Tag Archives: Tales from the Thrift

Tales from the Thrift – the Clothing Edition

I’ve written a lot recently about my thrift store finds and how I use them in my home.  In my post Tales from the Thrift Part Tres, I mentioned that my thrifting finds aren’t limited to household items and decor.  Sometimes I find some pretty nice clothing too!

I tend to get pretty lucky with jackets and tops.  Pants tend to be another story though.  I don’t know what it is but I have a problem with pants in general – finding the right fit and also with the length.  But every now and the I luck up on some!

Some of the brands I like to look for are J. Jill, Banana Republic, Chicos (more current items), Jones New York, Ralph Lauren and every now and then I find a great Eileen Fisher piece.  Naturally, just because it’s a brand name doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal.  I make sure to look for stains, tears and general wear and tear.  Some items have seen better days, as they say!  Occasionally, some show up at the thrift store with the original price tags!  I’m sure we’ve all done that before – bought something and maybe wondered – “what was I thinking” – when you got home and then put it in the back of the closet.  Then months later it ends up in the donation pile.  Like I said with the Chicos brand, I look for more current items but the same goes for most labels.  Every now and then though, I discover a vintage piece which is great!  Those are always nice to incorporate into your wardrobe!

As with household decor, these days I’m currently looking for things I can wear right now.  Since I’m no longer in the corporate world, I’ve stopped looking for blazers and dressier items.   In fact, I’ve sent quite a few items BACK to the thrift store these past few months.  That’s another thing that is always fun to me – seeing the things you’ve donated on the racks and the pricing on those items!

On a recent trip last week, I found several long-sleeved tops.  I don’t know what it is with me and stripes, but when I spotted this black and white stripped Ralph Lauren sweater, I hoped it would look nice when I tried it on.  Well, it did and I walked away with it for $2.99!  It’s sturdy but not too heavy and feels great on!  I also found this Banana Republic blue-green long sweater with pockets in front.  This one was $3.99, is lightweight and will work well with a jacket over it.  I like that both of these are long enough to go with yoga pants or heavy tights and boots.  It’s fall after all, y’all!!!

Getting excited about a plain white tee probably sounds crazy, but you can’t go wrong with a white tee, especially one that is both cotton and spandex.  These Chicos ultimate tees really hold their shape well and I decided to add it to my basket with the two sweaters for $2.99!

Chicos white tee – great go with anything piece!

J. Jill clothing is always so comfortable and I’ve found my share of great pieces over the years.  Earlier this year, I found this Pure Jill (a J. Jill line) red quilted jacket.  It is SO comfortable and this is the perfect weather for it!  I can match it up with that Chicos white tee, some black tights and my boots for a great weekend look!  I paid $6.99 for this jacket.  I also found this dressier jacket – I know, I know – I said I wasn’t buying dressier items but this J. Jill black jacket with the flower design is another comfy item and I’ve already worn it.  Interestingly, it was only $4.99 – two dollars less than the quilted jacket!

Originally tagged items are always a fun find.  I spotted this short sweater by INC for $3.99 with an original $69 tag on it!  I had on a long shirt when I tried it on and it looked great with it as a way to dress up a casual look.  These two Karen Kane long sweaters were another bargain at $3.99 each!  Original price on both was $128!  Seriously…I can’t imagine paying that much for these items!

Finally, pants…it’s a struggle sometimes but then other times the thrifting gods smile upon you!  These J. Jill dark gray stretchy pants feel great on and were $6.99.  They look like they’ve barely been worn too, but I’m sure I’ll take care of that!  And these brown stretchy Jones New York brown pants are a nice change from the black pants and yoga pants I wear all the time.  These were also $6.99.  Honestly, it seems like every pair of pants I find are priced at $6.99.  Must be a rule or something!

I’ll share more about thrift store clothing in another post including my strategy for working a store.  Until then…happy thrifting!

Tales from the Thrift – Part Tres

Thai temple rubbing found on a recent thrift store visit.

If you followed my previous Tales from the Thrift posts – part 1 and part 2 – I talked about trying to be a little more deliberate in the things I choose to bring home this year.  In July, my husband and I started the process of repainting three of our four bedrooms after our son Charlie moved out and our daughter Emily was set to move back home from Tuscaloosa.  Things around our house were quite a wreck for several weeks but as you know, it’s a process when you are redecorating and reorganizing.  And I worked hard to maintain my sanity because I am a bit of an organization freak!!!

I had quite a few things I wanted to use in the new rooms – some family related and others were thrift store finds.  I took my son’s room as my “she shack” – more about this in a later post.  Emily took our married daughter Anna Marie’s room and Emily’s room became the guest room.  Yay!  We finally have a guest room again!  Anyway, it felt great finally putting things back together and trying out “things” in the rooms.

One of my finds a few months ago was this Thai temple rubbing.  I rounded a corner and there it was…I was flabbergasted to say the least!  My parents have a set of five very large temple rubbings that they got when we lived in Thailand.  I was born there so they have a special significance to me.  Typically they are done on rice paper so they are very fragile.  I’ve learned through some research that rubbings at the temples are rather limited these days but you can find them online…and apparently you can find them in a thrift store!  I snapped the frame up and declared it mine…all for $4.99!  When I showed it to my mother, she had the very same reaction that I did to it.  Our new bedroom color is a blue-gray so this framed piece is perfect for our guest room.

