Find of the (Almost Every) Week – Cynthia Rowley & Vintage Mink (October 7, 2013)

It’s time for…

Find of the (Almost Every) Week!

This week’s Thrifting Finds, A gorgeous bronze metallic leather oversize clutch by Cynthia Rowley in New Condition (these bags retailed for well over $200) and an adorable vintage mink hat in excellent condition (and it looks good on!)  And as if these finds weren’t great as it is, I found them on half-off day at Goodwill. The hat came to $3 and the bag $5.50. I am one happy girl.

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What have you found at the thrift stores lately? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the Leave a Reply/Comment section.

Find of the Week – August 6, 2013…Designer Finds, Cynthia Rowley & Sigrid Olsen

Another great week at the thrift store…Cynthia Rowley & Sigrid Olsen!

I did my weekly foray at my favorite Goodwill yesterday. After an hour+ of shopping, I hadn’t found anything. I was about to give up for the day when they started rolling racks of women’s clothes out of the back room. I LOVE it when that happens! There’s nothing better than getting first dibs on the new stuff. (Running to the new racks is one of my big Thrifting Tips). What did I find? A pretty 100% silk two-piece embellished tank and skirt from Sigrid Olsen, I love the pattern! (cost $10.99, retail about $250), and my favorite find so far this Summer, a Cynthia Rowley designer dress that will be perfect for fall! (cost $9.99, retail $350+) Can’t wait to sport this one with some cute ankle boots come September…both items are in perfect condition. I had a $10 gift card (thank you Goodwill Club Blue!) so my total was only $11! Viva la Thrifting!

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What are your great thrift store finds? I want to hear ! Tell me in the Leave a Reply/Comment section.

Find of the Week – July 30, 2013…Marc Jacobs & Tadashi

Find of the Week – Tuesday, July 30, 2013

OK, I confess. I have not been listing a “find” every single week. Sometimes there are no finds, or they are just not worthy of being listed. ( I DO go to the thrift store every week) Perhaps I should change the name. Hmmmm…anyway, here is the “Find of the (almost every) Week”

Yesterday at my favorite Goodwill I found: a very nice Marc by Marc Jacobs leather bag (new retail around $450), and a gorgeous black silk crepe Tadashi Collection dress (new retail around $350) both in excellent, near new condition. Grand Total? $14. Starting to understand why thrifting is so friggin’ awesome? Here they are on my mannequin Tallulah.

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I love the Marc Jacobs bag, but green is not my color, so I have listed it for sale on Ebay. Here it is if you’d like to see it: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=121152321944  I’m definitely keeping the dress, it fits great 😉

What awesome thrift store finds have you made recently? I’d love to hear about them! Tell me in the “Leave a Reply” section.

Find(s) of the Week…Tiffany! (and some Cute Hype Shoes)

It’s Time For…FIND OF THE WEEK!

Another great week for thrifting. I ran out in the rain for a run to my fav Goodwill this afternoon, and what did I find? A FABULOUS Tiffany and Co. Silver Necklace! I paid $50 for it, a serious bargain. I’ll be honest, I already have a nice silver Tiffany & Co. necklace, so I’ll be selling this one on Ebay to help pay for the other goodies I find for my closet* (actually no I won’t, see the Follow Up below)

And…2 adorable pairs of near new Hype wedges, $11.99 for the leather with red bits ones and $6.40 for the green ones.

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So go thrifting and find your treasures! What did YOU find out there this week? Please share your finds in the comments section.

FOLLOW UP: OK, it turns out the Tiffany necklace was a fake reproduction. Sigh. Yes, even yours truly can be fooled! It IS solid silver, but not Tiffany. Ebay has great guides to identify fakes and repros, the one for Tiffany is here:
http://www.ebay.com/gds/how-to-spot-fake-tiffany-jewelry/10000000001241859/g.html
  Thankfully I bought it at Goodwill so I can return it. Lesson learned! Now I know how to tell fake Tiffany jewelry.

Find(s) of the Week

It’s time for Find of the Week!

It seemed to be Shoe Week for me on my usual Thrift Store foray…two thrift shop stops yielded these 3 cute pairs of designer shoes in my size. I love it when that happens. Yes, they are not perfect, but they look good, I dig them all and they have lots of wear left in them.

#1 Best Score: Dolce & Gabbana gold & vinyl pumps, Goodwill, $4.79 ($5.99 plus 20% Goodwill Club Blue discount)

#2 Stuart Weitzman Lucite-heeled pumps with crystals, ARC, $6.99

#3 Donald J. Pliner leopard pony hair slides, Goodwill, $3.19 ($3.99 plus 20% Goodwill Club Blue discount)

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Find of the Week, May 3, 2013

So get out there, have fun, and do some treasure hunting! (if you need some tips on Thrifting check out my “Thrifting It: the Thrift Store Shopper’s guide to finding the Good Stuff 2-part series)

I’d love to hear about your great treasure-hunting finds! Please share them in the comments section below.

Find(s) of the Week – What a haul from the Thrift Store!

Amazing haul from my favorite Goodwill this week. Getting great designer clothes cheap sure turns me on! Here’s what I found:

Marc Jacobs Sunglasses (with case) $11.99

Anna Sui for Anthropologie dress $7.49

DKNY skirt $3.99

Vintage Miss D Oscar De La Renta sequin top $4.99

Lafayette 148 Jacket $5.99

Pair of Ferragamo sandals $6.49

and not one, but TWO pairs of Prada shoes, $11.99 and $15.99

(also got a pair of brand new curtain tie-backs I needed for the bedroom for $2.49)

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Great Finds at the Thrift Store!

See, you CAN get great designer clothes at the thrift store! Get out there and get shopping!

