Archive of ‘Thrifting’ category

Thrown Together Thrifting #4

All good things must come to an end.  So here are the final outfits-
Found this floral patterned top and I’m always on the lookout for patterns that I enjoy.  It’ll be a good staple in my closet.  I also found these bootcut jeans that fit nicely.
 My photographer insisted on a shot from the rear.  Even though I’m not particularly proud of it, here it is-
 I found this nice peach polo but I’m just not a polo girl.  So it got left there.  I felt a little like a Tommy Hilfiger ad with the purse/polo combo.
 I guess I was surprised in this photo???  🙂  I love a striped shirt, so this yellow one made me happy.  And there was also this little burlappy bag that was so cute.
 Lastly, a cute jacket and a straw bag.  I love the grommets of this jacket and I also like that it’ll fill a brown jacket hole in my closet.  Yea!

I hope I’ve inspired you to visit your local thrift stores.  On just an hour or two’s time I found lots of fun things, all for $5 or less.  And while these outfits aren’t stellar, or well thought out, the pieces that I actually took home will work great with items I already own.  And that’s the key to thrifting, finding things that work with the pieces you’ve invested solid money in.
Who’s ready to go again?

Thrown Together Thrifting #3

I get so mad when my posts don’t post on time to Facebook, so I apologize that these posts are showing back to back.  I’m still trying to find what the issue is with that program.  
Meanwhile, here is my third group of outfits-
  This top was one of my favorite finds of the trip.  Because it is cashmere.  I love spending less than $5 and getting something special.  I paired it with a fun plaid bag.
Not sure I’m crazy about this photo either.  But it did make the cut.  (What is it that I’m staring off at?)  I like this blouse because it has lots of greens and browns in it and those are colors I wear alot.
 Here’s a little wrap sweater that I was attracted to mostly for this summer to cuddle up in at sundown.  And I found this sweet faux croc bag that’s oh-so-ladylike.
Here’s another one of my favorite purchases of the day, this shiny gold trench (minus the wrinkles).  You know how this girl loves her a trench coat.  Add in a fun metallic (with matching bag) and a ruffle, that’s a winner to me!  

Thrown Together Thrifting #2

Here are more outfits from my whirlwind thrifting trip. 
This first outfit has a tropical printed blazer, which I normally wouldn’t add to my wardrobe but a friend of mine is having a themed birthday party soon and I knew this would be fun to wear.  I also bought the green blouse underneath because it brings out my green eyes.  Lastly I did purchase this funky purse and the ankle length jeans for a new addition to my wardrobe for spring.  The flats were a little snug so I left them there.

 I really don’t like wearing all black because I not only feel like I’m in mourning but I look as pastey as a sheet.  But I found this sparkly little tank and it found its way home too.  It’ll be fun for a night out.  The shrug and the pants I didn’t love either.  But they fit and made this top part of a respectable outfit.

 Ug.  I don’t like this photo at all but here we go.  I liked the little black crocheted vest and this top is actually a baby pink, although hard to see.  The top has a fun lace back.  Probably not what I’d pair with slacks but they matched so they got pieced together.  Again, like the top pieces but not together.

 The jury is still out on this top.  I like the color and the combination but I’m not sure it looks good on ME.  And it tends to look a little matronly.  But I did like the bag!

More outfits to come!

Thrown Together Thrifting #1

Okay, so after my whirlwind rack combing, I went to the dressing room with a TON of clothing, shoes and bags.  After I tried on everything for fit (and likeability), I put together outfits with only the items from the thrift store.  And again, I add, this was done quickly.  I wasn’t thinking about how stellar the outfit was, I was just going with my gut.
So here’s outfit number one-

I found this dress that is cute but a little on the short side for me.  I’d pair this with black tights or with leggings for my real life.  Add a little patient leather belt and shoes and this one’s done.
Here’s a black wrap dress I found.  It really is a must have in your closet.  I have several so I left this one there for someone else to enjoy.  But a cute pair of nude satin pumps and you can take this dress anywhere.
I feel a little like a Golden Girl in this outfit.  But it was fun for the five thrilling minutes.  I found this faux wrap jersey shirt, white capris and this turquoise blazer, all paired with nude snakeskin pumps.  I like all the pieces but probably not together again.
Last one for tonight.  Here again are the white capris, paired with a coral button down and a navy polka dot raincoat.  LOVE the raincoat (because I have an accessories problem) but the button down I left because I hate wearing them.  I think it’s because I have no neck…
I hope you enjoyed these fast and furious outfits.  Are you excited to go thrifting yet?

