This week I had to go to the Goodwill for work (lucky gal, I know!!) to drop off some items we were no longer using at the office and to look for a gag gift for a departing coworker. I found the gag gift, along with a perfect little ramekin to keep the rubber bands that had been procreating like bunnies all over the inside of my desk drawer. I had gone through the checkout line and was halfway between the cash register and the door when I spied a display area placed strategically near the entrance. Normally these displays catch your eye as you enter with hand-selected merchandise–some stores go with the outfits-on-mannequins approach while others (this Goodwill included) go by theme: designer or upscale clothes, all denim items, all white shirts, etc. But since I’d gone in on a mission and with a tight schedule, I had totally missed these racks. Good thing they caught my eye on the way out, though, because what was the theme of these display racks but navy blue trousers, for which I had been thrifting at least a year!
Lesson learned: don’t let a great find pass you by just because you didn’t think to look somewhere unexpected. More on that later–because sometimes your new favorite piece will be hidden in the kids’ section.
I’ve been looking for a pair of sneakers to replace my beloved brown and coral Pumas. They were thrifted practically brand new at a Salvation Army store about 5 years ago and I have worn the crap* out of ’em–the paint’s coming off the leather, the stitching’s coming out of the suede, and it is time to retire them.
I happened upon these beauts by City Sneaks (a Payless brand) in a Goodwill a few months ago with not one, but two pairs of laces attached–white and fuchsia. My first reaction was that the laces looked like garish Minnie Mouse bows and they had to go; only then could the shoes could become a casual, fuller-coverage alternative to the sandals I live in during the summer.
Hey y’all–you can now follow me on Instagram! Hit up @thriftshopchic on weekdays for daily outfits made entirely out of thrift finds and on weekends for live instagramming from the thrift store (thriftsagramming?). You can also check out recent updates to my feed on the sidebar and follow me by clicking the “Follow on Instagram” button at the bottom of the feed.
Because most days I don’t have time to take pics on one of these…
This past Saturday on the 4th of July my friend and I went thrifting–the perfect activity when it’s raining out, especially on a day that’s supposed to be about outdoor activities. Adhering to thrifting tactic “Know Before You Go”, I had 2 goals in mind:
We covered strategy–your overarching approach to The Thrift–in Thrifting Done Right, Part 1. Now it’s time for tactics–how you actually operate in store. If this is sounding like a military operation or a major league playbook, please excuse my enthusiasm. And remember, I’m not here to be a thrift dictator, so take the principles you like and make them your own.
Did I mention I have (really) narrow feet? Trotters are one of the few brands that come in narrow options, and when I found this glorious golden pair at a local thrift shop a few years ago–in narrow, no less!–I jumped on them. They were a bit short, but that didn’t stop me from wearing the crap out of them–leather stretches, right??
Thrift store shopping can be overwhelming for the uninitiated–aisles upon aisles of clothes, a mishmash of styles and colors that looks like a muppet threw up everywhere, and the siren call of cheap, cheap prices that can make you think “It’s only $3…I can buy 10 shirts here for the same amount I’d spend on one shirt retail!” Even people who are thrift pros still occasionally get sucked into the vortex of inexpensive and plentiful clothing.
This post covers some basic strategies for your approach to thrifting. Part 2 covers tactics for once you’re in the store (see what I did there? Strategies are for how you look at the forest, while tactics are the methods you use to negotiate individual trees…or something). Oh, and let’s be generous about the “done right” part–I’m not here to be a thrift dictator, so take the principles you like and make them your own. Continue reading “Thrifting Done Right, Part 1”→
This week the best kind of friends came to town–friends who find spending an hour or two at Goodwill to be a fun group activity! In 90 minutes or so we replaced a pint glass we had broken, grabbed a wooden mini tambourine for our kid, snagged Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, and Santana records for maximum dance partying at home, and stocked up on some summer reading (including Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal–which I’m pretty sure we used to have, but gave away at some point. Ah, the perils of decluttering. Good thing it only cost $2 to replace).
Now on to the part you actually care about: clothes!
I’d say 95% of my wardrobe comes from thrift stores. The other 5%? Christmas gifts from my mom and mother-in-law, the occasional fair trade or Made-in-USA (where labor practices can be monitored) item, and things you just don’t really want to buy in a thrift store (your mileage may vary):