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.
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.
HERE is a list of our thrift shopping tips.