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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

I bought this entire outfit at a thrift store... and wore it to work!




Some fashionistas are notoriously opposed to previously owned items. I understand those who have mixed feelings toward thrift stores, and I have seen the best and worst of thrift stores across the Tampa Bay area and around the country.

But times are tough. Money is tight. And I still want to look good.

In July I was hired as an editorial assistant for the St. Petersburg Times, which is a professional business setting. Being that four of our Deal Divas are situated in my office, I needed to step my threads up a notch. I also needed to do so with the budget of a 20-year-old college student with a part-time job.

I have been an established thrift junkie for years. Funky vintage T-shirts and cheap studio apartment decor had already been conquered. But now I had a new challenge: business casual.

Salvation Army thrift stores hold true to their name on a regular basis because they have been my salvation for a closet that was previously barren of business casual wear. They have a half-price clothing sale every Wednesday and are open until 7 p.m. at most locations. Their stores are located all over the Tampa Bay area. I picked up entire outfit you see above for under $20 on a fashionably fruitful Wednesday. No joke.

New York & Company black satin pencil skirt, $2.99

GapBody pink tank top, $0.99

Old Navy light pink crop jacket, cost $1.99

Nine West black patent leather purse, $3.99

Fairy Tales Are True black satin ballet flats, $3.99

Suncoast Hospice Thrift Shops can also be a treasure trove of newer or brand new items. Perhaps the sweet ladies that volunteer their time to price the donations don't realize they are giving customers such a steal. For example, I picked up a pair of brand new low-top leather Diesel sneakers, in the box with tags, for $4.99. It’s a win-win situation here; you get a great fashion deal, and the money goes to a great organization.

Second Image is another important Tampa Bay thrift store. They have two locations, one in Pinellas County at 9103 US Hwy 19 N (a quarter mile from the old Mainlands Boulevard location), and one in Tampa on Kennedy Boulevard near Armenia Avenue. Second Image always has some special going on; home decor, shoes and clothing are almost always discounted off already-low prices. Check their Web site for when their monthly Wednesday half-off sale and coupons.

With some elbow grease and a little luck, your closet will be happily replenished, and your wallet intact. Divas, what are some of your favorite thrift store finds?

~ Guest Deal Diva Arielle Stevenson

[Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 5:20pm]


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