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The Green Goddess &ndash Changing the world one shopper at a time

Thrift-store bonanza

 In she walks and no one can take their eyes off of her. This vision, nay goddess, whose tiny feet hardly grace the floor, certainly she is not of this world. She pauses to speak, and with great poise she says, “85 dolla make me holla”!

It’s true; you can buy cheap and go long if you happen to be on a shopping spree at the Salvation Army with fashion maven and local designer Angelina Mata. Brilliant designer, mother, wife, style star, bargain Bernie, genius — this girl’s got it going on. Armed with only 85 bucks, in one hour Angelina managed to find a week’s worth of adorable outfits appropriate for the workday hustle-bustle, happy hour, and even a little black-tie number — all at the Salvation Army at the corner of South Alamo and Probandt.

The trick to buying successfully at thrift stores is to go in with a simple look from a magazine that you want to duplicate. By keeping it basic, you can achieve what you want and then build on it by adding pieces — but always keep in mind that what you find might require some alterations: that used bridesmaid dress might be the right color, but boy does it need to be cut off into a cute mini.

You can find Angelina Mata and her line, Angelina Mata Couture, at her hair salon, The Euphorium, 1024 South Alamo. (Yes, she cuts hair, too!) Salvation Army has customer-appreciation day every Wednesday, when prices are slashed by 50 percent. If I had known that ahead of time, it would have been “$42 dolla makes me holla.” Exercising a little daring and imagination can get you a number of inexpensive but fabulous looks from the thrift store, and at the same time you are being a conscientious shopper — let’s hear it for super you!

Happy shopping.
— G.G.

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