When I heard from my friend Jan about a local thrift shop called Pennywise, I thought to myself, there better not be a creepy clown section.  Spoiler alert – there isn’t, but there is a great resale shop on a great mission!  There are actually several PennyWise Resale Shop locations in and around Houston and they all support the Fort Bend Women’s Center which has been around since 1980 (6 years before It was even published, FYI) and serves survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse.  Here we have yet another thrift store that serves the community in profound ways… Is everyone getting this?!!  Secondhand shopping is powerful.  Not only is it part of the sustainable slow fashion movement, it also means your consumer dollars are being put to good use.  When people inevitably argue that they shop frugally but not necessarily secondhand, remind them that the bottom line is not the most important reason to shop secondhand.  *steps off soapbox

Back to PennyWise!  Though I classify it as “little thrift” – because it is a non-profit store supporting the local community versus a big chain thrift store – it is not at all little!  There is men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, furniture, housewares and even a Christmas section!

PennyWise has regular sale days and a frequent buyer system too!

LOVE the $1 racks for clothing and jewelry!

I took my friend Lilah on my PennyWise adventure for her first real thrift trip.  (I *could* quote a Madonna song here but instead will let you sing it to yourself.)  We had fun scanning the aisles, starting with the shoes and ending at the fitting rooms…

I struck out with the shoes but Lilah found these great teal loafers!
My kind of therapy 😉
Why didn’t I buy this????
Er, interesting back detailing on this one… (and now my favourite photo of Lilah!)
We managed to collect a *few* pieces to try…
A one dollah chambray top for Lilah!
This dress looked incredible on! Insert heart eyes emoji.
I LOVED the pleather “scale” sleeveless top and skirt WITH POCKETS that were obviously MFEO.  (BTW, thrifting is a great way to try trends or adventurous pieces because the cost investment is so low – and if it doesn’t work out, donate it on for someone else to discover!)
Lilah’s haul plus she scored some pieces of her kids not shown here. You can find her on Instagram as @CanadianinTexas!

Here are my fitting room shots…

Let me explain. My daughter is having an overalls style moment so I thought I would try these on just in case they worked. Clearly, they did not. #nohappypants #crotchesshouldntsmile
Navy linen maxi dress walking way over the dowdy line.
Nice colours and cut but too big and I don’t need any more excuses to eat more queso.
Momentarily forgot I’m not a kimono person. 
How about no to high-necked unisex tees?
This Free People flowy top was a little TOO flowy for me.
This $1 Lucky Brand top was in my cart and ready to come home with me until I noticed it had a small hole in the shoulder. Too bad.
In the end, all I got was this $5 Lilly Pulitzer dress WITH POCKETS for my daughter and a book.

The dress is absolutely adorable and I wish I had a matching one in my size!  To see it modeled by the cutest 7yo Spirited Mini, head on over to Instagram!  It was a wonderful thrift trip followed by my very first meal at Chipotle, believe it or not.

Thank you Lilah for wholeheartedly embracing the slow fashion thrift life and for being my date for the day AND again in the evening when we headed to the Taste of La Centerra!

It was basically my perfect day.  I count you Marsha and Lilah amongst my greatest Texas blessings. xoxoxo

I can’t wait to go back to PennyWise Resale Store and meanwhile thank y’all (!) for a great thrifting adventure and for your work in the community!


  1. karen diaz

    I love how everything is on wooden hangers.

  2. Sorry, but I can’t get past that this is your first experience at Chipotle. Their food is wonderful and not expensive. I eat there at least 1-2 times per month. What did you think? I usually get a salad because the smoky salad dressing is very tasty. A bowl is also good but then I get chips to go with it and blow my calories for the day.

    • nicole

      I got a bowl and I thought it was delish! Also got chips and queso to go – also delish! Now I need to take my family! I have no idea why it’s taken me so long! Getting more and more Texan every day!

  3. Pleather scale top looks amazing on! I wouldn’t have picked it if I’d seen it on a hanger. You have the eye!

    Loved those blue boots, in my size too.

    I also want to try overalls, after seeing an actress in my new favourite Scandinavian tv look great in them, so glad you at least tried them.

    I appreciate how thoughtful you are to include info about the type of organisation you are supporting. I admit I’m not discerning about which thrift shops I buy from but am about which ones I donate clothes and money to.

    • nicole

      I actually thrifted a pair of overall shorts – might be a little,er, youthful for a 44yo but I can match my daughter and that will be fun! And now I’ll just claim I’m a Scandinavian actress! I do buy from for-profit secondhand thrift stores too, but prefer supporting the non-profits! No matter where you thrift, it’s better than regular retail and fast fashion! Thanks for commenting – they make my day!!

  4. Jan Moore

    Thanks for the shoutout! My first trip I bought nearly new yellow wedge sandals, a dozen books for $1, and a new (with tags) duffle bag in the cutest flip-flop print. Love this shop because of the order and arrangement of the store.

    • nicole

      Great thrift haul! I discovered another one near Richmond and loved it as well! Thanks for the recommendation!! We will have to go together sometime!