Thursday, June 28, 2012

The joyful benefits of thrifting!

I FINALLY figured out how to enable the 'REPLY' button in the COMMENTS!  Yay for me!  Geez, that took long enough.  To those of you who have commented, thank you; now I can finally reply directly to your comments instead of posting a comment separately to do so!

This thrift shopping habit is addicting AND sobering.  I believe since I have added the thrift option to my repertoire, my wardrobe is better than ever.  I am a better shopper in a thrift store than I am in a retail store.  I have a different mindset when thrifting.  I am more discriminating; I figure if I am going to take someone else's clothing home, I am going to be choosy.  I look at labels and choose higher quality brands.  I couldn't afford to do that in retail stores. There is a more unique selection available in thrift stores and I think more creatively.   If I need a garment, and I am shopping retail, I will usually settle for an item that I like but don't love.  As I examine each piece in a thrift store, I think about how I would wear it and what other items in my closet work with it.  When shopping retail, I used to pick up something that sort of appealed to me and put it in the shopping cart.....I didn't look at the fabric content, the label or the quality of the piece and I didn't consider how it would fit in with the rest of my wardrobe.  Shame on me.

In one of my earlier posts, I admitted that for years I was very resistant to thrift shopping.  I had many preconceived notions about the type and condition of clothing that was available.  I was so wrong.  I have found name brand pieces in perfect condition for pennies on the dollar. I was surprised to find that most of the clothing is in very good condition; clean and usually not in need of repair.  Again, shame on me.

My husband is very supportive of this leap into a new world of dressing myself.  He's been a long time thrifter.  I must admit, though, that my husband's thrifting was one of the reasons I was so put off by thrifting. Although he brought home some nice things occasionally, more often he brought home some really ugly things.
He has since upped his game with my help, and has learned to be more discriminating.  He has helped me to become more frugal.  Thrifting has been a win-win situation in my home.

Let's move on to the clothing........

I apologize for the poor quality of this photo, but it's was just a quick shot to see if the dress was going to work.  I have decided it will work...but I want to add wider straps.

This is the BACK of a evening lovely dress that I purchased at Goodwill for $7.00.  
 When I first tried on the dress....I was under a little pressure from the husband and son to 'hurry up'.  So I tried the dress on and loved it, but thought it was a bit too low cut in the front.  I purchased it anyway and planned to take it to the tailor.  Yesterday, I washed it (in the 'hand wash' cycle of the machine, in a pillowcase) and when I hung it to dry, I noticed darts on the 'back'.  Oops.....I had tried the dress on BACKWARDS!
De Laru dress; you can't tell in this picture, but the dress is a very soft silver metallic and has a luminous sheen
This is the front.  This way, it fits perfectly and needs no tailoring!  I like it even better this way. Leave it to me to try on a dress backwards...and still buy it!

Merona; $3
I have not had much luck finding cute skirts at thrift stores, but yesterday, I found this.  It's very cute on....

and I love the pattern.  Not sure how to style it yet.

Victoria's Secret; $1.50 each!
Since it was half price day, I picked up each of these Victoria Secret chemises for $1.50 each.  They were all in perfect condition!

Chaps; $1.50
I like this for nights I don't feel so 'silky'

Bill Levkoff; $15.00!
 And here is the dress I posted about previously; my great find.  It needs to be let out a pinch to make it fit comfortably under the arms, but I have a great seamstress, Rosemary, who can do just about anything.  She's amazing....she has even made a too short ballroom gown longer for me.  Not everyone can work with specialized ballroom dance gowns...but Rosemary is my gem.

Trinni; $4
I was on the fence about his dress.  I love the pattern, but it's a bit more body hugging.  I snapped the picture (above) to see if I could pull off this dress...and I decided that I can, if I have Rosemary make wider straps, to balance the upper half with the lower half.

This top is a blouse...that looks very similar to an orphaned pajama top that I purchased!
Covington; $3.50

I couldn't resist this pretty red was brand new with tags from a specialty shop...called 'The Maid's Secret Closet'.  What a cool name.....I tried to look up the shop online but didn't find anything.

I was very attracted to this kind of loud pattern, but I am not totally sure I can pull this look off.  I put it back on the rack three times, but kept going back for it. It's silky and feels lovely against my skin.  I love the colors.  To me, it has a slightly 60's-70's retro feel (Partridge Family!) to it.  I decided put 'loud pattern' caution to the wind and get it.  

