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Need Uniforms? Check The Thrift Stores

One of the largest job-related expenses for military service members is the forever purchasing of uniforms.  Some of those uniform parts, especially for the dressier uniforms, can get pretty darn expensive.  Thankfully, there is a great resource to get those uniforms at a huge discount - the base thrift shops!

Even though enlisted folks get a clothing allowance each year, there is no rule that you must spend that money on uniforms.  As long as you have the right uniform for every situation, and it is in good condition, the military doesn't care where you get it.

Before you head to the uniform shop for any purchases, check out your base thrift shop to see what they have to offer.  Some thrift shops keep their uniforms in a separate area and require that you show ID before making a purchase, so it always pays to ask if your thrift shop carries uniforms.  If you're in an area with multiple military bases, it will probably worth your time to check with each location.

Just to give you an example of prices, I once purchased my husband a new dress uniform jacket for $5 at the thrift store at Little Creek AB, now Joint Base Little Creek-Fort Story.  It isn't uncommon to pick up an entire uniform for less than $20.

Even though enlisted folks get a clothing allowance each year, there is no rule that you must spend that money on uniforms.  As long as you have the right uniform for every situation, and it is in good condition, the military doesn't care where you get it.

Once you are searching at the thrift shop, be sure to check all the racks that might have the right uniform.  For example, some shops price Navy Chief khakis at a lower price than Navy officer khakis - go figure.

Thrift store uniforms are especially great for events where you think that you might get dirty, including more exuberant balls and duty in locations where it is more icky.

Even if you have to have them slightly altered or have new insignia added, thrift store uniforms can be a huge savings over the cost of purchasing new items at the uniform shop.  And saving money is always good!

 

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