Only the wise can understand that buying “thrifty couture” is an important movement. It supports charities, saves on trendy purchases, and best of all generates a profit. If fashion is important but not in the budget this season, then look to local thrift stores with decades of style, especially in surrounding Orange County beach towns with some incredible deals.

People who buy from thrift stores are stretching their money for a good cause. Proceeds that go to a non profit organization help others. One La Tienda’s website says their local San Clemente thrift store caters to the Joshua House, a one year, no-cost christian based program that provides men going through difficult times, a safe place to transition from drugs, alcohol, and homelessness. This should take any guilt away from spending on fashion. In fact it works as a tax return generating money for the consumer. How? Whatever is donated in the process can be written off. The Sheepfold Thrift Store is another place known for servicing women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Proceeds from the thrift go directly to shelters and their residents.

Stores are also taking an extra step to reclaim modern fashion. Last spring, the Assistance League shut down to overhaul and reorganize the shop. An article written by Edwards from the OC Register reports that it will be more easy to navigate and carry high-end brands that cater to the fashionable but frugal. Designer names like Stuart Weitzman make a pair of black pumps that retail for $350 at Bloomingdale’s but are a steal at $12.99 in the upscaled Goodwill found in Huntington Beach.

Treasures found at the Doheny Clothing Exchange were impressive to Melissa Campbell who is one of the famous “Housewives of Orange County.” She was spotted trying on jewelry from Tanzania. Not only can one find second hand items here, but also unique and build-your-own jewelry too.

“We are described as beachy casual for everyday wear,” said Caia Curiale co-owner with her mother Pamela Vanderbilt of Doheny Clothing Exchange. “Loving fashion and knowing that a store like this was needed in the area has worked well because it appeals to all ages.”

Curiale and Vanderbilt opened the store about five years ago, and  they see 60 to 80 personalities come through the door daily. The mother-daughter team love when people express themselves through fashion. People like to be unique and come in to feed their hobby says Vanderbilt.

“It’s called upcycling [which requires]the meshing of different eras like incorporating florals and midi skirts,” Vanderbilt said. “Another trend is to take something in it’s original form like a flannel and sew it to a concert shirt.”

They just added a vintage section where some items like a 1920s crochet white dress retails at $149. And decennial purses at $21. Find them at the Saddleback College swap meet the second Saturday of the month where they display their items. Another idea is to make money off buying and selling with “gently used” styles and fashions. The Washington Post reports that the “online clothing consignment industry makes it easier to find buyers with sites like ThredUp, The Real Real and Poshmark.

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Most post you see of mine have to do with music, art and the community. I love to cover stories via print, web, podcast/radio news and video segmenting. The most interesting people that I have come across are those who have passion, passion for whatever they are doing. These sort of people give me the drive to have passion for whatever I am doing and that is what I like most about the spirit of the aspiring journalist.

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