12 Days of Thrifty Christmas: Fashionista

This is the inaugural post of our 12 Days of Thrifty Christmas series!  What is the gift of thrift?  The gift of thrift means buying things from a secondhand source (usually a thrift store) in order to give them to a friend or family member.  Buying thrift gifts is a fun way to indulge your shopaholic tendencies but avoid overstuffing your closet.  It’s easy on your wallet, and thrifted gifts exude thoughtfulness.  There is hardly anything more thoughtful than surveying the random assortment found at a given thrift store, picking out a gem, and thinking of a specific person whom you would like to buy it for.You’ll know you’re ready to give the gift of thrift when you start pulling pieces and think, “So-and-so would love this!”  By setting a “themed” gift goal, thrift shopping will be more focused.  It’s like a treasure hunt!  With a slick presentation, your present will stand out from all the humdrum store-bought gifts.  Your gift may even give off that trendy handmade vibe, without the time investment or crafty know-how.  Best of all, you’ll save so much money that you can buy extra presents for everyone!

The gift of thrift can be anything from a thrift store, but you can play personal stylist if you shop for clothes.


Be sure you know their “philosophy” on secondhand clothes – some people are totally weirded out by anything secondhand, some are okay with it but won’t wear certain items like shoes, etc.  Make sure you know their comfort zone before committing to a purchase.

Know their size & style.  Get a good idea of size range and silhouettes that flatter your intended recipient.  Ideally, if you can find someone who is approximately the same size and shape as your targeted recipient, and they are willing to model the clothes for you, hire them as a “fit” model and take them to the store with you.  My sister Alicia helped me shop for sweaters for my mom, since they wore the same size in shirts, and I was able to get a better sense of what would be good or not so good.

Check it over very carefully for any defects, especially if you won’t see it on a human body (unless you use yourself or a friend as a “fit” model.)  If you see any stains, they are likely permanent, so you may not wish to risk it.  Launder all purchases properly – if it is a delicate material like silk, use a special detergent like Woolite.  (You may even wish to make a bottle of special detergent part of the gift.)

Since you won’t be able to return the gift to the store, it might be a good idea to offer your recipient a different kind of “exchange” – if the garment doesn’t fit, offer to buy something else from the thrift store at the same price or take them on a trip where you can play “personal shopper” for a day.


Fold them and lay flat in a sweater/shirt box, or hang them on pretty colored hangers in a garment bag.  Splurge for a small set of wooden hangers from any big box store – they instantly lend an air of class and expensive taste to your thrifted garments.  Include styling ideas (text or pictures) on an index card.

Check in again with us everyday for 11 more thrifty gift ideas!

Gift 1 – Fashionista (reading now)

Gift 2 – Avid Cook

Gift 3 – Coupon clipper or extreme couponer

Gift 4 – Spa

Gift 5 – Foodie

Gift 6 – Netflix junkie

Gift 7 – Music lover

Gift 8 – Coffee addict

4 Responses to “12 Days of Thrifty Christmas: Fashionista”
  1. Lana says:

    I used a colorful, striped shopping bag as a gift bag with a handmade doll as an ornament.

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