About once every three to six months I clean out my closet and do what I call the second hand store whirlwind tour. First I select items that either do not fit, or I haven't worn in three months (unless it is a seasonal reason for not being used, like a jacket during summertime). I pick a few items that I haven't worn and put them at the front of my closet and mark their hangers with the date, therefore, if I don't use them within 3 months they go next time. I put the rest of the items in canvas or reused plastic bags. First, I go to Plato's Closet (3333 SW 34th St.) because they are the most selective and let them sort through all the clothes which usually takes them half an hour to an hour. While I'm waiting I shop around and have found great deals on dresses, pants and belts there. This past weekend I got a nine west belt for $7.00! Next, I go to Sandy's Savvy Chic Resale Boutique (2906 NW 13th St.) because unlike Plato's closet, they will take clothes that are older than "last season." They also sell jewelry and furniture as well. Afterward, I go to Flashbacks (509 NW 10th Ave) and they usually buy most of my clothing and give you more money in store credit as opposed to cash. I absolutely love the great vintage dresses and funky accessories like belt buckles and scarves they sell. In exchange for two jackets and a shirt I bought a clutch purse and vintage gloves which was an even trade. Finally, I take all of the left over clothes and donate it to a charity thrift store, such as the Salvation Army. Be sure to fill out the form they give you as you can claim a deduction on your taxes with it.
Before I go out to the mall I always look at these stores for dresses, sweaters and belts:
Haven Hospice Attic (300 Northwest 8th Avenue)
-This place is the best by far, awesome earring collection and special deals for students and discount days
Salvation Army (55 Northwest 23rd Avenue)
Peaceful Paths (near Salvation Army on 23rd)
Goodwill (3520 Southwest 34th Street)
I usually stop by here after visiting Plato's closet if I am searching for something in particular.
Junior League (430 North Main Street)
Finally, my biggest secret:
These stores have a great concept. They buy returned merchandise in bulk and sell it at discount prices. The one of 13th street has Urban Outfitters merchandise and the one on University Ave has mostly J. Crew. I bought leather sandals for $18 that retail for about $30. It is definitely not a steal, but at 60% off the retail prices it is a deal!