How I Define Being Thrifty

How I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

I have been following Justine of The Thrifty Girl’s Guide for quite a while.  Her posts are ALWAYS informative and fun all at the same time.  In fact, when I see she has a new post, I enjoy getting cozy on my wingback chair and reading what new outfit, DIY project, home decor, or ideas she has to share with me (yes, I know she has other readers, but to me, she is writing to me.)  Her practical approach to the everyday appeals to me and her easy going writing style makes me feel like I am receiving a letter from a friend.

While I have collaborated with several other bloggers, I had never connected with Justine to do a joint post on a topic that I have been wanting to cover for a while.  Since her blog name is in fact “The Thrifty Girl’s Guide”, I wanted to get her input on How I Define Being Thrifty.  I was thrilled when she was excited about collaborating with me.

Below I am going to share my thoughts on this topic, and Justine will be writing about her definition on her blog along with an outfit to support our thriftiness.  Two bloggers, two lifestyles, two budgets, two outfits, two definitions.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog I rarely discuss price on my blog mostly because everyone has a different viewpoint on what is “a good deal”.  The other thing that I have shied away from talking about is being thrifty.  I have felt like since I was not the type of gal to solely have every piece of clothing come from a thrift store, I was not allowed to call myself a thrifty shopper.  Now that I step back, I realize that I am in fact a thrifty shopper looking at the definition above.  Being frugal and managing my economical monthly shopping budget is something I take seriously.

At one point I asked myself these questions:

  • Does shopping retail make me a non-thrifty person?  
  • Do I have to always purchase items on sale or from the clearance section to make me thrifty?  
  • Do I have to always be price driven (in other words, the lower the better) to be satisfied with my thriftiness?

After quite a bit of thought, I came to the conclusion that the answer to all three of these questions was NO.  That is the premise of this post and I am very intrigued to find out what Justine’s writes about.  Since this is a personal definition, I have no problem if she has a different, even contradictory definition to my own.

Typically in my outfit posts, I have a short bullet point list of the outfit details at the end of the post with links to the retailer if it is still available.  This post however, is organized first by showing you different articles of clothing, accessories, and jewelry that will eventually be put together to form a casual winter outfit for me that you will see at the end of the post.  Each piece I will be sharing the brand, where I purchased it, how much it cost, and my reasoning being why it is a thrifty buy.  This is not to show how cheap I can make this outfit, but rather to support my definition and how I manage my budget in accordance to my personal lifestyle.  This is How I Define Being Thrifty:

Dark Wash Skinny Jeans

Brand: Forever 21 Plus

Purchased From: Poshmark

Cost: $15 + $4.99 shipping

Why it was a thrifty buy: I already know that Forever 21 Plus jeans fit me really good and at the time I purchased these, the jeans in my closet were showing some major wear.  This style of skinny jeans retails for around $23-$29.  While it was not a huge savings on the front end, I also do not have to pay sales tax on Poshmark when I use funds from my sales and the shipping cost is lower than what the Forever 21 site offers.  I also got to meet another plus size blogger out of the deal, so that was another win.

If you are unfamiliar with Poshmark, read my post How To Shop For Plus Size Clothing on Poshmark.  If you are already on Poshmark, be sure to follow both Justine (user name @thetwocentchick) and I (user name @j9design) there.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Forever 21 Denim purchased on Poshmark | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Floral Knit Top

Brand: American Rag Cie

Purchased From: A New Day Thrift Store

Cost: $7.99 + tax

Why it was a thrifty buy: This little thrift shop near my home is one of my best treasure troves.  They carry quite a bit of plus size merchandise so I stop in there about once a month to see what new items they have.  I was unfamiliar with the American Rag Cie brand when I tried it on and was intrigued by the dark gray background with watercolor flowers this piece had.  I also loved the shape of it with its ruching around the bust area and free flowing bodice.  The high quality feeling textile was in impeccable condition and appeared like it had never been worn or washed.  When I got home and did a little research and found that tops like this retail anywhere between $100-$200.  No wonder I loved it so much!

