Calgary Journal living editors explore new and used in their hunt for staple fashion items

Some like it new.

Danielle has always been a “retail” shopper and purchases her clothes new. A student who works part-time, she usually tries to save up and splurge on herself from time to time. Danielle only spends the big bucks on staple wardrobe pieces. She also keeps her eyes open for large clearance sales once or twice a year.

Some like it used.

Tiffany hasn’t purchased anything new in years. A full-time student and young mom, she can’t always afford to keep up with every trend that the fashion industry deems essential. But she’s skilled at staying current by sourcing clothes on a budget in Calgary’s consignment and thrift stores.

Pondering over plaid

Who doesn’t enjoy a nice lumberjack plaid or tartan accessory?

Today, plaid is everywhere. Celebrities like Emma Watson, Gwen Stefani, and the Olsen Twins are wearing it. So is Adam Levine, Robert Pattinson, Kanye West, David Beckham along with numerous others. The origin of the plaid print — traditionally known as tartan — dates back to the early 1500s medieval Scotland, where clans would use different tartans to distinguish from one another. We may not use plaids to identify our clans, but we certainly use this wardrobe staple to highlight our personal sense of style.

The prices are all over the map, ranging from $15 to $2000. But, you have options. To get our plaid on, we pulled purchased shirts from Danielle’s closet, and then hit the local consignment store, Trend Fashions in Kensington, to do the comparison.

Danielle’s retail chic

Ritz on a budget

Aritzia makes my all-time favourite flannel shirts. The shirts usually retail for $55 to $60 and can be found at either Aritzia or TNA stores. This fashion forward franchise builds flannels with a double-brushed 100 per cent cotton fabric, which equals extreme coziness and warmth. Yet, these flannels are still able to maintain a lightweight feel.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I knew I could match Danielle’s plaid look from her own closet at a cheaper price. I found this cotton blend Banana Republic shirt while retails at around $80 to $85. Making it a steal of deal for $20 at Trends.

Photo by Danielle Harder

My other favourite for plaid is Dynamite. These shirts say high fashions yet are so versatile and lightweight. At $39.99, these plaid shirts typically hit the shelves around the fall and stay until spring.

Photo by Danielle Harder

Other great options for flannel and plaid are JoeFresh,
American Eagle, H&M, Zara, and J.Crew.

This polyester t-shirt is part of the Zara men’s line and usually retails for $30. It was priced at $18 at Trends and was my favourite find of the day. I loved the print because it incorporated so many of the colors and patterns that are synonymous with the traditional tartan.

Photo by Danielle Harder

I loved these items, but am disappointed they weren’t
even cheaper. To avoid this, I would suggest checking
out prices of items you like in retail stores first, and
then use that as a way to compare value when shopping
at second-hand stores.

Disclaimer: We do not endorse the retail outlets mentioned nor any of their products. We don’t accept freebies, and our opinions are our own.