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I’ve committed to shopping secondhand through the end of summer, as part of the Fairdare. Additionally—full disclosure—I’m a little in debt to my clothing budget, after splurging on the Elizabeth Suzann sale in December! To get back on track, my set-in-stone clothing budget for February through August is $150—an average of $21.43 per month. I have very few clothing needs for summer, so I optimistically feel like this is a perfectly workable number. In theory, I could get by with an even smaller budget, but I would really love a pair of sneakers and I’m a bit nervous (not excited) about the prospect of thrifting for shoes (though I’m sure some brave souls have success with it!). Therefore, I’m hoping that if I find everything I need clothing-wise secondhand, I might be able to afford a pair of fairly-made, new sneakers (sneakers? tennis shoes? I never know what to call them!).

As outlined above, my shopping list is as follows:

  • 3 t-shirts
  • 1 pair cute shorts (high-waisted)
  • 1 pair sporty shorts
  • 1 pair workout shorts
  • 1 pair tennis shoes

This list closely reflects how I’ve shopped the last couple of summers. My pattern has been to buy a couple of t-shirts, a pair of thrifted shorts, one pair of shoes and maybe one or two additional items.

I currently don’t own a single pair of shorts (the one sporty pair I bought secondhand last year got a stain on it, which came out with oxygen bleach, but was replaced with a bleached-out spot from the oxygen bleach). I guess, I’m a little self-conscious about my legs. Ever since I was little, people have commented on their pallor. Even when I was grown up and working at Whole Foods, one of my co-workers commented, “Your legs are really white, Heth!” I know. Yet, I do find shorts to be the most comfortable option for playing with my girls outside in the summer, so I wear them.

In my list, I specified “cute” shorts, but I admit I’m skeptical that I’ll find a pair I really love, in this thrifting venture. I mean, I think most shorts aren’t that attractive. I recently came across Kamm Cut Offs (for less + on sale, but not styled as cute, here) and was immediately smitten. I just love the fitted, high waist and the color! For a good two days, I tried to justify why it would make sense for me to ignore my budget and spend $200 on shorts. However, this season, my budget is taking priority over sartorial perfection. I’m thinking, drop a “0” and I’ll be at the max I want to spend per pair on secondhand shorts to wear this summer.

I’m looking forward to the challenge of working within my budget while shopping secondhand! At the same time, I don’t plan on investing too much time in the process. It will be interesting to see what I find, as it’s been awhile since I’ve committed to primarily shop secondhand.

Of course, I’m planning to share my Spring/Summer Ten-Item Wardrobe. However, as I’m thrifting, I’m not rushing myself to a particular deadline (I went into a thrift store a couple of weeks ago and they had zero pairs of shorts). I know I’m already late by blogging standards, as it’s already spring! In the meantime, I’ve been wearing these and this a lot.

What about you? Have you made any great, thrifty finds for spring and summer? Any thoughts on budgeting for or planning your closet? I would love to hear in the comments below!

P.S. If fair fashion is in your budget this season, Garmentory curates a lovely selection (including Kamm Cut Offs) by indie boutiques and designers. Sign up for $20 off your first purchase!

Edit: A little anecdote about secondhand shoes. I completely forgot about this when I was writing last night, but, actually, I bought my favorite pair of shoes ever secondhand. In high school, my friend Caitlin and I were shopping in Boulder, at Buffalo Exchange. I tried on this quirky pair of Camper Twins. They were a simple shape, in black leather, with one leather knot on the back of the left shoe and one leather knot on the front of the right shoe. I thought they were the prettiest, most unique pair of shoes I had ever seen! But they were $30, which I thought was a lot. I left them at the store and Caitlin was driving us through Boulder to leave, as I continued to talk about the shoes. Caitlin said, “I think you really like them. I think you should get them,” and she graciously drove me back to the store. They were my favorite shoes for several years—I even replaced the insole to make them last. I didn’t even get rid of them until a couple of years ago, when I started KonMari, because they were quite sentimental to me. It’s definitely possible to find good shoes secondhand. :)

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