A Second Opinion: Oh, those wonderful Rebajas de Enero!

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By Mary Foran
Not being flush with funds when I was living in Spain, I spiritedly sought out the Rebajas de Enero (January Sales) to fill out my wardrobe for the year. The best were to be had at the Corte Ingles, of course, but other stores had discount offerings too.
Not for me the high-falooting fancy stores in the Serrano district of Madrid. I may have written about Oscar de la Renta, but I was never a princess at the ball!

Serrano Street

The funniest thing that happened to me was when I bought a pretty dress at the Rebajas for an Embassy Soiree, and when I arrived at the event, a lady was wearing the exact same dress which she must have bought at a discount too! So much for being fashionable in my time!

Now that I am writing from the States, January Sales are still very important to me, especially when it comes to buying calendars. After January 1st, all calendars in the Mall go on sale for 50% off, quite a savings if you buy two or three to hang around the house.
Clothing for our late winters, appliances which weren’t sold as Christmas presents, electronic gadgets and even toys can be had for less. Cars and trucks have winter discounts and wrapping paper and decorations can be had for a song. Time to store up for next year! In fact, all Christmas decor can be found at bargain basement prices.
I have been accused of being a miser, but I prefer to consider myself “thrifty”! I figure why pay more when you can pay less? With my attitude, I’d never make it in the fashion scene in New York or London or Paris. Maybe Madrid is more forgiving!

A warm overcoat that would actually fit my broad American shoulders

Speaking of thrift, I am the kind of person that loves to hang around antique shops and second-hand stores looking for the unusual and the buried treasure. Estate paraphernalia that has been put on consignment intrigues me to no end, and high-end donated items that are still quite usable do not scare me away.

Most of my books are garnered from second-hand shops, which I read and then recycle. It’s rare when I buy a new book straight off the New York Times Best Seller List—-I wait until it is well-loved and well-worn! Most of the books I read throughout my life have been “lost” through moves and other people’s cleaning fits, so now I try not to be too attached to MY books!
I have even started borrowing books from the Library again, which forces you to read at more than a snail’s pace at least!
One thing I could never quite find in the Rebajas de Enero was a warm overcoat that would actually fit my broad American shoulders. I was just a little taller and my feet were just a little larger than the average Spanish sizes. But fitting clothes properly is always a challenge: I met a Chinese woman who couldn’t find shoes small enough for her here!
So save a few Euros and try the Rebajas de Enero! You’ll be glad you did!
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Images

Featured image/Anna Utochkina
Serrano/FDV, cc by-sa3.0
Second-hand books/John Weinhardt
Overcoat/Sahin Yesilyaprak