How I Define Being Thrifty | American Rag Cie Floral Top purchased at New Day Thrift | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Gray Sweater Cardigan

Brand: Willow Ridge

Purchased From: N/A

Cost: Free

Why it was a thrifty buy: Yes, this cardigan was free!  This piece has a bit of a story behind it.  I was at the nail salon and was in my wheelchair at the time.  As I was selecting my polish color, I heard a woman behind me that was already getting her toes done ask me about about color.  I found the one she was referring to and I handed it to her.  As I went on to get my feet soaking, we chatted a little and she was very sweet.  Then she smiled at me and said, “you know, I have a sweater similar to the style you are wearing, but in gray I was getting ready to donate in my car, would you like it?”  I paused as it is not everyday strangers offer you free clothes, so I said sure!  I was again, unfamiliar with the brand Willow Ridge, and after looking online, comparable cardigans run anywhere from $25 to $35.  It feels very well made, is super soft, and washes like a dream.  Not too shabby!

How I Define Being Thrifty | Willow Ridge Gray Cardigan Sweater received for Free | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Lush Link Necklace

Brand: Anthropologie

Purchased From: Poshmark

Cost: $35 + $4.99 shipping

Why it was a thrifty buy: Originally $78 retail, this necklace caught my eye in store long before I purchased it second hand.  This necklace is the most expensive piece in this mini collection.  The colors in this high quality item go with so many articles of clothing in my closet that I am wearing it at least once a week. (You may not see it all the time on the blog because I don’t want you to see the same thing over and over again.)  The uniqueness of this necklace is beyond several of the pieces of jewelry I used to own.  I get compliments on it all the time and I simply adore it.  I made the decision about a year ago to revamp my jewelry collection to more high quality and show stopping items and this is one of those pieces.  This is definitely not an item I will be getting rid of any time soon!

How I Define Being Thrifty | Anthropologie Link Necklace | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Plum Pashmina Scarf

Brand: Charming Charlie

Purchased From: Charming Charlie

Cost: $10 + $10 off coupon = FREE

Why it was a thrifty buy: I am a frequent shopper at Charming Charlie, so I signed up for their free rewards program called CharmClub.  They mail out coupons on a regular basis and give out coupons when you make purchases.  Below is a section from their site to show what you get as part of the membership:

You will earn 10 points for every qualifying dollar spent. Every 1,000 points earns a $5 Rewards Certificate, valid towards the purchase of any charming charlie merchandise in stores. You will receive a special Birthday Bonus and other member-only offers and promotions. Spend $250 within a calendar year and earn more exciting benefits through the end of the following year with Premium Status:

  • Exclusive Premium-only bonus point offers

  • Exclusive events and promotions

  • Upgraded Birthday Bonus

This purchase was made from a $10 coupon that I received from them, so being a member, it was free to me!

How I Define Being Thrifty | Charming Charlie Scarf | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Floppy Hat

Brand: Charming Charlie

Purchased From: Charming Charlie

Cost: $25 + tax + $10 off coupon

Why it was a thrifty buy:  This was another purchase at Charming Charlie where I had another $10 coupon.  I love this hat and have been sporting it quite often since I got it Fall 2015.  The Wide Brim Floppy Hat is still available, and now on sale for $9.99.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Floppy Hat purchased at Charming Charlie | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Plum Suede Fold Over Clutch

Brand: Kate Spade

Purchased From: Savers

Cost: $8.99 + tax + 30% off

Why it was a thrifty buy: I feel like this purchase was the deal of the century.  Kate Spade has been one of my loves for design and I have often taken inspiration from her pieces.  When I saw this gently used suede clutch hanging among the hundreds of bags at Savers, I almost passed it by.  I wondered if it would be a good purchase for me because I was not sure if the color would lend itself to what I currently own.  I quickly decided it was worth the $8.99 risk as I know bags from this designer range from $300-$400 new.  As I approached the cashier, a man came up to me and asked if I would like his 30% off coupon because he was not going to use it.  How can I refuse that?!!  I have worn this bag with so many outfits I can hardly keep track, so it was worth every penny + many more.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Kate Spade Fold Over Clutch purchased at Savers | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Turquoise Bar Ring

