Thrifted Wicker Lunch Box

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This little gem cost me $2.99 at my Goodwill. I have torn the inside lining out because it was stained and the elastic was dry-rotted (the elastic was intended to hold utensils and condiments), and plan to use it as a handbag.

 

 

Recent Thrifted Finds – Winter 2012 Review

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A thick black leather belt with an awesome silver crescent moon belt buckle. $2 at my local animal shelter thrift store.

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Thick white leather belt with a big gold buckle. Again, $2.

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This little gem was found at my all time favorite vintage shop EVER, Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb in Carlisle, PA. If you live in the area, hit it up. I have found some awesome pieces here. This belt was $6. From the geometric shape of it, it looks to be from the eighties.

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White leather ankle boots. Slouchy and cute. I found this at my nearest Goodwill. They were $6.95, which admittedly is a little expensive for thrifting, but I find good shoes so rarely, I just had to.

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Wild West velvet waistcoat. I can’t say no to velvet vests or jackets. $3.95 at Goodwill.

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Long-sleeve button-up blouse with black cording detail. It is repeated on the cuffs as well. It’s a little Grandma-ish but I like that. I am still questing for the perfect white button-up blouse, and this one is pretty awesome, but I am looking for one that’s silkier and has pockets. The quest continues! $3 at the animal shelter thrift store.

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This bag is what thrifting dreams are made of. It’s a 50s/60s era snap-closure handbag. Just awesome. The outside is like those heavy velvety curtains your Grandma had. $4, local thrift store.

 

Outfit of the Day 12/20/2012

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Silk Alexander McQueen-esque scarf, $11 from Rue 21 last year; grey silk button-up blouse from a “fill a bag for $2” thrift store; dalmatian print Vince Camuto belt from Ross (discount store) for $12.99; black skinny jeans.

 

My New York City Shopping Trips Part IV: Hamlet’s Vintage in Greenwich Village

4. Hamlet’s Vintage

162 Bleecker Street (Greenwich Village)

New York, NY 10012

I heard about this place from reading positive Yelp reviews. From the way people raved about it, I pictured it as a large, open store. In reality, it is one itsy bitsy room. There were a lot of costume-y pieces that I couldn’t see being very practical — more like those things you buy with the best of intentions, and then you never actually wear them out. (I have this child’s size kimono that I thought was just so rad in the store, but now has been living exclusively in my closet for a year.) There were some cool things, like authentic vintage military jackets, but what a lot of people may not know is that army surplus stores sell vintage military clothing too, for waaaay cheaper. I did see some metallic knit sweaters that tickled my fancy, but I didn’t buy anything here either.

I am used to vintage stores here in Pennsylvania, where there is a gotta-have-it item at every turn. I usually have a hard time not spending too much at vintage stores, because I want everything, but this trip I just didn’t have any luck. Granted, I am cheap (or as this blog would suggest, thrifty) but I am willing to spend more on a unique vintage piece with character. Vintage stores sell a lot of what you can find in thrift stores, but the draw is that they have the crème de la crème, the best of the best, weirdest and funkiest vintage finds. That’s why people are willing to spend more.

Final thoughts: Worth checking out if you have the budget and you’re in the neighborhood, but it’s very small.

My New York City Shopping Trips Part III: Monk Thrift Shop, Greenwich Village

3. Monk Thrift Shop

Address: 175 MacDougal St
New York, NY 10011

 

This, admittedly, was not on my list, but I was drawn in my the signage. Honestly, it was disappointing. Things were expensive, making it more vintage boutique than thrift store. There were some high end designer items, like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Gucci, and D&G. However, a lot of items (weirdly enough, especially the designer items) were in bad condition — tears, stains, and missing buttons and hooks. Everything I liked was upwards of $100, which threw me off because there were posters saying”Dresses $9.” I saw none. They did have a lot of legit vintage clothing, however. They also have men’s clothing. I didn’t buy anything here, but I enjoyed sifting through the racks.

Final thoughts: Pass on this one. Too expensive for the quality of the items.

My New York City Shopping Trips Part II: Greenwich Village’s Curated Goodwill Store

My record shop craving having been fulfilled, I now wanted to seek out some thrift stores and swanky vintage boutiques.

2. “Curated” Goodwill Thrift Store 

Address: W. 8th Street between MacDougal and Sixth Avenue

In my pre-trip research, I read this article about a curated Goodwill store in Greenwich Village. With all the talk of Ferragamo, vintage Dior, Ann Taylor, and other name-drops, I was so excited to check it out, I could hardly keep my pants on. Maybe I just have bad luck, but the only designer items I saw were in the window display, and those there being held for a silent auction. The window had some 90s Jimmy Choo clogs and Kate Spade heels, but nothing really relevant to current trends.

