10 Things My Mom Does That I Think are Really Smart: Fashion Edition.
I am starting a new series to pay some homage to my brilliant and lovely mother. As the youngest Cumberbatch child, I was named the “Tag-along-kid” which means wherever my mom went…I went. And with following my mom around everywhere, I realized I absorbed quite a bit of stuff from her, subconsciously and consciously. So the other day I came up with the fun idea of making a list of 10 things I learned from my mom across several categories. So this week I’m starting you off with some of the pure genius tips in FASHION I’ve learned from her.
*But stay tuned for the rest of the series for some of the most helpful tips I’ve ever received in areas like food, household goods and more!
1. Magazine Inspirations
Before there was Pinterest, my mom would always stock up on magazines and find her favorite on-trend looks from the various models and celebrities. And then she would take the magazine to her closet and start recreating the looks from what she already had. Pairing her old sweaters with a long dress to make a completely revived sweater look. Or using her pieces for unexpected uses, like a long piece of fabric for a wrap dress.
2. Thrift Stores
With four children to dress, my mom was constantly on the hunt for bargains in order to clothe us. So one of her favorite places to hit up was thrift stores. And not the now-popular thrift stores, full of super curated and expensive vintage looks, but the grandma and grandpa, neighborhood, hole-in-the-wall thrift stores. Were Ann-Taylor tops are still $3 and mom jeans are completely overlooked by the typical shopper and thus sold for $5 instead of $15. For my mom thrift stores were a great stop for high quality basics including simple tops, dresses and pants. There a ton of designer and name-brand pieces for super cheap.
3. Consignment Shop
My mom also loved consignment shops because they have a similar feel as thrift stores, but a lot of times they are a bit more curated. So we would look for luxury winter jackets and really nice jewelry. They are typically a little more expensive than thrift stores so we would only go there for specific items, not so much general basics.
4. Garage Sales
Another place my mom would always take us is the neighborhood garage sales. They were perfect because they were typically walking distance. Plus because the families are desperate to get rid of the stuff, if you come back the second day the prices are usually pennies. And again my mom liked getting nice basics like DIY-ready t-shirts or simple scarfs from these sales, nothing too fancy.
5. Estate Sales
Now for the fancy fashion pieces, my mom introduced us to estate sales. These are probably my favorite places to hit up for super high-end jewelry, tops, and shoes for amazing bargains. Again because families are usually trying to part with as much stuff as possible, the last day of the sale has the best deals. These places are the perfect spot to find real gold, silver, and pearl jewelry for a fraction of the price.
6. Good Tailor
The next fashion trick my mom has always used, is investing in a good tailor. When finding amazing one-of -a-kind fabrics and prints at all the places listed above, my mom would then take them to her favorite tailor and have them transformed into new creations. She would turn ill-fitting and older dresses into well-fitting custom masterpieces. And with only spending $3 on the fabric, the $15-$30 to get it tailored was well worth it. Having a tailor can really expand your closet too, because you can turn some of your dated pieces into more modern looks.
7. Grocery Stores/Unexpected Places
Another way my mom would save on basics is getting them in unexpected stores. Whenever stores would have sale tables she would hit them up for little things, like leggings, gloves and socks because she would get pretty high quality stuff for 50% or more off. Our local grocery stores are some of her favorite places to stock up.
Now this next place needs it own number simply because it is deserves it. Costco’s clothing section is a hidden gem. My mom has gotten some of my favorite outfit pieces from this store. They have nice jeans, dress pants, sweatpants, pajama sets, sweaters….. all for very reasonable prices. They even carry some nice name-brand stuff like Calvin Klein, Adidas, and Puma. I no joke have three pairs of joggers (my favs, I like them more than my H&M and Marshall’s pair), 3 pairs of printed athletic leggings, a winter coat, a multi-color pack of the softest socks ever and a pair of navy blue corduroy pants… and that’s just off the top of my head. This place is a great stop for quality and inexpensive fashion.
9. Name-Brand Sneakers at Thrift Stores
My family is definitely a sneaker family, we love incorporating them into countless looks. The women wear them with skirts and dresses and one of my brothers even rocks his with suits. But with sneakers becoming more popular getting the name brands like Nike, Adidas, and Converse can get really expensive. So my mom likes to take us to thrift stores to get the top of the line sneakers for cheaper.
10. Buying out of Season
The final secret from my mom that I am going to share is buying things out of season. This is such a great tip and will save you so much money. Shopping for things out of season is the best time to buy big items that are typically really expensive when sold during their popular time of year. For instance the best time to buy a heavy-duty winter coat is in the Summer, because no one is looking to buy them so stores online and in-store mark them down significantly. And same with hot weather pieces in Winter, tank tops typically $12 in the Summer can be as cheap as $5 in the Winter and Fall. My mom got an amazing fur mink coat in October from a thrift shop in Vancouver for the fraction of the price she probably would have pay just two months later.
Well that’s all the Fashion tips I got for you this week! But tune in next week for another top 10 Things My Mom Does That I Think Are Really Smart.
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ELIZABETH FAITH ❤