By Krystal Lambert
I don’t want nice things. I want cheap, trendy, fun things I can wear three times and not stress about because hey it was only $8. I enjoy shopping for the fun of it, and you’ll rarely see me drop more than $20 on ANYTHING because bet I’m gonna be sick of that ish by next year. There are a few items I might take more seriously, like jeans, or a nice coat. However, I often find those things on clearance anyway so I really don’t see the point of dropping serious dollars on fashion or accessories. Joplin is pretty limited on places to bargain shop these days (RIP Forevs 21 and Charlotte Russe) and the word is an H&M is coming to Northpark Mall but who knows exactly when and for how long. I’m also not a crazy big fan of H&M because when I have shopped there in bigger cities, I go in expecting to be blown away and end up finding maybe one thing I like or sometimes nothing at all. There are a few places around here that never seem to let me down so without further ado:
Thrift Stores: If you grew up a scrub like me, you already know. Thrift stores are where it’s at. It’s like a treasure hunt, and you often find surprising and unique items for just a few bones. Just last week I found a pair of brand new Nikes that also happened to be cute as hell, for $4. (I already got them all dirty from hiking lol.) I also found a D.A.R.E. t-shirt from the 90’s which every resident pothead needs, a badass vintage tee with a tiger on it, and two beautiful sundresses. Everything was under $5. I don’t have a favorite thrift store because the whole premise is you never know what you are gonna find, but I have the most luck at DAV and Goodwill. I generally try to avoid The Salvation Army for political reasons but they have good shit too I won’t lie. Thrift stores are great if you are in the mood to shop but not sure what you want or don’t want to spend much. *also great for costume hunting.
Ross: Say what you will about Ross, they are on trend and affordable af. This is another place where you may have to dig but lately they have been a goldmine for me. I found a silver velvet jacket for $9, several sexy 90’s strappy tops for $8 each, and a pair of mauve skinty jeans that fit perfect for $12. I can’t speak to the quality of the clothes because I’ve never noticed a huge problem with their stuff compared to anywhere else. ALSO their shoe selection is amazing. They have all kinds of name brand tennis shoes/running shoes etc. for around $20. Converse, Vans, Nikes, Adidas, you name it.
Old Navy: This is about as bougie as I get with “bargain shopping” but damn y’all Old Navy has been dope for decades and people seem to forget about it. Their clearance is always amazing, they have huge sales all the time, and even their full price merch is usually very reasonable. They always have bright colors and fun patterns which is my aesthetic so I may be a bit partial. I love their jewelry and it’s usually buy one get one half off, along with their sunglasses which are also so trendy and cute. I have several pairs of well loved boots/sandals/flats on clearance from ON over the years and the quality is great. They also have great men’s clothing. This is usually where I take guys to teach them how to dress like human beings. (This is a service I offer to males, no joke.)
TJ MAXX: This is Ross’s older, more sophisticated sister. The priceline is a little higher, ($12 for a top instead of $8, etc.) but the quality of their clothing is a little better as well. They have really nice brands at very discounted prices, as I’m sure you know from the commercials. I bought an amazing embroidered sporty coat on clearance today for $16 and I am in love. Last month I got a baby pink leather motorcycle jacket for $15! I would say the majority of their clothing/shoes/accessories are under $30 with the exception of some of the fancier brands. I also get high quality socks and leggings/tights here for under $5. Another plus is their makeup/hair stuffs which are all the fancy brands at like half the price, or more. Don’t even get me started on the cute home decor. Don’t ever call me a Maxxinista though that shits annoying.
Not Target: Look, I love Target as much as the next binch but they need to do better on their prices in my opinion. Even the clearance isn’t all that clearanced. If something is $17 on clearance it better be a fur coat, ya know? If the quality was there I would understand charging $30 for a sundress but I have had several straps break, or material torn, etc. on the first time wearing something I bought from there. I just don’t think I could go there looking for a bargain. I’ve heard talk that the Cartwheel App has improved and they have some better deals these days but I go into Target expecting to be able to afford *maybe* one item. Sure, Target may be affordable compared to designer brands or department stores, but I can’t in good conscience include it as a sure thing. Honorable mention, Target. That’s all you get.