How a financial journalist thrifts her work wardrobe

When I was growing up, my mom and I spent a lot of time trawling thrift stores for diamonds in the rough. My family had a year or two when money was tight, and part of cutting back was shopping at Goodwill for new clothes. I distinctly remember finding a pair of jean shorts from Abercrombie at the local Salvation Army. That was the moment that taught me the magic of thrifting.

Since then, I have regularly purchased roughly a third of my wardrobe from thrift stores. It’s not only economical, but it also is helpful for the environment. The best part? You can find some of the coolest brands for super reasonable prices when you thrift. For this experiment, I picked five of my favorite work outfits, formed almost totally from thrift store gems. For reference, I’ve been pinning style photos on Pinterest, most of which is work appropriate. I keep track of style inspiration there to keep me on track when I shop.

Monday: LOFT sweater (from Goodwill), Gap skirt (from Domsey Express), Madewell ring and Maguba clogs (from Poshmark).

For Monday’s outfit, I chose a LOFT sweater I thrifted a few years ago and a Gap skirt I just recently bought. I usually accessorize with a ring or bracelet from Madewell. I bought a few pieces on sale about a year ago and I love them. I paired the look with some clogs I found on Poshmark. To find these, I had searched for “Swedish clogs” on the site. This outfit would keep me warm in my ever-freezing office. The skirt dresses the basic sweater up. The clogs keep the look a little artsy.

Tuesday: Talbots blouse (from Goodwill), Maison Jules skirt (from Poshmark) and Free People clogs (from Poshmark).

I’ve had this Talbots blouse since one of my first internships. It’s a petite size, which means it fits me well. One of the nice things about the Goodwill near my parents’ house is that it typically has a nice petite selection. The Maison Jules skirt is a nice winter piece. I’m not usually big on color, but this bright red has been nice for winter. I found that I really love the shoe styles from Free People, so I have an alert set up on Poshmark to find these.

Wednesday: Banana Republic blouse, Michael Kors skirt (from Domsey Express), Madewell bracelet and Maguba clogs (from Poshmark).

I’m a big fan of white blouses. I think they look crisp at the office, and I’ve found several pretty cheaply at the factory outlet version of some of my favorite stores. I paired this Banana Republic blouse (it’s so soft!) with a Michael Kors skirt from a local thrift shop. The skirt had its original tags on when I bought it - it was originally $90, but I was able to buy it for $9. Again, I paired it with Madewell jewelry and the clogs - my classic cop out to look chic with very little effort.

Thursday: Theory blouse (from Domsey Express), A New Day pants (Target), Madewell ring and Chase & Chloe loafers (from Poshmark).

This Theory blouse is one of my favorite thrift store finds. Months ago, I picked up a Theory blazer from a Goodwill, but I didn’t realize it had a major rip in it until I got home. This Theory blouse is my redemption; I never thought I’d see a piece from the brand at a thrift store again. The pants are from Target’s new brand, A New Day, and they feel like sweatpants, which makes them perfect for a Thursday. I found the loafers on Poshmark. I’m not sure I’m sold on the backless situation. The shoes are harder to walk in than my heels.

Friday: Maison Jules sweater (Domsey Express), Target jeans and Chase & Chloe loafers.

I love Fridays because I get to wear jeans. The look is a little more casual, but I think the shoes keep it from looking too schlubby. I’m big on thrift store cashmere; it’s pretty easy to find, and you can clean it by hand washing. Maison Jules is one of my favorite department store brands, and it’s relatively easy to find via thrifting.  

-Alicia 🐶