This article, "Leather Ankle Boots for $10 and Where to Find Your Own," originally appeared on xoJane. For more stories like this, visit xojane.com.
This week, I managed to spend a total of $7 on the bottom half (a skirt and boots) of an outfit. If only I had managed to find a $3 top to round it out. That's my goal for next week — a complete outfit!
Before I get to how I styled these items, let's take a quick look at some awesome things that didn't come home with me.
I know some people are queasy about wearing secondhand shoes, but don't be! It's very easy to disinfect them (check out this guide to de-stinking shoes by my queen and idol Alison Freer). Besides, there are too many cute shoes in thrift stores to pass up. For example, this week was apparently all about oxfords:
The pair on the left was totally my style back when I worked in a library: feminine, vintage-inspired, and a little nerdy. The metallic pair on the left are more kooky (does anyone use that word anymore? I feel like it's much better than quirky). I could definitely see a girl like Ilana from "Broad City" wearing them with high-waisted shorts in the summer.
Neither pair really suits my current style (I didn't even check to see if they were my size) so I didn't buy them, but they're both great examples of why you should never skip the shoe section of the thrift store.
I also noticed that a lot of people seem to be cleaning out their sweater drawer in expectation of spring. Whatever, their loss is my gain. Sweaters are great year-round! Check out these bad boys:
I hate bowling but that sweater on the left made me wish I was the kind of person who went bowling regularly just so I'd have an excuse to wear that. Alas, it went back on the rack to wait for a true bowling aficionado.
Those sequined sweaters were really hard to pass up. If my sister had agreed to buy one so that we could wear them together, I totally would have done it. Sadly my sister isn't any fun, so back on the rack they went. It's just as well. I've had to make a rule over the years: no buying an item of clothing just because it makes me laugh. You'd be surprised at how many times that rule has come in handy.
Luckily my mom doesn't seem to be operating under that particular rule because, speaking of crazy thrift store sweaters, I just had to share this one that she bought for me recently:
It reads: "Why I *heart* my dog: never need an alarm clock; wet nose kisses; always happy to see me; soft & furry; unconditional love; woof!"
Anyway, let's move on to the stuff I actually bought. When I regretfully turned away from the cool oxfords that I mentioned earlier, I was rewarded for my restraint with a pair of like-new H&M ankle boots in my exact size. I love black ankle boots and I used to love shopping at H&M so much that I had to stop cold-turkey, so it was really nice to find these really nice quality boots for only $5 (marked down from $10, and probably around $35 or so originally at H&M).
The other item that I found was this soft, color-blocked skirt for $2 (marked down from $4). I didn't have time to try it on but luckily it fits perfectly. At that point, I had half an outfit started. I wanted to stay and find a top to complete the look, but I ran out of time. Instead, I paired the boots and skirt with a striped top and black moto jacket that I already owned, and shamelessly matched my purse to my skirt.
As tempted as I am to buy sequined sweaters and other one-of-a-kind (but ultimately impractical) items when thrifting, I'm always much more pleased with myself when I find versatile items like these boots and this skirt. The skirt can be dressed up, dressed down, and paired with so many items in my closet. The black ankle boots are the sort of wardrobe staple that I'll wear multiple times a week for years.