How to Be a Savvy Thrifter- Step Four

To the Finish Line

Congratulations, you just successfully thrifted!  I hope you enjoyed your visit.  But before you rejoice in the parking lot with all of your treasures, you must face the checkout.
A few things to keep in mind-
1) Don’t forget that many places have a return policy.  So if you do get home and you find something wrong with an item or have second thoughts, you may be able to return it.  Read the fine print at each thrift store.
2) See if you qualify for any discounts.  Some stores run tag sales for specific tag colors on specific days.  Also if you’re a teacher or a senior citizen, you may also have discounts.  Don’t miss out on an extra percentage if there is one!
3) If you are hesitant about an item, remember that it may not be there if you want to return for it.  This isn’t a warehouse full of little black dresses.   So try and decide on the spot.
The more you go, the more I know you’ll enjoy thrifting.  It takes practice just like anything else.  Soon you’ll be scanning the racks, scoring some amazing finds and getting them at great prices!

On a side note, I apologize that we had to miss Beauty Shop Saturday.  So I’ll try to throw in an extra special one next week!

How to Be a Savvy Thrifter- Step Three

Dressing Room Diaries

Now that you’ve got all of your goodies in the dressing room, it’s time to get busy.  Trying on clothes at thrift stores is not an enjoyable task.  But it needs to be done.  Yes, you can afford to take a risk and just grab it and go.  But if you’re like me and have a cart full, you probably will want to weed through those first.
I like to try on pants and shirts at the same time, it makes you feel like you’re being more efficient.  It also helps to see what each item needs to be paired with.

Image source striatic’s photostream via

A few rules for the dressing room-
1) If it needs fixing, it probably isn’t worth your time.  Yes, you can always get it tailored, hem the pants, etc. But most likely, unless you are totally in love with it, you won’t ever find the time.  You can make exceptions to this rule, but only if the fix is VERY simple.  E.i.  it is missing an easy button.
2) As you try on, make three different piles- reject, buy and a maybe pile.  The maybe pile will most likely need a second try-on.  Or if you’re in doubt, wear it the longest.  Leave on those questionable pair of jeans while you try on a few more tops.  I find that your gut reaction is usually the right one.
3)  After you find that the fit is good, check the item thoroughly.  I once put on a pair of jeans that had a huge rip in the crotch.  Stains like oil are hard to see unless you’re upclose, especially if the item is dark in color.  Even though the item is only a few dollars, you don’t want to get home and be disappointed that you bought it.
Success!  You’ve found a few things (or your yes pile is pulling the hook off the wall).  Tomorrow- the check out.

How to Be a Savvy Thrifter- Step Two

Divide and Conquer

I was just thrifting this last weekend.  And I’ll give you my strategic plan.  I was on the lookout for spring basics, something we’re all wishing for right about now.  I was looking for specific colors- mint and peach are big colors for spring.  I was also looking for some ankle jeans, Capri’s and great boyfriend, broken-in, read-for-sand-and-firepit jeans.  Lastly, I wanted to look through the jackets and blazers because you just never know….

By Photo by Neesa Rajbhandari The S.W.A.P. Team [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

First stop, blazers.  And for the second stop, jackets.  These racks you can file through very quickly.  Both of these are easy to try on right at the rack, eliminating the need to fill your shopping cart with things that don’t even fit.  If it is handy, you can even see how you like how they look on your body by making use of a mirror in the store that isn’t in the dressing room.
Second stop, the jeans rack.  All of the items I listed on the pants search list would fall into the jeans category.  And find jeans really can be overwhelming, even for this veteran.  But you have to know a few secrets.  One, if it looks too small on the hanger, most likely it isn’t worth taking it to the dressing room.  Hold it up to your body.  Here is a trick I remember reading- if you take pants and button the button and wrap the waist of the pants around your neck (like a scarf), if the ends touch, then they’ll fit your waist. Essentially, your neck is half the size of your waist.  Saves some time while you’re in the trenches to eliminate “waist.” (Sorry, bad pun.)
Two, labels don’t lie.  If you know you will never, ever love the way you look in Lee jeans, then don’t pick them up.  End of story.  Secondly, each size is different.  While Old Navy tends to run small (I don’t even want to tell you the size I fit into there), somewhere like Banana Republic tends to run pretty generous.  They call it vanity sizing.  I call it, thank you for making my day.  So know your sizes in the labels you like.  And don’t forget that in general, if you pick up something made by Ann Taylor you’ll probably feel a difference between that and No Boundaries.  Not always, but most of the time.
My final stop was the blouses.  This is where time stops in the thrift store.  Jeans have a common theme, but shirts, they can be so different.  And when there are miles to sort through and maybe they haven’t even been sized.  Whew.  You can really get bogged down.  The key here is color.  Know what color of blouse you are in need of- it’ll make going up and down those aisles so much faster.  And if you happen to see something wonderful on the way, that is the treasure in this hunt.
If I don’t get through a thrift store with a pile to try on, something just isn’t right.  So tomorrow’s tips, the dressing room.

