Family Capsule Wardrobe

It’s that time again: Switching our capsules. To be honest, the boys didn’t need many new items, a couple more sweatshirts (replacing t-shirts) and another pair of warm athletic pants. They were done.

The girls and mom on the other hand?  We had a few more holes to fill in.  FFTC partnered with Arc’s Value Village to bring you a real-life look at thrift shopping for your capsule wardrobe.  In doing this, Arc’s Value Village provided us a 20% discount for our purchases.  No other compensation was exchanged, and boy, do I have things to share with you!

This is going to be fun.

The Capsule Needs

The girls and I had some big holes to fill.  Leggings, sweaters, shirts for layers, boots, etc.  I am not a shoe junkie.  I think it comes from having extremely flat feet and never looking good in shoes.  However,  I do want a pair of brown boots, so that was on the list.

We wanted to get a tunic for eat of the girls and a pair of leggings (which can be tricky to find at thrift stores because leggings tend to wear out before you can donate them).  And Kyla wanted a pair of boots, too since her boots are too small for her.

So armed with our lists, we made our way to Arc’s Value Village.

Arc’s Value Village

Arc’s Value Village is a local nonprofit benefitting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. They have five locations in the metro–St. Paul, Richfield, Bloomington, New Hope and Brooklyn Center–where you can purchase donated clothing making it a socially responsible and green choice.  Personally for myself, I like thrift store shopping because I can find name brands that I can’t afford otherwise.

Do you want to know what else is cool?  If you become a member of their Village Rewards Club, you can return your purchases!  Returning purchases at a Thrift Store?  Have you ever heard of anything more cool than that?  Yeah, I didn’t think so!


We went to the St. Paul location for our family shopping trip, and we had a blast.  I love the spaciousness of the store and the good lighting.  The girls pulled every piece of clothing off the racks (including the underwear–to laugh at it).  The kids’ selection isn’t huge, but it is well-stocked. The fact that it’s smaller helps to be able to look at the items more easily.

I am not the best shopper in the world.  In fact, I am a HORRIBLE shopper.  However, I have learned to push through the uncertainties and doubts so that my children can have clothes.  And clothes they are proud to wear.

Do I like buying new clothes? Absolutely. Is it easier at times?  Of course. Are there some things we are going to have to buy new?  Yep. But if I can get the bulk of my kids’ clothing (and I do mean THE BULK) at a thrift store, that’s what I’m going to do.

Gianna’s Thrift Store Tips

  1. Make a detailed list of what you need. If you need five shirts, list it as five shirts.  Differentiate if you want colored or white/neutral shirts. (This is important later)
  2. Let your kids know what they are looking for and put them to work scouring the store.  If your kids are like mine, you won’t have a problem with this.
  3. Remind your children what they need multiple times.
  4. Put all options in your cart
  5. When you are finished pulling clothing items, try them all on.  Take your time.  Notice if sleeves are ripped or if there are holes in back pockets.  You can’t return things to thrift stores, so you need to be very conscious of each piece.  (This is the part I am horrible at)
  6. Go through each piece and compare it to your list.  Didn’t find a white shirt, but you found a gray one?  Determine if that’s a substitution you can make.  Didn’t find a nice cardigan but you found a beautiful pull-over sweater?  What’s more important for the capsule?
  7. Decide if you need to settle on what you find, or if you can wait and look other places for certain items.

We had a great time filling out our Winter Capsules.  The girls enjoyed it all.  I still need to find boots for Kyla and myself and some leggings and tights, but I think we are otherwise set for December-February.

FFTC Participation

This post was sponsored by Arc’s Value Village by providing a 20% discount to FFTC for our participation. Thanks so much for the partnership opportunity!


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