HOUSTON—The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is under way. If you still need to buy some western wear, you can do so without bronco-busting your budget. Just head to a thrift store near you.
A typical rodeo outfit for a man or a woman can cost about $120 at a regular retail store. That’s not counting the price of a hat and boots. Those can cost at least a few hundred dollars each.
But at a thrift store, a rodeo outfit costs as little as $20, again not including the cost of a hat and boots.
Clothing at a thrift store is used, but that makes good sense for items you will wear once a year, said Mollie Jones at Blue Bird Circle Shop on Alabama in the Montrose area.
"This is a great place for people who don’t wear rodeo wear as a lifestyle to pick up a few pieces and pay $8 for a shirt, or $5 for a pair of jeans or pick up a neat belt or some boots that are in your size," said Jones.
In a city like Houston, thrift stores are full of gently used western wear. Some items are high-end and cost the original owner hundreds of dollars when they were purchased new. You can also find accessories. At Blue Bird someone brought in a sterling silver necklace that was new with the original $65 price tag still attached.
Thrift shops typically have dated systems whereby they lower the prices with each passing week.
They also have racks and racks of clothing, so you have to be patient and have a sharp eye in order to successfully search for good finds.
Below is a list of popular thrift stores in Houston where you are likely to find rodeo wear:
BLUE BIRD CIRCLE -- (713) 528-5607
BUFFALO EXCHANGE – (713) 523-8701
CATHOLIC CHARITIES – (713) 529-0995
SALVATION ARMY – (713) 425-8727
DAV THRIFT STORE -- (713) 741-2426
VALUE VILLAGE – (713) 468-6529
Typical costs of newly purchased western wear at retail stores:
For women: Boots $250; Hats $200; Belts $50; Shirts $30; Jeans $40
For men: Boots $300; Hats $150; Belts $50; Shirts $35; Jeans $35
For kids: Boots $75; Hats $25; Belts $20; Shirts $20; Jeans $30