Blog: Pam's Pennypinching With STYLE

Thrift Fashion Gleaning

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yes, it does help to be in an area like the L.A. metro area,  where there is a lot of fashion turnover! But I also try to scope out thrift shops and only keep on going back to what I consider to be good ones. You can tell an awful lot about the regular contributors by looking over the stock.  (Ditto usual price range.) In town the Out of the Closet thrift shops are great as a rule - and up in Ventura there are church thrift shops and ones that seem to get things from retirees - so there's vintage in there for a good price if you look carefully.  I just got a silver bangle for $1 from one of those.

I suppose I have always lived in more or less trendy areas - so that would influence my field of selection!

It helps to keep an eye out on the current fashion (very easy now on the internet!) & pick up little things that are trendy - Like the $1 80's turquoise snakeskin cuff I snagged.  Whew - it's new equivalent would be $30-40!!

It is also useful to have a nodding acquaintance with luxury brands, so you recognize the names when you come across them.  If you are totally new at this, try window shopping at some high class establishments to train your eye.  Go to resale shops where you can feel the quality of better goods and come to recognize good workmanship and quality.

I just bought a woven leather/straw summer bag for $3!! It's right in fashion & looks as if it's 60's Italian - and primo workmanship/materials!  For that price, I can afford to have it in the closet & bring it out when needed to glam up!

The more you recognize good things when you see them at a good price - the better deals you can discover.  I got a Nicole Miller dress necklace with faux smoky quartz & diamonds for $6 - which would be $50?? in a store.  Take a look at costume jewelry in the stores sometimes.  Most of it is expensive & can't compare in quality to older pieces! (which also have some resale value....)

You can also put together your own jewelry easily these days with just a visit to a craft store like JoAnne or Michael's.  They have all sorts of beads and pieces to make jewelry out of these days! Or restring that crystal necklace that your mother or grandmother used to wear.  Crystals are in fashion & expensive! 

I have also found that I can get good deals by buying pieces that need minor repairs.  You can refinish a piece quickly with gold or silver nail polish! Or put together broken links, etc.

Scarves can also be easily MADE.  I got a pleated cotton scarf at a thrift store with a price tag of $10 - what, were they nuts? Now, in the thrift shop at $1 it made sense - but otherwise I would hunt down old cotton broomstick skirts and cut up a suitable length for a scarf! (if you had to seam it, seam it at the neck where it wouldn't show.)

If there is a dollar store around, there will be sunglasses - and not even for $10 each! (Altho there is a $10 sale now, I think, on Look for clearances and bargains on the internet at - and even HSN has a clearance site!  I subscribe to all sorts of sites for just this info, which is how I landed a dress for less than $15 online! There are some super bargains out there.

Is there anything like a garment district in your town or nearby city?  Check it out.  It's always best to get fashion before the markup demons hit it!  That also goes for discount chains like Ross and so on. (For me, best on sale...) If a store is within your radar - check it out regularly - and have an internal shopping list so you can get your staples - and never turn down deals on BLACK shoes! They live forever....

OK - are you motivated?  I admit that I sit here in my yellow sweatshirt and ultra baggy comfy jeans - but I am going out tonite - so watch out!




Chic like Michelle??


c, used w/permission

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