Hey Fab Bats! Shopping without funds? I personally live off second hand and, mi amor, I adore sharing tips. You’ll recognize a lot of them from a previous post “Fancy for Bats on a Budget”. This is a snipped, snapped, updated version with new resources! Feel free to throw in your own ideas:
Thrift Stores & Flea Markets: the most efficient way to save money is to hit the thrift shops. In many areas they will leave boxes of clothes ranging from 1$-5$. Not to mention, recycling used clothing is also the most ethical choice if you have considered boycotting sweat shops and/or animal materials. My favs are the Kilo Shop (a thrift chain in several different cities), Goodwilland a handful in the marais (Paris). Pros of flea markets: prices can be haggled.
Family & Friends: half of my clothes originate from a third party. Accept everything given to you, and as soon as you can, give in return. You can always modify or lend/give garments that don’t suit your taste. Some of my greatest outfits are made of hand-me downs!
The Streets: only partially recommended. I have adopted many a piece of furniture abandoned by the gutter, but have always remained hesitant when clothing is concerned. While there is a higher risk of catching something icky, it is one of few ways to get free clothing.
Sewing & DIY: the next best option is to add onto clothes you already have or create your own. Browse the flea market for fabric or cheap clothes to recycle. Certain stores even sell their leftover fabric, so don’t be afraid to ask shop owners. If you do not have a sewing machine, go by hand for small additions to outfits or when making accessories. Otherwise, check in your city for sewing machine rentals. Some studios will let you use a machine for a small fee per hour! Check out my major DIY of Doom Masterpost for tons of tutorials or DIY page for regular how tos.
Some items will transform an outfit completely for little, to no cost. Use belts, lace, satin ribbons or make bows out of leftover fabric to give an outfit sudden class.
Coordinate your colors with confidence. I like black on black on black, but also enjoy a burst of purple or pink. To each their own. The fancier you feel, the fancier you shall be.
Invest in three items only. Of course, that is a personal choice. I find, however, that splurging on one long-lasting pair of shoes, a sturdy bag and a good coat avoids nearly a quarter of a lifetime of future expenses. Also, it will make even your cheapest items appear higher in quality. As a plus, I like to keep a soft knit scarf and a pair of leather/lace gloves.
Dope Deals and Links
Thrift, vintage and resale:
- Velvet Garden – one of my favorites! Online gothic thrift store.
- Pastel Bat’s Closet – pastelbat offers her elegant clothing for nifty prices.
- Vintage Fad – they have a large set of cozy sweaters and other cute quality hipsterish items.
- Eclipsis Vintage – more vintage wear with a sweet number of fancy dresses.
- Taobao – by far one of the best deals for lolita clothing. I recommend searching by brand name.
- Elegant Gothic & Lolita Community – visit EGL sales for fantastic deals from the lolita community. Also check out brand reviews.
- Plus Size Alternative Fashion Masterpost – check out some of the vintage/retro shops for better bargains.
Retail (recommend the sales section for quality/price):
- Yes Style
- Sweet Box
- Chic Star
- She Inside
- Aiseu Store
- To February
- Cheap Plus Size Fashion Blog
- Cheap Ass Goth
- Proletarian Gothic’s “How to be a poor goth and use halloween stuff in your outfits without it looking cheap and tacky“
As always, remember to check for reviews when purchasing from retail! How do you build a wardrobe like Cheapy the Cheapskate? Tips? Tricks? Extra fries?