Weekly Buzz – An Education in Thrifting

I was so happy when Jill agreed to write a guest blog post for me. If you haven’t checked out her site over at Spoils of Wear, you simply must. Her style posts always inspire me in addition to cracking me up because she’s so darn funny. Since she has a talent for thrifting and looking fabulous on a budget, I asked her to share some tips with all of you.

Greetings Wild Ruffle Readers (say that 10 times fast). Jill here, reporting to you from the offices of Spoils of Wear (aka my cozy bed). I hope you’ll join me on this thrift shopping adventure. Moderate imagination required.

It’s Monday. Most people work for the weekends, but I work for Mondays. Monday is customer appreciation day at my local thrift store when all items are 25% off the marked price.  I wait patiently as the clock rolls over to 5:00. I’m out like a bolt of lightning. The faster we pick up the dog (from doggy daycare at my in-laws), the faster we get home, the faster I can change into proper thrifting attire, the faster I can get to the store, the more time I have to shop.

image via pinterest

I get home and bee-line it for my closet. I know exactly what I need: leggings and a shirt-dress or any similar light layers will do. Comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off. I avoid dressing rooms at this particular thrift store at all costs. They smell nasty. Like a concentrated version of the thrift store itself.

I kiss my man and pug goodbye, tell them dinner is leftovers a la carte and that I’ll be back shortly after store closing. It takes me approximately 4 minutes 37 seconds to get there, depending on that one annoying traffic light. Pull into the parking lot and take a nice, deep breath, knowing it will be a couple hours before fresh air graces my nostrils again (I’m being overdramatic, it’s not that bad).

image via pinterest

Lungs full of life-enhancing oxygen, I speed-walk into the thrift store, not stopping as I grab a cart and head straight for the vintage aisle. This thrift store is sadly overpriced except for the vintage. And with an extra 25% off, it’s that much harder to say no when the pickin’s are good. My cart fills up quickly.

Shoes are located on top of the clothes racks, so I’m on high alert as I move to my next location – dresses. With a critical eye, I skim the fabrics for quality, color, and print. I push back the hangers to reveal something that either deserves a second look or doesn’t. Potential acquisitions go to the cart for further consideration.

It’s all mapped out – vintage, dresses, jackets, skirts, purses, pants, shirts, jewelry. When I’m out of racks (or time, which ever comes first), I find one of the few community mirrors located throughout the store. I can try on anything over my light layers, never having to disrobe in public.

image via pinterest

This is where I get down to business. It’s time to re-evaluate. What do I like about this item? I consider:

1. Brand. Do I recognize the brand? If so, how much would I be willing to pay at its store of origin? If I don’t know the brand and am extra curious, I’ll Google it on my phone. More often, I simply trust my instincts.

2. Wear-ability. Is it wearable right NOW? Or does it require mending or alterations? If so, is it worth additional time and money? Most common answer = no.

3. Sustainability. How long will this piece last in my wardrobe? My family has trouble with shrinking and discoloring items in the wash (cough-cough-husband-cough). I avoid ironing whenever possible. Does this item require special care? How much use will I really get out of it? I estimate cost per wear (CPW).

4. Salability. This pertains to vintage and high-end brands. How much could I get for this at a consignment shop or online reseller? The answer has to be at least twice the current cost.

Upon passed inspection, I try it on. If it fits, I like it, and the price is right, it goes back into the cart. It’s a bummer when a great item doesn’t work, but for my wallet’s sake, I hope there are more items in the discard pile than the cart when I’m done.

I check out with 3 tops and 3 bottoms for just over $20. I feel like a rockstar. I go home and celebrate with a piece of gooey chocolate cake.

Oh Happy (Mon)Day. Thanks for thrifting with me.

Jill, doing her thing.

Let me know if you want that chocolate cake recipe.

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Comments

  1. Andrea Ferrante says:

    Cate – if you ever want to know what the sale days are for all of the thrift stores in OUR area let me know! I visit them weekly – shhh don’t tell Jerry :) Just scored a pair of Joe’s jeans for $5!

  2. So… which thrift store is this? Do tell!

  3. What a great post! I love the first picture, I SOOO need that bumper sticker!

  4. Love this! I wish the thrift stores near me were worth going to every week!
    -Meagan
    http://spunkychateau.blogspot.com

  5. Too fun, Jill — I love it! What a great account of your adventures in thrifting.
    xo Josie

  6. So funny!! I am starting to think about thrift stores a lot… today I went to 2. I think I have a problem!

  7. I love this description of a day at Valu Thrift!! Makes me want to go there now… Great post Jill and Cate!

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