Brand: Charming Charlie

Purchased From: Charming Charlie

Cost: Free with Buy One Get One Sale

Why it was a thrifty buy: Every so often, Charming Charlie has a buy one get one free deal on their clearance section.  That was the case for this originally $13 ring, reduced to $6.99, and since it was the lesser of the two items, it was my free item.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Turquoise Ring purchased at Charming Charlie | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Gray Bow Flats

Brand: Qupid

Purchased From: Poshmark

Cost: $12.99 + $4.99 shipping

Why it was a thrifty buy: I first discovered my first pair of Qupid shoes with a pair of boots I got on Poshmark and was impressed with the quality and style this brand has to offer.  Similar flats to these I found secondhand retail for around $24 online.  They are extremely comfortable and the color goes with so many items in my closet.  I love how the bow detail, low cut over the toes, and relaxed point give some personality to an otherwise neutral, basic shoe.

How I Define Being Thrifty | Qupid Bow Flats | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

In conclusion, my definition of being thrifty is getting pieces that:

  • truly fit my personality
  • I can remix with multiple items in my closet
  • are relevant to my creative & relaxed lifestyle
  • will be worn on a regular basis
  • are special and unique, not pieces that make me feel like a copy of everyone else
  • I feel are worth investing in
  • fit within my monthly allotted budget
  • I can get on sale when possible (my personal thrifty tip is that I always preview the sale section of a store prior to looking at new arrivals)
  • I can utilize a coupon or rewards program when available

Pulling all of these thrifty finds together, I have made an outfit that I am not only pleased with price wise, but also style wise.  It fits my personal style so perfectly that even further cements my reasoning behind each piece being a good purchase.

All in all, this 9-piece outfit cost me $109.58, and since I plan to wear and have worn each piece in other ways, the cost per wear goes down even more.  Sure I could have done away with the several accessories that make this look a little less pricey, but having these additional pieces is what makes my outfits complete to me.  When I calculated up the retail value of this entire outfit, I was a bit flabbergasted at the approximate $756.00 value!

This was an interesting experience for me as I have never calculated up one singular outfit like this before.  I remix items so much and all of these pieces were purchased over the course of a year, that I was intrigued by the overall price, although to me, I felt like a million bucks in it!

Here are all of those pieces put together in one outfit:

How I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion BlogHow I Define Being Thrifty | Designing From My Closet | Plus & Inbetweenie Fashion Blog

Luke wanted to be a part of today’s photo shoot and I don’t mind one bit, he is absolutely adorable.  While I went a little more casual with today’s look, Justine is tackling a work wear outfit.  I work from home as an independent interior designer so for me, this outfit is perfect for in my office and going to showrooms.

Now it’s time to go on over to The Thrifty Girls Guide to see Justine’s definition of being thrifty.  You got a sneak peek at her outfit at the very beginning of my post with a black pleated skirt, striped top, gray pea coat, and leopard print shoes.  Be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest as well .

How do YOU define being thrifty?

Today’s Postivity Note

Never ever apologize for anything that makes you HAPPY.

 Be Blessed!


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  1. Justine is one of my blog BFFs so I was so excited to see this collab. As I said over on her blog, I am a fan of getting fewer items of higher quality. There was a time where I’d never pay full price for anything, ever. Even if I needed a white blouse, i’d go to the clearance section and end up with a green blouse, which was something I didn’t even want. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the price per wear thing. Since I thrift/consignment shop a lot, I end up with sooo much stuff – super thrifty of me but at the same time it’s often stuff I don’t need. I’ve been trying to get away from that and instead buying a few full-price or sale price new items that fit what I really need plus I consign a lot of my stuff so I usually come out ahead. I don’t think you have to shop second hand or clearance to be considered thrifty! I love your outfit, it’s definitely something I’d wear. Especially lusting over that necklace!