When you find things with the original price tags and somewhat wrapped at the thrift store, it always catches my attention.  In this case, I walked in and made my way through the furniture section as I always do.  And there it was…a mirrored end table with the tag and with the drawer pull still wrapped.  It was brand new and beautiful and just what I needed for my She Shack!  I pulled the price tag off that end table and carried it with me until I checked out.  I also googled similar tables at close to $200.  I’ve seen them too at places like Z Gallery and always thought they added a special something to a room.  I paid $60 for this one!

A note on why I pulled the tag…a few years ago I found a farm style table for $75 at this store.  I had never bought furniture so wasn’t sure what to do.  Do you get someone to stand next to it?  How do you buy it when a store is so busy and you might have someone else walk up and want it too?  Well Stanley, who works at the store saw me standing there, said I needed to take off the bottom half of the tag and keep it with me.  He said, you could be standing there with your hand on the table and if someone else walks up and grabs that tag, you’ve lost the table!  That was my education on buying furniture at this particular store!  Plus, it was my introduction to this nice gentleman who always looks out for me when I shop there.  From that point on, when I would walk in he always asks me if I needed a buggy?  I generally say “no, I’m good!”  Next thing you know, I’m walking around juggling a bunch of items and he sees me struggling and walks up with a buggy.  That has become our banter when I walk into that store now.

One more item I found that I’m loving right now is this glass jewelry box.  I noticed the filigree detail around it from across the store and quickly made my way over to check it out.  When I turned it over it was a Pottery Barn item and the thrift store price was $4.99.  I looked it up on the Pottery Barn website and found the original price was $79!  The inside had to be cleaned up a bit.  It was a little dusty…but now I use it in my She Shack for a few collectibles.

Pottery Barn jewelry box for $4.99 at the thrift store! Retails for $79!

My thrifting finds are limited to household items.  I’ve also run across quite a few great clothing pieces too!  I’ll save those for a future post because this one is getting a little long!

Tales from the Thrift – Part Two

J Crew statement necklace for $1.99 – thrift store find!

As you read in Part 1 of Tales from the Thrift – I love a bargain!  I’ve been perfecting my thrifting “style” over the years and I believe I’ve turned a new leaf this year when it comes to the hunt.  This happened when I began photographing my finds and keeping track of these new-found treasures.  When I find something these days, I ask myself a few questions…(1) do I really like the item?  Sometimes it’s a name brand item but it’s not my style.  This could be clothing, dishes or glassware, jewelry or collectible items.   (2) Will I use it?  This could mean, does it go with any of my collections or is there a spot in my house that needs sprucing up and this would make the difference?  Will i wear it?  and finally (3) Is this something I can I’ll use while entertaining or for an event?  For instance, I host an annual cookie swap party, so is it something that I could use as a theme for that party or another?

This past year, I’ve lucked up on a lot of great jewelry at the thrift stores!  Last year, I wrote a post about all the vintage Christmas pins I found.  I have a collection so this fit right into my criteria and I do love using them during the holidays.  This year it’s been about silver jewelry and pearls with a dash of statement necklaces!  During one trip I found two very different pearl bracelets…one gray wrap bracelet ($2.99) and the other a white pearl and gold cuff ($3.99), still with the original tag on it, I might add!

On another trip, there were a multitude of silver jewelry to choose from and I walked away with another bracelet and 3 pairs of earrings.  The bracelet was really an exciting find for me.  It’s a Mexican Cabochon link bracelet with all the markings on it.  I paid $9.99 for it which was a steal when I’ve seen them for as much as $80 on Ebay and other online places!  I have two others already, one from my mother and one I found in an antique store.  I paired all three together for a beautiful look recently.  The earrings I found are all very vintage looking and very timeless.  One pair is a drop pearl, and you can’t go wrong with pearls!  The other two can be change based on your wardrobe – casual or dressy.  I like stuff like that!

Finally, I love a good statement necklace!  I have several I’ve collected over the years and I look for unique pieces that you don’t see coming and going.  This amber stone necklace has a Chico’s tag on it and if you’ve been shopping at that store, you know these are rather pricey!  When I saw this one I knew it would be a great fall piece because of the color.  It was $5.99!   The other statement necklace is from J.Crew and was $1.99.  I plan to wear this over the holidays because it has bling! (This photo is posted at the beginning of the blog post.)

Chicos statement necklace – great fall color!

Finding Mexican made items is also something I’m always on the lookout for, especially talavera pottery.  It turns up here and there and I’m always thrilled!  Recently I found this planter for $2.99.  I have several in various colors and designs and I love adding more to the mix.  I also walked into the thrift store a few days before Day of the Dead this year and found these punched tin lanterns.  They were perfect for my dining room altar and are marked Mexico.  Timing is everything plus when I find things like this I always have the belief that they were there just waiting for me to come and get them!

Fiesta dishes are also a love of mine!  A few years ago I decided I wanted a set in every color I could find at the time and Kohl’s had a great sale and I took advantage of THAT sale!  I’ve been able to find various Fiesta vintage pieces while thrifting.  A few weeks ago I lucked up on bowls, mugs and plates in three colors.  Each were priced individually at $1.99.

Wow…I still have more to share so I guess there will be a Part 3 after all!  Stay tuned for more Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!