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Dutchess_III's avatar

When you need a particular item of clothing, which store do you head to first, and why?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42474points) August 12th, 2015

I might have reason to go swimming in a public pool. I have a bathing suit, but I really wanted some shorts of some kind to wear over the bottom half. So I headed to Goodwill. Within 2 minutes I had found exactly what I was looking for, and didn’t even realize that that was what I was looking for. It’s an actual swim suit bottom with a skirt. Perfect fit, perfect color (black.)
Anytime I need something “new” in the way of clothes, I go to Goodwill. They have an almost unlimited variety of almost everything. Much of it is actually very high quality, stuff you won’t find at Walmart or even Penny’s. Much of it doesn’t even look worn, and it’s very inexpensive. Plus my only other option is Walmart, and no thank you. They have almost nothing, but the same, cheap copy of whatever they do have, and anything I buy there lasts for about 3 wears before it falls apart.
Even if I had a Dillard’s or Macy’s option, I would choose Goodwill.

Where do you go?

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39 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Oh god I hate Walmart for anything but basic commodities. My go to would be Macys, down in Binghamton, or Kohls and Target.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I hate Walmart too. (Isn’t Target just as bad?)
OK, then I’ll pick up your leftovers from Macy’s or Kohl’s or Target at Goodwill next year!

sahID's avatar

I concur with the comments about Walmart’s clothes. They just look cheap (and cheaply made).

I used to find some quality bargains at a local thrift store and at Deseret Industries. However, I found myself growing tired of seemingly always wearing old, second hand clothes, so for a number of years now I have bought all of my clothes online from either, or its sister site, Their prices are reasonable, and everything they sell lasts for years.

Buttonstc's avatar

Goodwill isn’t that great around these parts. I usually go to either Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul Society.

They both have good quality things at decent prices with several stores each in a 5–10 mile radius.

I also keep an eye on the sales at Meijers. The first time I went into one when I first moved here, I was blown away. Everything under the sun all in the same store from Groceries (good quality produce) clothing, electronics, sporting goods, furniture, bedding, Pet supplies, fish, aquariums.

You name it, they’ve got it. I had never seen anything quite like it. I mean Target does have some groceries, but pretty limited and nothing perishable. Meijers grocery is better stocked than dedicated grocery stores like Krogers.

It’s pretty impressive.

jca's avatar

For me, it depends on what it is that I need. If a bathing suit, I’ll get it online from Lands End or maybe Walmart (yes, Walmart), or in store Costco. If a regular pal-around shirt or sweater, then Kohls, Costco, Walmart, Macy’s. Jeans, Costco (Gloria Vanderbilt, $12.99, cheaper than any store even with a sale). Dress shirt, maybe Lord and Taylor (fancy department store).

Luckily, I have enough of all types of clothes that if I need something, I’m not running out to buy it in desperation. I have bathing suits, casual clothes, dress clothes in such quantity that I’m all good for the most part right out of my closet.

I am not against buying used clothes but I am not into picking through racks of clothes if I can avoid it. I don’t usually buy used clothes – in fact, I can’t remember the last time I did. I know some people get great clothes from thrift shops.

I have read a lot of bad things about Goodwill and their hiring practices and the salaries of their higher up executives.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, I broke down and bought 2 shirts at Walmart because I needed a certain color that’s currently not fashionable for men, and I needed the same shirt in different sizes for logo embroidery. Looked like rags the first time I washed them, and started opening holes by the second washing. SO much for the company shirts.

But, to answer your question, I shop Goodwill, 2 Salvation Armies, and 3 church-based thrift stores constantly. There are at least 4 similarly-sized (to myself) men that have full wardrobes that came from thrift stores and yard sales. If you see clothes at Goodwill with the tags intact, @Dutchess_III, those are Target castoffs. Merona is one brand. Evolve is a men’s underwear brand for Target that’s superior to Hane’s and FOTL. 99ยข, new with tags at Goodwill – I have several pair.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca Gloria Vanderbilt at Goodwill is $2.99, $4.99 at the most.
Last year I spied a colorful shirt I liked, paid $2.99. Wasn’t till I got home that I realized it is silk.
Yeah, you have to pick through to find it, but I view it like a treasure hunt.

There was a DAV in Wichita, on Central (like that means anything to you guys) that was about a mile from Eastborough, which was incorporated…not a part of the city, just surrounded by it. Full of beautiful, expensive homes. Those folks donated generously to the DAV. I found a pair of sleek Italian leather sandals there. They were beautiful. Couple of bucks.

ragingloli's avatar

I order something on amazon and hope it fits.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly why I don’t like ordering online.

Pachy's avatar

Macys and Dillards for casual and dress and REI for sports stuff. The only wearable I’ve ever bought online was a hat from Amazon. Because sizes and quality vary so tremendously even on the same line, I insist on going to the store and trying the thing on.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Gloria Vanderbilt at Goodwill when and if they have it. Gloria Vanderbilt at Costco, all the time.

zenvelo's avatar

I go to REI or maybe Sports Basement. Between the two, I can find whatever casual item I want.

If I need something dressy, I go to Brooks Bros.

ibstubro's avatar

Goodwill revolutionized thrift shpping utilizing large, well lighted buildings that don’t have a used ‘smell’ when you walk in the door.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was genius, if you ask me. All of what you said, @ibstubro, and they don’t pay a dime for their inventory.

