Shopping on the wild side

As a thrifter, I rarely have a reason to visit the Oak Park Mall despite it being less than five minutes from my apartment. Every time I drive by, nearly all the parking spaces are full, which means the mall is crawling with people hustling from one store to the next. While I’ve dealt with busy thrift stores, a mall is a whole other world in terms of busyness. It’s loud, chaotic and overwhelming. I only brave the chaos when I have a good enough reason, and for my birthday, I got one. One of the presents was a $50 Maurices gift card from my godmother.

During the first week of 2018, I ventured to the mall at 9:50 a.m. and waited in my car for 10 minutes until it opened. I made certain to park near the entrance closest to Maurices, so I didn’t have to walk through the entire mall. I was their first customer of the day, which meant I received special attention from the salespeople. With a frugal mindset, I stayed in the clearance section. Lucky for me, they were having a huge sale where all clearance tops were $6.95/each.

Since I’m in between pant sizes right now, I focused on tops. After several trips to the dressing room, I finally decided on six winners. These shirts ranged from casual to dressy, which was perfect for an upcoming trip I had to Washington D.C. in mid-January.


After all six items were rung up, the total was only $45. I wanted to spend the whole $50 on one visit, so I grabbed a pair of $8 earrings to finish it off. Given Maurices’ usual pricing ($30+ for shirts), I was impressed with how much I’d gotten within the $50 parameters. I will admit, it was a nice change to buy brand new clothing that wasn’t pre-worn and had zero chance of stains or holes. But like I said, shopping in a mall isn’t something I do often. It only happens when a gift card is taking up space in my wallet. 👚💰