I taught my kids that thrift stores are a fun way to have clothes uniquely your own. When only a few dollars is invested, you can tailor or personalize a garment to suit any whim. If it doesn't work out, you are not out much money (though you do have a new outfit for chores or play since we use everything). My youngest daughter wears a small or extra small in ladies - not easy to find. With a few stitches though, a garment can be sized down to fit her slender frame.
My girls especially have grasped thrift stores as a way to define their own tastes in clothes. Trends are fine but my girls developed an eye for color and style that I admire. They can assemble an outfit for any occasion. They are both members of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, through the Masonic fraternity, which gives them regular opportunities to wear formals. I sew some, such as the floral one a couple of weeks ago. We also look for formals at the thrift store to clean, alter and be fabulous.
On this city trip, my youngest daughter found two church dresses, a pair of jeans and a sweater at a Goodwill thrift store for $16. This is my kind of deal! Today's teal zebra dress needed an insert as it is cut too low at the bustline. We dress for modesty around here. The dress has a tie at the waist to tailor it small enough for my little princess (she is almost 17), so the insert was the only needed modification.
I had some leftover black lining fabric from my sons vests to cut a diamond of fabric. Fold it in half to make a triangle. Serge the edges. Tack in the bustline of the dress.
Voila! A modest but trendy, funky, cool dress she can wear anywhere.