Here's the pajama top....looks so much like the blouse I purchased!  I'm almost tempted to wear this as a top, paired with some ivory trousers....

I've spent quite a bit of time in thrift stores since my 'conversion' from retail; I'm learning how to spot the real bargains; clothing that will last and that I will love for a long time to come.  
My wardrobe now reflects my tastes and style better than it ever has.
Thrifting has been a real treat!


  1. I love going to charity shops. You have scored some amazing hits.

    1. Thank you...I love them too. My entire wardrobe has improved since I started going....I take my time and find things I love instead of getting into that retail pressure cooker!

  2. You have found some great things! I love finding vintage nighties and pjs at Goodwill and other stores. I recently found quite a few at our local one...doesn't happen often.

    1. This is pretty new to me. It took me awhile to just go in to the Goodwill and look. Now I'm a full fledged thriftier. I don't think any of my 'new' nighties are vintage....but I will take vintage inspired nighties! You have had some good luck with it!

  3. You are good at thrifting. I get overwhelmed. I may have to try. I have a few friends who wear there dresses backwards on purpose and they always look so cool. But funny that you didn't realize it till after. Really great dress.

    1. Well....other than the dress being too low cut in the front, it looked great! Maybe I can wear it either way! Hahaha...

      Before I started thrifting, I would try to go in and I just couldn't force myself to look through everything. Once I got started and go the hang of it, I learned how to discriminate; now it's fun.

      The first thing I do is look for color that appeals to me; just a glance over each rack. When I see something that catches my eye, I give it a better look. I look for tears, stains, pilling, wearing and smells. If there is any of that, I reject it. I also push the pocket inside out to check for cleanliness; I don't reach in...I don't want any surprises!
      Next, I look at the label; I do prefer to choose better brand labels...even Gap and Banana Republic will be pretty good as well as high end brands.
      Once I got used to looking at other people's clothes.....I got over my reservation and now its such a great resource. I don't have any luck with pants though....I still have to purchase my pants retail from a limited brands that will work for a curvy figure!

    2. Thanks for those tips, They are helpful. I may try it. When I have tried in the past it never seems they have anything in my size. But it's probably the luck of the draw.

    3. It is the luck of the draw sometimes. Is there a Goodwill store near you? This is where I seem to have the best luck. A good time to go is after a town has had a 'town wide' garage sale day. These places receive truckloads of donations then. I also check every week. Goodwill usually has a constant rotation of items coming in..and they don't put it all out at one time. They keep a stead flow on the floor. Saturday I went on their half price day (it's good to right after that sale because they get rid of so much and replenish with new stuff) and there was a gorgeous dress, made in Paris that I really was reduced to 4.50...and it didn't fit. Good luck; don't give up, the first time you make some good scores, you may be hooked!

  4. the blouse and the evening gown are my favorites of all your recent thrift finds. It's interesting that your husband was the thrifter initially in your household. My husband always comes along with me. this summer he's been buying up perfectly good bicycles for next to nothing.

    1. My husband is very thrifty. Initially I was put off by thrifting for reasons I have mentioned in other blog posts. I just didn't get it. I'm so glad that this kind of thinking has changed. I've had so much fun and I'm amazed by the unique and wonderful things I'm finding.

      What is your husband going to use the all the bicycles for?

  5. i'm so glad you're enjoying thrifting! For many years I was a bit embarrassed to admit I liked thrifting, I'm over it now, in fact I love telling people that I love thrifting, I've found amazing pieces that if it wasn't for thrifting I would never be able to afford. =D That floral dress looks amazing on you, wish I had curves to wear something similar!

  6. Thank You for the compliment!

    I was kind of embarrassed to talk about thrifting too...but so many bloggers (like you) were finding great pieces it just helped me to realize how wise it is to do so. I have found so many great things!

    Now I need to learn to wield a needle and thread like you do!

  7. I'm still trying to get into thrifting myself. I always see bloggers finding amazing things at Goodwill, but I've never found anything quite that impressive near me. I wonder if part of it is location?

    1. I do agree that part of my luck with thrifting is due to location. There are two Goodwill stores within 10 miles of my home in either direction and one of them has beautiful things, the other is hit or miss.

      The first few times I went into a thrift store, I just could not get into it. I really had to force myself to take some time to REALLY look at stuff. I have since developed a simple strategy that works for me. Maybe I can do a post on that sometime.

      Once I figure out how to do it, I got hooked on it...and I never thought I would ever feel that way!


"When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect"--Mark Twain