Picking up that cute holiday outfit (or 2 or 3) on a $50 budget

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

If you’re directing the purpose of your spending dollars on finding the right holiday gift for your loved ones, you probably aren’t prepared to focus some of those dollars on finding the right, fashionable outfit for your itinerary of holiday parties.

And your gift-giving dollars can be pretty high. Consumers are reported to spend an average of $935.58 on their holiday shopping this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Although the temptation is to focus on the pricey stores at the mall for that evening party look, you often can find gently used designer wear at local thrift stores that is just as stylish.

To prove the point, Savers provided $50 in gift certificates for a shopping jaunt at their 657 Farmington Ave. store in Bristol. And Bristol’s Taylor Plourd, 16, was told to find some outfits, preferably two full outfits, with that $50.

“Right now,” said Plourd as she began her trip down the aisles at Savers, “I’m looking at sweaters… and maybe pair (one) with some jeans or some leggings. That would be a cute little Christmas outfit. Then I’m going to go down to the dresses and see if I can find something there.” She also had plans to find some shoes and accessories.

Plourd, who describes herself as pretty frugal, said “I think I’m going to get a lot for $50.”

Ten minutes later, the shopping trip in full gear, Plourd already had an armful of finds from Savers. “I have a lot of stuff.” And the individual items fit within her imposed $50 budget, she said.

“I picked up some very high end brands,” said Plourd. “I found a Calvin Klein dress (for $15 dollars).”

When the shopping was over, the dressing room test run was complete, and her final choices were made (Calvin didn’t make the cut), Plourd said, “I was definitely shocked. I found a lot of different holiday colors and a lot of holiday trends. I’m really excited about it.”

Plourd said her most exciting find at Savers was a bluish green peplum dress. “It was only $8. Very in style. Very flattering on the body. It was a great Christmas look.”

In the end, Plourd said, “I bought many items for $48.85. Just about right.”

“I enjoyed (the shopping at Savers) a lot,” said Plourd. “I enjoyed experimenting with a lot of different clothing items. It’s just a great experience.”

Going to Savers, which supports Big Brothers and Big Brothers, would be something Plourd said she would recommend to her friends. “Not a lot of people know what good things they can find in here. It’s definitely fun to shop around and find them.”

As a side note, Plourd intended to donate the clothes back to the Bristol Savers so the money provided via the gift certificate could be put to good use.

For more information about Savers and to find locations near you, go to Savers.com.

For more photographs and a video of Taylor Plourd’s shopping trip, go to www. CTFashionMag.com