Don’t get me wrong, you can certain tell that someone was hand-picking all the items — there wasn’t any junk or damaged items like you might see in your average Goodwill, but all in all, it seemed like it had already been picked over. It is in a swanky neighborhood with a lot of vintage stores in the vicinity, after all… but, it was still fun to look. The store was clean and well organized, which is impressive, considering the amount of people who are in and out each day. Long story short, I left empty handed.

Final thoughts: Check it out if you’re in the area, but don’t make a special trip.

 

Are thrift stores getting too pricey?

Items for sale in my etsy store!

It has been quite awhile since I last visited Goodwill, so I thought I’d make the trip this evening. I got some really amazing finds this time, and I am really excited to get it all cleaned up and ready to photograph for you all. (Though they were great finds, they need some serious TLC — including dry cleaning.)

But… something is bothering me. Every time I visit Goodwill, I see the prices go up and up. Intellectually, I understand that stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army bolster valuable charity programs. That’s awesome! However, these stores are selling used goods, often in need of dry cleaning, laundering, and sometimes repairs. Today I saw six fall and winter jackets that were priced at $50. That’s essentially retail price. Sure, they might be real leather, or “vintage,” but that doesn’t mean they’re worth the price of a brand new jacket. Many of these coats had dirt, stains, and tears on them. This is absolutely ridiculous. Just because an item is made of leather doesn’t mean its worth the price of a new garment. Just because an item is old enough to qualify as vintage does not mean it is worth the price that a curated vintage boutique would charge. Vintage shops sell items for higher prices because the items are still chic and fashionable and still in a wearable condition. No one is going to buy those jackets. They were in cuts and designs that are not translatable to today’s fashion, and they were stinky and in very used shape. Shouldn’t the price reflect that? Is Goodwill getting greedy? Who is determining these prices? These are all DONATED ITEMS. $50 is just too much.

Intellectually, I understand that stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army bolster valuable charity programs. That’s awesome! However, these stores are selling used goods, often in need of dry cleaning, laundering, and sometimes repairs. I am forced to wonder if they realize that it’s not just the people on the receiving end of the charity efforts who stand to gain from these types of thrift stores — there are a lot of people who do all their clothing shopping at second-hand stores because of low income. A lot of families cannot afford to buy retail, and stores like Goodwill offer them a chance to shop for a variety of styles, brands, and seasons that would not be available to them otherwise. They get a chance to have some say in their personal style because of the variety second-hand shops offer.

How do you feel about this issue? Personally, if I want something bad enough, I will buy it anyway. The fact that part of the sales go to charity makes that easier, but now that they’re upping the prices on more mundane and generic items as well, I am disheartened. Is the art of the thrift store hunt in danger? Let me know what you think with a comment. Click the text bubble next to this entry’s title to chime in.

Thrifting Haul – Spring Inspired

So I haven’t been doing as much thrifting and yard sale hopping as I’d like to (dumb full-time job work schedule — curse you!), but although they are few and far between, I have found some real gems.

Find #1:

I picked up this cute little needlepoint shoulder bag for $3.50. I reminds me of the old-fashioned needlepoint handbags (like this) but with a more rustic pattern. I don’t think it is vintage, in fact it seems quite new. But, hey, at $3.50, I’m down with that.

Find #2:

I also found this cute watermelon-esque polka-dot scarf for $1.  It needs pressed, but I think this will help me add some color to my work outfits. I tend to slide into either too much black or too much beige at work.

Find #3:

I am totally enamoured with this high contrast 90s Gitino cross-body. $2 from a church thrift store in the next town over.

Find #4:

This poor bag is a little worse for wear, but I still love it. It’s a 1960s pillbox handbag from an awesome vintage boutique in Harrisburg called the Atomic Warehouse. The owner gave me a good deal on it: $10! I have seen these only a handful of times, and usually priced at $30 to $60!

Find #5:

This skirt has side pockets and buttons up the front. I found this for $3.50. Not sure if this will become part of my skirt collection or if it will end up on etsy. I need to give it a test run. I have an outfit concept in mind, but I am not sure if I’ll be venturing too far on the granny side. I was inspired by this:

 

Don’t worry, there’s plenty more to share! Stay tuned, thrifters.