Aster's avatar

I go to Ebay or Amazon but I used to go to all the thrift stores in our last town. It was a small town with half a dozen thrift stores and I loved it. Now we live in a bigger town or, outside a bigger town and it’s too darn far to drive to the two thrift stores there. Plus, the traffic is much worse.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We finally got a Goodwill in our town, about 5 years ago. I wish it was here when I had the kids living at home.
We had a couple of thrift stores, but they were a sorry lot.

ibstubro's avatar

If I need something retail, I usually stop at Kmart first to see if they have what I need. Their clothes are similarly priced to Walmart, and much better quality.

You can get some hellaous deal on clearance at Kohl’s, too.

I cringe every time I hear someone say they took their kids to Walmart and let them pick out clothes. Why??

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can tell you why.When I was poor, and my kids lived at home, they got new clothes at the beginning of school. I had to save for 6 months to come up with $50 for two kids. Since we didn’t have the Goodwill at the time, the only place we could afford was Walmart, for better or worse.

jca's avatar

When I go to Kohl’s with a 30% off coupon and hit the clearance racks, it’s not unusual to get very decent things for only a few bucks. That’s part of why I don’t go to Goodwill or other thrift shops – because I feel a savvy shopper can get brand new stuff at low low prices, often lower than thrift shop prices.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar


Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess I’d better go to Kohl’s so I can say, “I went to Kohl’s.” I’ve never been to Kohl’s.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca But I don’t have any stores like that in my area. We have a very small (small physically and small selection) JC Penny’s, and they have a good sale once a year, but it’s still more expensive than Goodwill. We also have a very small fashion specialty shop called Maurice’s, but it’s very expensive.

For me to go shopping like you do, I’d have to travel 60 miles and make an entire day of it. I would hate that! I hate shopping.
Goodwill is just up the street. I wander in, look around and if I see something I like, I buy it.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Excellent! You do what is convenient and that works for you!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right! I do hate shopping though. I hate going anywhere with Rick because he just meanders. Once we went to Walmart and split up, one person going right to get stuff we need there, the other left. Ten minutes later I was done and I tracked him down. My cart was bursting full. He had only 2 items, out of about 10 on his list! He just has to look at everything! Me, I’m like, “Get in, get it done, get out.”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dutchess_III You shop like most men. I went to get in, grab my item and get out. My s/o is so indecisive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, hate to say it, but he’ll debate for 5 minutes on which brand of ketchup to buy, before he picks up the one he always picks up! I guess there is a positive side to that trait, somewhere.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree with @jca that given the time and resources you can often buy brand new clothes as cheap or cheaper than the thrift shops. I used to do that, but I liked to shop and, like @Dutchess_III, I had to do a bit of traveling (which I also enjoyed). That used to be easy, but when the economy went south, the stores started stricter inventory control and were more considerate about closing stuff out. It doesn’t take many 3–4 (round trip) dry runs to take the shine off of your few ‘bargains’.

You’d like Kohl’s if you had one @Dutchess_III. They have racks that are 50–60-70–80 90% off everything on the rack, and they send out where you can save and additional 10–20 30+% off your entire purchase. Like Goodwill, you start at the 90% off rack and work your way forward – either they have something that suits, or they don’t. Quick and simple.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Yesterday was half off of orange tags at Goodwill and I found a cute pair of Levi’s for myself for $2.99. I’ve lost 20 lbs since February and desperately need new jeans. I’m very pleased with my find!

Dutchess_III's avatar

I can never, ever find jeans to fit me at Goodwill. :(

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

That’s a bummer. Our Goodwill is full of womens jeans that are barely worn. It’s impossible to find jeans for men because men wear their jeans until they are falling apart, but there’s never a shortage for women.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s been years and years since I looked for jeans because I could never, not once, find a pair that fit. Goodwill has really evolved though, so maybe I’ll give it another shot next time I’m there. Sure beats paying $60+ for new.

On the plus side, I have a very common foot size (6–7) and easily find cool shoes to fit!

jca's avatar

@Dutchess 111: I have never in my life paid $60+ bucks for jeans. Costco, $12.99, Gloria Vanderbilt.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right. Clothes are not a high priority for me, so when we happen to go the 50 – 60 miles to the nearest town that has a Costco, it just isn’t on my mind at the time.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow…I assumed Wichita had a Costco, but apparently not. So all of the nearest ones are literally on the other side of the state, north, about 3 hours, generally in the KC area.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

Our nearest Costco is an hour away. It would cost me about $20 in gas to shop there.

jca's avatar

FYI for anybody interested in Costco, 90% of their products that are online, on their site, you don’t have to be a member to purchase. Also, for the majority of their online products, they don’t charge shipping.

I buy jeans online a lot from Costco because in the warehouse, they have “average” and “short” but I need “long” so I get more choices and free shipping with same price from Costco online.

If I need tee shirts (not designer tee shirts, but regular Joe tee shirts), Kohls has the best prices. When they have a sale, tee shirts are usually $5 or in that price range. I’m wearing one now.

To me, if I’m going to spend anywhere between 3 and 5 bucks for a used tee shirt, I’d rather get a brand new one for 5 bucks from a store where I can see 20 on a shelf, all the same, all new, everything in the store is new.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t shop for clothes on line. Invariably they just don’t fit right, or they don’t look anything like they did online.

I don’t know about Goodwills elsewhere, but the one here, and in Wichita, generally have set prices on their clothes, depending on what it is. Tshirts are $1.99. If it’s brand new, still with the tags, it might be $2.99.
Blouses are $2.99.
Shoes are $3.99.

I don’t mind wearing used clothes at all, as long as they are clean and and look new.

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