Well, I don’t know what you’re doing right now, but I’m sitting indoors waiting out a hurricane, musing about another year of thrifting under my belt.

This is my hurricane OOTD. A dress with pockets to hold my phone and radio and flashlight. Eek.

It was 5 years ago this August that I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to shop secondhand for a year and blog all about it.  I still have most of those first purchases and about 500 more pieces in my wardrobe!  Give or take.  😀  I keep track of all my purchases and, depending on the year, I try to stick to a thrifting budget.  Before I reveal this year’s totals, I must say that my wardrobe is very dynamic.  I used to hang onto pieces until they achieved a cost-per-wear of a dollar or less… Then I gave up on that and only kept pieces that spark joy.  Then I gave up on that since I don’t have a tiny Japanese apartment and embraced a “minimalist” approach – minimalism as in things that have usefulness or add beauty to my life.  That remains my general approach.  Already I have enjoyed and passed along several of the pieces I thrifted this year and I continually edit my closet.  So what I’m about to share sounds like a lot but in reality, my wardrobe is an island of thrifted homeostasis!  

As a refresher:

This year, I had a vague goal of sticking to $80 per month but my heart really wasn’t in it and I ended up thrifting whatever struck my fancy.  I’m over 40, I can do whatever I darn well want!  And that attitude led me to the worst cost per piece of my thrifting career, oops!!! 😀  I spent $1227.65 for 167 pieces or an average of $7.35 per piece.  IN MY DEFENSE, I bought some big-ticket items for big thrifted price tags (which to me is anything over $10) but they will be worth it in the long run… er, for at least one or two days here in Texas when it’s cold enough to wear them…  

Black leather jacket $25
Brown Mackage leather jacket $30
Raw Sunday Style
New with tags Blueberry JBrand skinnies $21.
I also like pants that accept me as I am, like these Gap chambray draw-string pants, $12 new-with-tags.
New with tags chambray pants $11
BR Sloan pants $15 – pricey but worth it… if I can ever fit them again or need them again in the heat.
Olive heritage BR pants $12
Fei charcoal watercolour silk slip dress $12.50. Most dresses have a slighter higher price point around $12 without coupons. 
Tuesday's ensemble: Don't worry, none of these pieces are in the purge pile! Tuesday's was full of keepers: $4.20 chambray, $4.20 mustard scarf, $15 Blondo leather boots and Pilcro legging cords from @redpony109!
Blondo leather boots $15.
Vivienne Westwood Melissa shoes $15
Like new Tory Burch flipflops $14
Fossil black leather cross body bag $21 – pricey but worn so much, the cost per wear is way under a dollar.
Pink Martini coat $14

It (hopefully) goes without saying that the regular retail value of those 167 pieces is easily ten times what I paid.  I’m not known for my budgeting skills, but apparently a standard budget line for clothing is 5% of your take home pay.  This calculation could be a problem this year when my current position is Texas Trophy Wife (aka unemployed), but for the past year that means what I spent is well under what I could have reasonably budgeted, were I the budgeting sort.  I’m curious, does anyone have a clothing budget that they actually stick to?  Would you consider $1000 – $1200 a lot or a little for an annual clothing budget?  (and now I wait with fingers crossed that I’m not alone)

Some of my favourite purchases this year were…

Oxblood Talula blazer $7
Vintage mustard oversized sweater $6
Chambray tunic $9
DVF pants $8
Workhall purple pants $8
Green striped dress $7
Eileen Fisher dress $11.90 (I also love the fuchsia one)
Prada loafers $10
J Crew water colour scarf $5
Supermarket coat $9.10

I could go on!  Overall it was a very successful year of thrifting, with several pieces that will be in it for the long haul and some pieces that had a short fun stint in my closet.  I started my 6th year of thrifting upon my arrival in Houston in July, technically a little early, and already things are shaping up to be quite different.  Major change in roles, major change in weather, major change in the thrifting scene and a major change in my wardrobe.  I can’t predict how much I’ll spend or how I’ll manage the clothes that are indefinitely out of rotation.  My main goals right now are to 1. weather this hurricane, 2. not turn into a frumpy stay at home mom, and 3. figure out my new style for this new life.  Stay tuned!  It should be a fun year!  And if YOU are a local thrift enthusiast, I would love love love to connect!


  1. Happy Thrift-iversary! I really enjoy reading about why you thrift and seeing the outfits you put together as well as living vicariously through your bargain buys!
    In Australia there seems to be more organisation in our thrift shops, or op shops, so the good stuff gets funnelled to specialty stores. This is good for the charities but not so good for shoppers as most of the stuff at my local op shops is worn out fast fashion at prices the same as new ($10-$30). Not that I’d buy new fast fashion, but it encourages me to delve into my own closet and do some refashioning. Style Wilderness is a sporadic Australian blogger who thrifts and creates some inspiring stuff!
    I hope you are safe during the hurricane and can get back to into that gorgeous pool soon!

    • Charissa

      Sandy, just went down the internet rabbit hole that is Style Wilderness. So good! Thanks for bringing another fabulous thrifting blog into my life. 🙂

      • Style Wilderness is great, so glad to share the enjoyment!

    • nicole

      Thanks Sandy!! That’s too bad about the funneling – it happens in Canada and the US too, less so in little thrift stores. Though they have less stock, you have a better chance of finding gems like those DVF flats I found. In my short stint at a donation center here in Katy, one box I sorted had several designer pieces including Elie Tahari. Size 4 otherwise I would have been tempted! (tempted, but I would never take it, ya know) I will check out Style Wilderness for sure!! Thanks for the recommendation! All is well here, the kids are in the pool as we speak. We are very fortunate and now look to supporting our neighbours who were less so.

  2. Teresa Kerr

    Hoping you and your family are finding shelter in this dreadful hurricane, Dear Friend!!
    You are in our thoughts,
    Teresa in Ontario

    • nicole

      Thank you! Praise God we have been very fortunate to have no flooding or damage to our property. Many in the south part of our city were less fortunate and thousands are in need. It is surreal. Thank you for thoughts and prayers – keep them coming for Houston and area!