A couple of miles from my house there’s a big shopping center. It’s beautifully landscaped, has comfy outdoor seating, good restaurants, and if you’re lucky you might see social media sensations Minnie and Max taking a stroll.
It also has a lot of posh stores. Think Tiffany’s, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Bloomingdales, Michael Kors, Eileen Fisher, etc.
Despite its proximity I don’t go here often, but I did yesterday. I wanted to take my youngest daughter (who’s home from college for a few days) clothes shopping. We also wanted to look for a Father’s Day gift and grab a little lunch at Max’s Cafe.
It was a lovely day though this thrift-store shopper suffered from price-sticker shock. I did a lot of internal head shaking. I don’t mind paying more for quality items (i.e., well-made clothes with good fabric), but a lot of the stuff we looked at was just average at best. 😦
In the end my daughter wanted only one thing, a Banana Republic sweater in a soft silk/cashmere blend that I had spied on a sales rack. It was originally $80 marked down to $30. (Well, that’s more like it!)
Though it was pleasant to walk into clean, well-lit stores with beautifully arranged clothes and jewelry, I have to admit I found it a tad…boring! I’d rather grub around in a thrift store, rummage sale or estate sale looking for well-priced treasures including clothes.
Here are two of my favorite 2017 thrift store finds that I’m keeping for myself: a $329 Julia Duren leather purse for $18.35 and an Ann Taylor leather moto jacket that sells for over $300 for $25.65. Both are in beautiful condition.
If you’re particularly budget minded or just like a bargain or a little adventure, I encourage you check out your local thrift stores. You may not find anything the first visit, but with a little persistence you’ll get some great deals on great items.
Tips for Shopping for Clothes at Thrift-Store/Yard Sale/Estate Sales
- Thoroughly check over the garment for dirt, stains, marks, holes and rips. Some things can be fixed, others can’t!
- Give it the sniff test. If a garment reeks of cigarette smoke or mildew, give it a pass. Mild smells can be removed with non-toxic home remedies including soaking in white vinegar water, spritzing with vodka or washing and drying in sunlight.
- Love the fabric, but not the style? Consider…can this be easily altered to something fresh and modern and more your style?
- For ladies, don’t forget to look in the men’s section too. Sometimes things get moved around in a thrift store. Plus, some men’s clothes are darn cool. I found a striped Etro (high-end Italian brand) men’s shirt for $11 that I like wearing and my oldest daughter has several “old-man jackets” she bought at estate sales and wears all the time.
- Buy secondhand items online. If you don’t want to do the legwork and/or don’t have access to good thrift stores/sales or can’t find what you want, look online for good stuff at a fraction of the original cost. I’ve bought Eileen Fisher items and vintage Coach purses this way and found the vintage Levi’s jean jacket of my dreams for a sweet price. Check out Etsy, eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark, etc.
I hope this is just sweet encouragement to look beyond your local mall for fabulous items for you and your home. 🙂