenix store has one major thing that’s different from Houston though . . . and it’s huge.  The Phoenix Family Thrift Store Outlet sells housewares as well as clothing starting at just $2.00!  Friends, we’re talking furniture, coffee makers, fans, bicycles, toys, dishes, etc. . . and several items we saw were still brand new in the box.  It takes a special kind of thrift store to get the Queens of Thrift flustered and let me tell you, we were absolutely beside ourselves!

These pictures represent only a fraction of the amazing treasures this store holds, from couture fashion to fabulous household items, the Phoenix Family Thrift Store Outlet really does have it all.  I’m thinking next time we need to road trip there with a U-Haul in tow!

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

$2.00

 

Authentic Kate Spade $2.00

Authentic Kate Spade $2.00

Missoni $2.00

Missoni $2.00

phoenix thrift store shop cheap outlet

Jill Sanders, New with Tag, dress for $2.00  (retails around $800)

Vintage clothing for $2.00

Vintage clothing for $2.00

Leather boots for $2.00

Leather boots for $2.00

Anthropologie and ST JOHN are a few of the name brands we found for only $2.00

Anthropologie and ST JOHN are a few of the name brands we found for only $2.00

Now, just a caveat, about Family Thrift Store Outlet:

  • Some people say, “I never find anything!”  We go through hundreds, if not thousands, of items every time we go shopping in order to find one or two designer pieces of clothing.  Do not get frustrated when you walk into a thrift store and don’t find that “amazing deal” within a few minutes.  Sometimes we will come across a gorgeous piece of clothing within minutes, but it usually takes a good amount of time to find that treasure!   Never give up!  If you’re patient and dedicated, I promise that you will find a treasure!
  • There are no dressing rooms or mirrors.  Wear something comfortable so you can try a jacket or blouse over what you are wearing.
  • Finally, be prepared to shop with some highly competitive shoppers.  There are regulars who treat thrift shopping like a sport.
  • Organized by categories (men’s, women’s, children’s) not by colors, styles or sizes.   The savings are passed along to you, but it is up to you to dig for your treasure

phoenix thrift store shopping outlet

Prices are as follows:

cheap family thrift store outlet phoenix shop

Address:

4335 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, AZ

A great resource for thrift shopping is thethriftshopper.com.  The next time you want to find a new thrift store in your area, or anywhere else, just enter the zip code on thethriftshopper.com.  The site lists all of the stores in that area, complete with their hours, location, how to sign up for their mailing lists, and even reviews from other shoppers.

For more tips and tricks, check out our “11 Thrift Store Tips”.

Follow us on Pinterest to see our latest thrift store shopping finds!

Our videos are on YouTube, HERE

We post on our FACEBOOK page everyday HERE.

Remember, this whole process takes time so have fun … Happy Thrifting from Jen and Pippa!

While browsing through thrift stores we constantly come across high end leather items such as purses, shoes and boots that are either scuffed, scraped or show signs of wear, such as white marks and for those reasons they are priced at pennies on the dollar. We would like to share a quick DIY that we have used that is successful (most of the time!).   We found all of the following items for only $2 each at a Family Thrift (Outlet) Store.  They were all in need of a “makeover” but the original retail price tag makes it worth the effort:

  • Tory Burch Reva $225 flats
  • Steel toe motorcycle Double H Harness $169 boots
  • COACH cross body $145 purse.

  $539 Retail / $6 thrift store (less than .02 on the dollar!)

Before ...

Before …

After!

After!

Original Retail Items

Original Retail Items

A few tools in the arsenal to revive new life into our thrift stores finds would be “instant” liquid wax leather polish and a matching Sharpie marker.

leather make over thrift store advice tips shop

 

Instructions:   Clean and dry shoes. Shake bottle well with cap on. Invert bottle; gently press applicator against shoe to release polish. Spread evenly on surface of shoe.  Let it dry thoroughly.

Polish on the Left

Polish on the Left

Polish on the Left

Polish on the Right

Thrift store shopping is so much fun … you never know what you are going to find, another mans trash can be your treasure!!!!!!!!!!

Our 11 BEST Tips for Thrift Store Shopping

A few days ago we saw a huge spike in numbers on our blog and Facebook, come to find out we were recently mentioned in a Yahoo! article about discovering a million dollar painting.  Click HERE to read the original article.  Cool, thank you Yahoo!

yahoo thrift store shopping tips secret treasure queens

 

Shopping at thrift stores is always a treasure hunt, no matter if you are looking for clothing or housewares!

thrift store tips best queens

Here is a link to our top thrift store tips:  HERE

pinterest thrift store shopping tips cheap decorate

 

Top Cheap Tips for Shopping and Decorating with Thrift Store Finds

Tip No. 1:  Keep an open mind for anything and everything

Use Pinterest or magazines when your shopping for inspiration.   Most things that look like junk when decorated correctly make things appear cool and chic!  This unique fossil, found for only .99 at Goodwill Houston,  is a perfect example. “Definitely the oldest thing I’ve ever bought @goodwillhouston, by oh, about 65 million years. I couldn’t pass it up….because #itwas99cents!”   Follow us on Pinterest HERE.

This amazing fossil was found for only .99 @ a Houston Goodwill Store

This amazing fossil was found for only .99 @ a Houston Goodwill Store

Tip No. 2:  Know your style.  You have to know what you like and don’t like – otherwise everything just looks like junk.  I LOVE sparkle!  Anything metallic such as glass, silver & gold.

Don’t be afraid to repurpose!  If you fall in love with a unique item but you do not need or want it for its intended purpose, get creative or “google” it to see what others have done with it.

“Vintage silver urns make great vases! Picked this one up from @goodwillhouston for $6.99!#goodwill

(Too Cheap Blondes are on Instagram)

A vintage urn found for only $6.99 makes a great vase!

A vintage urn found for only $6.99 makes a great vase!

Here is a perfect example of finding sparkly, unique things to help you organize an area.  The “tray” is really a small framed mirror, found for only $2.92 @ Family Thrift Store.  I am totally in love with the silver creamer, which I filled with Q-tips. The gaudy gold jewelry box which is a perfect asset for this vignette, then add a few more glass accessories , not even sure what to put in them yet but they complete the look I was going for.

This silver framed mirror for $2.92 (found at Family Thrift Outlet Store) makes a great tray to organize the junk on my bathroom counter!

This silver framed mirror for $2.92 (found at Family Thrift Outlet Store) makes a great tray to organize the junk on my bathroom counter!

thrift store shop cheap finds

Tip No. 3:  The Good Stuff Goes Fast so Definitely Shop often – We have a planned shopping day each week to hit up our favorite thrift stores!   (HERE is a list of our top Houston thrift stores we shop at)

CHEAP vintage silver patina trays ... $4.99 and $7.99! @ Houston Goodwill

CHEAP vintage silver patina trays … $4.99 and $7.99! @ Houston Goodwill

Here are a few examples we have seen on Pinterest that inspired us to buy these silver trays .. the ideas are endless!

silver tray wall display thrift store cheap

Country french silver platter thrift store cheap wall display

silver platter tray magnet organization thrift store find

thrift store silver platter display

 

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