How to Be a Savvy Thrifter- Step One

Parting the Sea

At this point in my life, I feel I am a professional thrifter.  Much like watching American Pickers, I’m the picker of clothing.  And I thought I’d pass along to the masses how to be a savvy thrifter.
Today we’ll talk about step one- parting the sea.

Image source Orin Zebest via

First off, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed.  Walking into a Goodwill or Salvation Army or any thrift store can feel like you’ve just been dumped into an ocean of clothing (which is what I love about it).  But I can  understand how it can give others heart palpitations.  You definitely don’t want to be there on a day when you can only shop for twenty minutes and are trying to find a black shell or any other specific item.  Thrifting takes time, patience and an adventurous spirit.  It is not for the faint of heart.
Pinpoint why you are shopping.  Are you shopping for fun?  Are you on the hunt for something?  Are you here only for the dresses?  This will help you narrow down what racks you hit and how much time it’ll take.  If you are only there to see what formalwear they have, you might be in and out.  If you’re looking for lots of spring basics, you’ll need an afternoon.  Etc.
And remember that almost always you can’t hit every rack in one visit.  There are some thrift stores where the items are at least sorted by size.  Or supposed to be.  And then there are those that are also categorized by color.  This helps immensely.  That said, some of the best finds are those that were “misfiled,” if you will.  Poking through racks that are not your size, right by the dressing rooms or towards the cashier can prove to be valuable time spent.
Getting good at thrifting means going often, not only to get accustomed to shopping in the sea of clothing but also to get great deals as they come in.
Tomorrow- thrifting, search and rescue.

Goodwill Hunting

Seventeen items for just about $100. That’s what I walked away with this weekend after my visit to Omaha, one of the best places around to Goodwill shop. The Omaha Goodwill’s are not only categorized by size (which cuts down dramatically on how long you spend there), but clean and stocked full of brand name clothing. You never know what you are going to find there, but I’ve purchased just about anything and everything you can think of at the Goodwill. This weekend’s treasures include:
1) Two pairs of khaki Bermuda shorts. Shorts are always something easy to find at the Goodwill. Shorts hardly ever change in style, you simply just need to find short or long and the right color. And for someone with kids, mine are forever getting some crazy stain on them that will not come out. So finding cheap pairs that I don’t have to worry about is a must. Plus, it is easy to find brand names. The two I came home with were GAP and Eddie Bauer.
2) Cream, silk shorts. These deserve a different category.  I have been seeing these at Ann Taylor this summer and wanted to try them, but not for those prices! $5 though, sure, I’ll risk it.
3) Pants, pants and more pants. Sometimes just having the right pair of pants to wear with a blouse is a hard find. Pants are also a great Goodwill purchase because in general you don’t wear many pants with prints and most are neutral colors. That doesn’t mean you can’t find pants that don’t fall into this category, however. I found a pair of Limited purple plaid pants and a pair of grey and a pair of cinnamon colored corduroys. I think the cinnamon corduroys were actually my favorite purchase of the day. I also bought a pair of winter white dress pants (in perfect condition) and a pair of ankle cropped Ann Taylor brown plaid dress pants.
4) Tops. When it comes to tops, things get a bit harder. I’m pretty picky about my prints and this is really where you see trends, wear, etc. This is what I found on this trip-a pink lace blouse (seems lace is really in this fall), two casual but brightly colored shirts, a faux shearling shrug-like sweater and a red plaid print sweater.
5) Skirts.  These also can be hard to find. Many are outdated and again, I’m picky about prints. But I did find a classic purple and black tweed skirt and a summery brown and white floral printed skirt
(so easy to wear for a busy mom).
6) Jackets.  Lastly I found a dressy grey jacket in a silver brocade. Looking forward to wearing this over the fancy dresses I will be wearing at Christmastime.
At close to $6/item, I think I did quite well!