Thursday, October 8, 2009

Work Clothing Shopping Challenge

I got the internship. I had given it up, but they called me yesterday afternoon and offered it to me. I expect to be working two days a week now, starting Monday, in a law office.

Unfortunately, I need to buy some work clothes. Ugh, I really hate shopping for clothes, but all my professional clothes from the last time I worked full-time are long gone, and they wouldn't fit now anyway. Since they're not paying me for my efforts, I don't plan to dress to the nines, but these days I am wearing basically jeans and t-shirts, which won't do. So, I decided to spend today visiting my local thrift stores to see if I could find at least a few pieces of clothing that would fit me and were suitable for the office environment.

The stores I planned to visit today were:
  1. Goodwill Boutique in Menlo Park
  2. Savers in Redwood City
  3. Family Tree in San Carlos
  4. Thrift Center in San Carlos
  5. Perfect Rose in San Carlos
I started with the Goodwill Boutique. I learned when Goodwill tacks Boutique on their name, the prices become astronomical. I walked in and the store was fairly small. I looked at the price on a pair of women's pants and it read $41.99, so I figured this was not the store for me.

Next I went to Savers. That was by far the best shopping experience I had today. They have a large store with all the clothes sorted by style. All the clothing had sizes and prices on the tag. And within size sections, they occasionally had the clothes sorted by color. If I had my act together, I would have gone looking for a coupon; apparently they publish them in the newspaper (which we don't get). At Savers, I was able to buy 16 items for $94.35. The most expensive was a sport coat for $8. If I hadn't had a mission to visit more stores today, I would have stopped after this trip.

Next I went to Family Tree in San Carlos. It was a tiny charity shop with some really beautiful, professional clothing for good prices. If I wore size 10, I would have been set. I did buy one 100% wool Jones New York woman's suit for $12 that was close to my size. I'll be optimistic that my PE class will work... =)

Then I went to Thrift Center. It was a really large store and the clothing was sorted into sections, and then within the sections all of the clothes were sorted by color. The clothes weren't marked with sizes so you have to constantly dig inside looking for labels. The prices weren't as good as Savers, but I learned that on Tuesday mornings, the clothes are all 50% off. It might be worth braving the store on Tuesday mornings. I bought a jacket and 4 blouses for $27; at half that it would have been a great deal.

Finally, I went looking for Perfect Rose. I couldn't find it. I think it may have been replaced by another used clothing store, called English Rose, but I didn't see it until I had practically passed it. Since I was tired, I called it a day...

Overall, I had a successful day. I found enough clothing to last through the semester and I spent only $120. I'll definitely make it a point, when I go shopping again, to visit the Thrift Center on Tuesday morning, otherwise I probably won't shop there much. And I learned the closest shop, Savers, was absolutely the best.


  1. Wow! Bargains and good stuff! I've been looking for nice-looking shirts for some months and can't find anything that's flattering, even new. Everything is baggy, shapeless, and/or ugly. And polyester--which I hate. But I keep looking! I found one shirt that looked promising, but there was only one and it wasn't my size. :(

  2. Well, I did buy some polyester blouses. Though I prefer other materials, they're easier to wash and I don't have to have them dry cleaned. I wasn't super picky about the styles. =)