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Restyled Rags Girls’ Night Out a fashionable bargain

The days of conspicuous consumption are over. Rather than whispering how much something cost, women are bragging about how little they paid. Frugal is the new black.

Fortunately, thrift store shopping doesn’t always mean giving up that upscale experience. The Women’s Resource Center’s Restyled Rags has the feel of a chic boutique.

The resale shop, whose proceeds benefit the WRC, is tucked away at the end of the Jennings Arcade Building, on Bradenton’s Old Main Street. The first Thursday of every month, the racks spill out into the hall to make room for the Girls’ Night Out shopping party. Wine and light noshes are served, of course.

Store manager Cheryl Hughes, assisted by JoAnne Walsh, plans a different theme each month and August paired two all-time favorites: shopping and chocolate. In addition to the sweet deals (including half off of the already inexpensive merchandise), Richey’s Chocolate’s Mardee Westerman brought some of their handmade treats.

This past Thursday night, Tricia Fradley and Christina Adkins were Restyled Rags novices, but they are now devout converts. Both had shopping bags filled with treasures they had scooped up.

Arlene Cagle and her daughter, Lori Lewis, were shopping for a mother-of the-bride dress. Lori is planning her wedding and the duo found several possibilities. The shop is a great place for wedding accessories — no gowns, but some smart bride will discover the beautiful flower girl dress on display.

Browsers included Terry DeBoer, Trona Carter and Edith Levie. They had some help from Women’s Resource Center volunteer Sancia Adye who acted as a personal shopper.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations.

as a volunteer or an employee.