In my last installment of Tales from the Thrift – the Clothing Edition, I shared some of the great everyday pieces I’ve discovered this year. Since I retired from the corporate world in July, I haven’t really been on the hunt for work clothes. In fact, I have a full closet of work clothes that I may start unloading soon – meaning, they will soon find their way to the thrift store for someone else to enjoy! I do want to hang on to a few classic styled items including great jackets. Those always come in handy and sometimes are hard to replace at a reasonable cost.
I like to have a strategy when I go to my favorite thrift stores on how I go about finding things. Something I’ve discovered over time is that it’s good to check the return rack outside of the dressing rooms. I mean, these are clothes that people have taken time to select items that didn’t work out for whatever reason. Maybe the size wasn’t right or the fit wasn’t perfect. At any rate, I always check out the return rack before I start going through the general racks. Last week alone, I found three items that I ended up buying from the return rack. Not a bad haul!
I also like to check the ends of the racks before I get seriously into the hunt. For instance, at my favorite thrift store in Hoover, there is a large wall that is completely mirrored. People will take clothes and try them on in front of the wall mirror and if the clothing doesn’t work, they just put them on the rack by the mirror. So I’ve made it a point to check the ends of all the racks too and I luck up on some great pieces.
I found this red Kasper blazer jacket on an end cap earlier this year. It’s the perfect color for me and I’ve already worn it for a photo shoot for a project I was into a few months ago. It’s just such a classic jacket so it’s not going anywhere except back into my closet!
Earlier this year I also found this lovely knit jacket with the Ming Wang label. Honestly, I had never heard of this label before but the jacket really had a classic quality to it. I liked it immediately so tried it on and was sold! I then did a google search to find the label and learn more about it. Yeowza! These are some expensive knit jackets!!! I learned that the label was founded in 1986 and the only place in town that I found that carried the line was Von Maur. I paid a little more for this jacket than normal – $9.99 – but these types of knit retail for over $300! I always got a lot of compliments when I would wear this jacket to work! I also found this black with white polka dot shirt by Foxcroft. I wasn’t familiar with this brand either but when I googled once again, found the retail on a shirt like this would be around 80! I paid a cool $4.99 for it and have really REALLY gotten a lot of wear from this shirt! In fact, it’s the shirt I wore on my last day of work! So I guess you could say it’s a little special to me!
This vintage Banana Republic olive-green jacket was quite a find too. I paid $4.99 for this beautiful piece. I really like the structure of this jacket – you can dress it up or down and it will be down more than up from now on!
Doncaster is another brand that has some great pieces. This is clothing that is available through trunk shows or home shows. In fact, I remember going to one such show early in my career many years ago. The clothing was beautiful and I wanted everything I saw that night but it was pretty pricey. So when I run across a Doncaster piece I always pay extra attention. This jacket is a real classic in my book and so well made! It’s a dark gray color and I love the pocket structure and the fact that the sleeves can be rolled up for a slightly different look. This jacket cost me $4.99 – and similar jackets on the Doncaster website run over $400!
This St. James sweater jacket in red caught my eye primarily because of the color. I love a good red jacket! Again, another google search ensued…the label has that it is made in France. I found other beautiful pieces online but the bottom line with all the things that I end up buying is that they feel good when I wear them.
You can always tell a good piece by the way it fits and feels. All these items I’ve mentioned in this post fit that criteria. I’ve discovered labels that I never knew too, like St. James and Ming Wang! It’s always a treasure hunt at these thrift stores and I love the hunt!