The Seminarian’s Wife’s WardrobePosted: September 25, 2011
I’m sure you’re all highly interested in this but I’m going to write about it anyway.
I’ve never been a fashionable person. In high school I bought a grand total of two dresses–one for the Sadie Hawkins Dance and the other for Prom. I spent most of college convincing myself that I could spend the rest of my life wearing t-shirts and jeans and avoiding color of any sort. I wasn’t goth, mind you, just had an overwhelming amount of black t-shirts stuffed into my drawers. However, I slowly began to realize my senior year that I wanted to look like an adult and in order to do so I needed to ditch the look I had worn for most of my life. So I added a couple of dresses in honor of special occasions and my mom bought me a couple of nicer shirts–I think she was happy that I was ditching the black look.
But then I got married to a seminarian and out went any sort of money for clothes. Alas, what was a young woman on the cusp of the fashion world supposed to do? The answer came from three locations: Co-op, Goodwill, and extreme sales at Kohl’s.
The Co-op is great because it is free (for those of you not in the Seminary community, please remember that we are able to use the Co-op because my husband is paying thousands of dollars to go into a field that will not have great monetary returns). Sometimes the clothes I get there are obviously used but hey, you get what you pay for. Likewise, I pull things off the racks that don’t stick to some of my usual clothes criteria–I now have a rather large collection of shirts that are hand-wash only. A good day at the Co-op is when you find something brand-new.
If a certain clothes item is immediately needed and cannot be scrounged for at the Co-op, the next stop is Goodwill. Again, the clothes are used but we actually pay for these things. I’m a little bit picker when it comes to these clothes because I’ve actually have to hand over some money to take the clothes home. No hand-wash only items or things I’m not entirely convinced I look somewhat normal in.
Finally, after we’ve exhausted the Co-op and Goodwill options, it’s time to head to fancy stores where the clothes are actually new. Unfortunately, when we get to this point it’s frustrating because one item can easily wipe out our minuscule clothing budget. My store of choice is Kohl’s: the clothing quality is a little bit better than Walmart and Target and they can have some surprisingly awesome deals. Every once in a while we’ll receive a $10 voucher (obviously sent to us in hopes that we’ll spend more) and I make it my personal mission to find something we need for $10 or less. My favorite find was when my husband found a black sweater that was 90% off, originally priced at $80.
By utilizing this shopping method, my husband has been able to maintain his wardrobe and I’ve managed to add some more grown-up looking clothes to mine. Likewise, then we’re able to save our small budget for items like shoes that we know we’ll most likely have to by new and at the original price. And when all else fails, there’s always Christmas and Birthdays. It’s starting to look like a new pair of Converse shoes will be on my wish-list this year. . .