Dress to Impress with Salvation Army Family Stores

Sheila Fortson aka "The Glam Thrifter"!

The following was contributed by guest blogger, Sheila Fortson, owner of the Hidden Glam Boutique in Ambler, PA. Sheila is also known as “The Glam Thrifter” because she loves to shop second-hand and does it like a pro! Join her online at www.MeetSheilaFortson.com and www.Facebook.com/TheGlamThrifter. All dresses pictured below are from The Salvation Army Family Store in Montgomeryville, PA!


I adore the spring and summer seasons for their hair-in-the-wind essence of freedom. The way the sunshine highlights everything, making it all so beautiful. Most of all, I love that this is the time when you can really show off an outfit without cumbersome coats and boots. Colorful, feminine dresses are mainstays for me during warm weather months, and I love shopping for them at Salvation Army Family Stores.

At my favorite location, Wednesday is half off day, and already I’ve purchased close to 20 dresses for less than $100! That’s an average cost of $5.00 per dress, leaving me more than enough money for additions like shoes and accessories. As a consumer, I appreciate that Salvation Army takes care into what goes out on the racks, so I expect  (and always get) quality, style and great prices.

Here are my top 3 tips for finding the dress of your dreams at a Salvation Army Family Store!

1. Give Color a Chance: During this time of the year, Salvation Army Family stores are full of dresses in hues like bright yellow, coral, and bold prints against electric hues or crisp white. Maybe you typically play it safe, reaching for blacks, browns, and gray tones when you shop, but the best thing about shopping second-hand is that it actually gives you the opportunity to try something new without regretting the cost. Visit a Salvation Army Family Store to step outside your fashion box and try a unique color, print or style this season. Your wardrobe and your wallet will thank you!

2. Try The Formal Approach: Proms, Weddings, Banquets! Formal affairs are big in the spring and summer, and so many shoppers overlook thrift stores in this regard. I actually found my exact wedding dress in a Salvation Army Family Store the year after I was wed. I paid $500.00 for the dress, and someone else donated the same gown in mint condition to the store. It was priced around $80.00. Big lesson learned. Now, whenever I’m invited to an upscale event, I thrift my gowns if possible. Remember that formal attire is often only worn once, rarely twice. You can find breathtaking dresses, accessories and even tuxes and suits for men at Salvation Army Family Stores.

3. A Cinch Here, a Pinch There: I once thrifted a dress that was a size 14. At the time I was a size 2. I’ve learned from thrifting that when it comes to altering a dress to be smaller, it’s the cut and style of the dress that counts most, and not always the size. I love the math on this too. If you’re paying less than $10.00 for a dress from a Salvation Army Family Store, you can take it to your local tailor or even the dry cleaner and get it altered, often at a minimal cost, and in the end you could still spend less than $20.00! Many pre-owned dresses are often vintage or even handmade. If you really love it, but it’s too big, practice cinching and pinching in the fitting room mirror, and if it looks like it has potential, drop it in your cart. Save money and enhance your wardrobe at the same time by stepping into a Salvation Army Family Store! With half off days at locations nationwide, their unbelievable prices can be found just about anywhere. So there’s no reason not to add a few beautiful dresses to your closet, dress your bridesmaids, or even go to the prom in style!

-Sheila Fortson/The Glam Thrifter