Thrifty Thursday: Mastering the Clearance Rack

 I am drawn to the sales rack like a moth to the flame. I love a good deal. I’ve been burned a few times when I shelled out money for impulse buys that ended up never worn.

Sadly the most overproced items I own are those I have never worn.  These items sit in my closet taking up valuable space. They drain my energy as I pull them out over and over hoping today is the day they magically transform into the shape/colour/size I want them to be.

It has never happened. Eventually I sell them or give them away.

I’ve found a sure way to keep all my clearance purchases, and purchases in general, wearable, useful, and well loved.

A few days ago I was determined to find new workout clothes for myself. I’d convinced myself I needed higher quality clothes to get the most from my workouts. As I approached the store I noticed my old friend, the clearance rack. On the end was a war looking vest.

I always look at the price first. Then I look at the discount. If I can’t afford it I don’t buy it.

This vest was about 50% off, within my budget for the day, and a nice warm vest has been on my ‘to buy’ list since last fall.

  My next step is a thorough inspection of the garment and a quick fit check.

This vest is missing part of a snap. On this vest the missing snap and resulting small hole don’t bother me. If I decide later I really need the snap to be there I will replace the set of snaps, but I don’t see me using them so I doubt that will happen.

Note zipper function, snags in the material, buttons, button holes, and any discolouration. If any issues would make the garment unwearable to you, and your don’t intend to fix them within a week, put the item back. It’snot worth the hassle and closet space.

  Check the stitching. Both the seam lines and the actual stitches themselves.

If you are planning on wearing the garment frequently or under stressful situations (to the garment) it is essential that the seams are strong and the seam lines are shaped well.

Check the care instructions at whatever point makes sense to you. I’m okay with having to take special care of some items so checking the instructions is mostly a formality. I have found a few items that needed different layers of the same (sewn together) garment. They stayed on the rack.

After this quick process if I am still holding an item that I like, can afford, and won’t fall apart I think of 5 items that I already own that I can wear it with. I already have a closet that is close to capacity so I need anything I buy to work with many things I already own. This vest will work with the vast majority of my wardrobe.

It passed all tests and came home with me and went straight into my suitcase for my road trip. It gets chilly at night, and this beauty is destined for heavy use around the campfire all summer before graduating to afternoon and early morning walks this fall.

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