July 25, 2022

My $200 Thrift Store Wardrobe

After Jerry and I won our DietBet a few weeks ago, we agreed that we'd keep the money we won (not for paying bills or anything--something that we wanted). Our payout was $388 each, which includes the money we spent for the DietBet. Still, we agreed that we could each keep our $388 for all the work we did!

After losing over 50 pounds in the last 14 months, my wardrobe had dwindled down to pretty much nothing that fit me. I'd gotten rid of most of my "thin" clothes because I thought I'd never be able to wear them again. I even got rid of my running clothes because I thought I wouldn't run again!

One of my very favorite things to do is go thrift shopping. I don't just buy and wear thrift clothes because they are cheap; I buy them because I can find unique things, because they are worn in already (I hate stiff jeans!), and you truly never know what gems you might find. I find high-end clothes all the time. I found a couple of pairs of designer jeans this time, but sadly, they weren't my size.

I didn't have to buy business clothing, but even if you do, there is a ton of it. Lots of suits--including women's suits--dresses, skirts, blazers, etc. I just stuck with MY preferences.

The last few times I went thrifting, I just couldn't find much at all. So on Saturday, I drove up to Ann Arbor to the Salvation Army (it's absolutely enormous) to try my luck there. Ann Arbor is the home of the University of Michigan, and finding cute clothes there is much easier--college kids dump their stuff before leaving for home at the end of the school year.

I tried on a MOUNTAIN of jeans and by that time, I just couldn't fathom trying on more clothes. So, I picked some shirts off the rack and hoped they'd fit. I was really happy with the jeans I found, though, and even more so that they fit. I hate trying on clothes when everything is too small--it's so disheartening.

I spent a few hours there and in the end, my total was just under $200. I paid the full thrift price for a lot of them, but there were several that were 5 for $5. Including some seriously nice things!

I actually took the time to try on everything today and take mirror selfies (could I be any more vain? haha!). I just wanted to show all of the stuff you can buy for less than a pair of brand new high-end jeans. All of the clothes I'm wearing in these pictures came from that shopping trip, so you may see the same shirt twice with different jeans or vice versa. The point is, it was all included in that $200. And lots of them are great brands! I will be the first to admit I know nothing about fashion, but I've never been a "fashion person". I just wear what's comfortable (jeans and a cozy shirt).

So, here goes...

I can't remember if I posted this shirt yet or not, but I love it! (Also, see how many cats you can spot in all the photos)

I'm going to post side by side pictures just for the sake of space. There are a LOT of pictures! So I collaged them together when it felt right.

I thought the shirt on the right was a size small that was meant to fit very big, but when I got home, I realized it was an XL. Still, I kind of like it!

On the contrary, the shirt on the left is an XS but it's meant to fit large. I don't love the shirt on the right, so I'll probably donate it.

I just had to buy the OSU shirt; as you know, I love Portland and when I find an OSU shirt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I just felt like I was meant to have it. I am not crazy about the shirt on the left, so I don't think I'll keep it. Thankfully, it was only $1!

I never wear gray running bottoms! It always looks like I peed my pants when I sweat. But they'll be good for running on the treadmill.

The shirt on the right is super heavy duty. Being cold 100% of the time, I'm going to love it outside this fall. And I think the purple and gray cardigan is super cute.

The jacket on the left is REALLY nice and in great shape. I got it for $1! I hoped that the kids would be interested in it, but that's SO not cool, haha. Oh well, I'll wear it! And even the Nike running top on the left was only $1.

Duck was so irritated that I wasn't paying attention to him. 

These jeans are MY MOST FAVORITE jeans I've ever bought! I love the placement of the rips and I especially love the rip where the buttons are. Not sure if it was intentional, but I like it!

I just HAD to buy these shoes for Riley! They were only $1, too.

When I saw this shirt, I just had to get it. It's a men's large, so I'll probably just wear it for pajamas. It's so perfect, though.

Yes, Friends, I bought a dress! I liked that it covered the spots of my body that I wanted it to. And my waist looks small ;)

I absolutely LOVE this shirt and these jeans. The jeans were straight-legged before and those look bad on me, so I added some dark denim to create a flared bottom.

This was an a different pair of jeans, not the ones above.

And there you go! I did buy a few other things that probably totaled about $15, so this wardrobe cost about $180-185. Now the fun part is going through my closet and pitching just about everything! All of these fit really well, so I don't need to keep the too big stuff anymore.

Well, I've got to get stuff ready for Noah's birthday party on Thursday. It's a Christmas in July theme and I have so many ideas! (The mugs you notice in the picture with everything on my bed are all Christmas mugs--so I'm going to have those set out for glasses at Noah's party.)

I would love to see some of your best thrift items! Please email them to me so I can share them in a post: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. If you happen to know the price you paid, please share :)


  1. What a haul!! Thanks for showing us how it's done.

  2. Wow, some awesome finds there. Well done. It all looks so great on you. And the dress is just so gorgeous and super flattering!

  3. You hit the mother load on this shopping trip. I never find that much stuff ever!! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Omg what a haul! Our thrift stores around where I live is a joke. I would probably have to drive into the city to find such cute stuff!


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