    1. I can relate to so much you said here Nout. At one time I never felt I was worthy enough to ever purchase a new item at full price. And I loved how Justine reviewed the cost per wear topic too. It is something I only picked up in a couple of years ago myself. I have been finding myself getting more and more picky about the items I buy, thrifted or not because I it has to be really special or it is just not worth taking up the limited space I have in my closet. Thank you for such a nice comment and compliment. And I feel so lucky to have found that necklace!


    2. I think we have both learned much more over the years about what you said, Nout-fewer items of higher quality. Just a few years ago I was shopping all the time (especially for Thrift Style Thursday 😉 ) but now I really think through my purchases. I totally agree, too, that you don’t need to shop second hand to be thrifty!

  2. Words cannot describe how much I love this post! I am truly flattered by what you wrote at the beginning, especially. Like I said on Instagram, you blog posts are some of the few I read from beginning to end because you’re writing is so relatable.

    Your outfit is the very definition of thrifty! I love the story behind your cardigan! The Kate Spade clutch is such a fantastic find and it’s even more amazing that you got to use a 30% off coupon. I love the Anthro necklace as well as your Charming Charlie finds, too. Definitely going to sign up for their CharmClub!

    Thanks again for collaborating!

    ❤ Justine

    1. Thank you so much Justine! And it is so true, I love reading your blog. Charming Charlie has been a surprise for me and that CharmClub has paid off big time for me, especially because I am such an accessories freak.


  3. First of all – great outfit! Second – great article! I consider myself a very thrifty fashionista and I think you hit the nail on the head! Sometimes you thrift, sometimes you coupon, sometimes you coupon, sometimes you get a lucky hand-me-down… it’s not one thing – it’s all these things. It’s also important that you pointed out things like fitting you personality, how much wear you’ll get out of it, quality of the garment – all of these things count in. Very well done!

  4. I love the story behind this outfit and you look very Boho Chic. Your definition of a thrifty buy is right up my alley and I enjoyed this post. I think that I am thrifty because I never pay full price for anything not even my car. . .no one cared that my car was a demo. I do not shop thrift stores but I work the clearance racks at the malls like it’s my job. If an unworn item is further reduced weeks later it will be returned for more discounts. I used to be Take back Queen but since I do most of my shopping now at end of season sales I had to give up my crown.

    1. I had a good time putting this look and post together. I do not mind paying full price for something, especially if it is something I truly want. For a long time I felt I was not worthy enough to pay full price, but I found I spent more money on several mediocre items to try to emulate the one piece I really wanted. My thinking has shifted a bit when it comes to that. I do love a good sale though and I ALWAYS preview the clearance section prior to looking at new arrivals. No matter what the price, sale or not, it has to be special enough to be worth my money and space I have available to me at home.

      I think it is great that you are an end of the season shopper. You can really get some fabulous deals, especially if you have had your eye on something. And keeping track of more deductions, you are amazing! I typically wear a new item to me within days of purchasing it, so I never thought of that. I will have to keep that in mind!

      As always, thank you for your wonderful comments!


  5. How cool is it that you were able to put these together in an outfit. Just proves that what you bought was a true reflection of yourself as they automatically go together.

    Thrifty is certainly a relative term dependant upon the CPW (cost per wear) rather than the actual cost of the piece. That said, I’m also an avid thrifter and love how you broke this down.

    Another great post!


    1. Yes, well said Suzanne about the CPW. I think that honing in on my personal style has been a huge contributing factor to being thrifty as items I now purchase have a way of integrating themselves seamlessly into my wardrobe rather than, oh now I have to buy pants to go with this top.

      Thank you for commenting Suzanne!


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