…and maybe I’ll save enough dough at the thrift store to pick up this little beauty…

Thrifting It, the Thrift Store Shopper’s Starter Kit, How to find the Good Stuff, Part 2

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Thrifting It, A Thrift Store Shopper’s Starter Kit, How to find the Good stuff, Part 2

In Part 1, we started out with 9 Thrift Store Shopping Tips (read Part 1 HERE) Today we’ll cover: How to get the “hidden” discounts you probably don’t know about, How being nice can pay big dividends, the in’s and outs of some of the bigger thrift chains, and more. Here are the next 5 tips:
Part 2 (#1-9 in PART 1)

#10. Before you go, Make a list. (Yes, I know. This tip should have been in Part 1… ) I keep a little notebook in my purse of all the things I’m looking for. Believe me, you’ll forget. For example if I’m in my closet and see my favorite black t-shirt has a hole in it, I toss it and I write “black t-shirt” in my little book. Looking for a new dresser? Table? Lamp? Write it in the book, with the dimensions of where it goes. It’s heartbreaking when you find a great piece and bring it home only to discover it’s too big. Review your list of needs before you walk in the store. What’s on my list right now? 2 84″ curtain rods , a 10″ black or gray lampshade, long sleeve black T-shirt (I wasn’t kidding about that one), comfy black flats, and 2 nightstands.

#11. Navigating the store: How to save time. Every store is a little bit different. Some are well organized, and some are, well, a cluster-you-know-what. The organized ones are obviously easier to get through, but the sheer volume of stuff can be daunting. Have a plan. If you want to look at everything, pick one area to start in, roll through that area, then on to the next. I’ll usually start in one corner and work methodically, scanning down each aisle in order from front to back or side to side. Scanning the shelves with your eyes is the key. If you try to look at each individual item you’ll be there for days. For clothing, know your size, but be prepared to look further. Most stores are pretty good about organizing sizes, but I find mixed up sizes all the time. The biggest time saver in scanning the racks is knowing your colors. All of us have our signature colors we look great in, and colors that just look plain crappy on us. I know it’s considered an “old-fashioned” term,  but I know I am a true “winter”. I only look good in deep jewel tones, black, white and true reds. Put ivory or yellow on me and I look kind of, um, deathly. There are many tools on line that can help you find what colors look best on you if you don’t already know what “season” you are. Then when you do know,  just scan the racks for your colors. Major time-savor!  Want to find out what your colors are? A professional color analysis is best, but this link is a good place to start: http://www.colormebeautiful.com/seasons/index.html  And finally, if you’re like me, you’re looking for the good stuff. Go straight to the label. My method is, scan the rack starting at one end, when I see my color, I look at the label. If it’s a “good” label, spend a minute on further examination. If I like it, it goes in the cart. And then…

#12. OK, you’ve got a cart full of stuff. Now what? In Part 1 we told you to get a cart, and throw anything you’re interested in said cart. Now you’re done shopping and ready to check out. It’s time to look over your stuff. Find a quiet corner or table and go over every item in your cart carefully. Check hard goods for chips, scratches, dents and breaks. Go over every inch of your clothing items looking for stains, rips, and faded spots. Check any elastic for good stretch. Check all zippers, buttons and clasps to be sure they function properly. And lastly, be sure you really want it and can use it. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you need it. Don’t buy anything just because it’s a good deal (unless of course you can resell it, and we’ll talk about that in a future blog post. Be sure and subscribe to this blog!)

#13. Be nice. As we said in part 1, always be nice. While nice is in itself just a great way to be, it can pay off in a material sense, too. People really appreciate it when you’re nice and personable, and often respond in-kind. Some employees may tell you when the next big sale is, let you know when the next batch of new stuff is coming out on the floor, and, especially in the smaller, independent stores, they may even let you know when something you’ve been looking for comes in (the larger store just have too high of a turnover to be able to do this.) I’m on a first-name basis with most of the employees at my favorite thrift store. If nothing else, it just makes the experience more pleasant, and makes everyone’s day a little brighter.

#14. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly; My impressions of the different thrift store chains. Here in Colorado, the big thrift store chains are Goodwill, ARC and Savers. (there are many smaller and independent thrift stores in Denver, many of which I’ll be covering in future blog posts) GOODWILL is the best, hands down. Here’s why: they’ve undergone a big re-do in resent years, and are endeavoring to run like a proper retail store. They have cleaner stores, better organization, nicer and more knowledgeable staff, & helpful floor managers. Unlike other chains, they take returns, not just exchanges. You can return anything you purchase at a Goodwill within ten days as long as you have the receipt and the original tag is still attached. (Everyone makes mistakes: I bought a pair of “Dior” shoes last week only to discover upon closer inspection at home that they were fakes. I’ll be returning them for a full refund on Monday.) This just makes life so much easier. (And, Goodwill now has a great discount program, which I’ll tell you about in #15.) They also have great hours and are open 7 days a week. ARC. The ARC is hit and miss, and usually more “miss” in my experience. Generally the stores are very overcrowded with merchandise, only half-heartedly organized, and for the most part I’m sorry to say, an uncaring staff. They will only exchange for store credit within 10 days (with receipt and tags attached). That being said, I still go, but not as often as to Goodwill. I just check my purchases over very very carefully. They do have good hours and are open 7 days a week. Because of the lack of organization and overcrowding, be prepared to spend more time hunting here. SAVERS. Savers is hit and miss as well (though my man says they are better for men’s wear) but at least they are well organized. The staff is pretty hit and miss, too, sometimes very helpful and sometimes uncaring. They will only exchange within 7 days (with receipt and tags) BUT you have to take your exchange The day you bring it back. They should really change this policy, as it is a deterrent to shopping there. That being said,  of course I’ll still go, shopping even more carefully.

#15. Where are those “hidden” discounts? Here again, Goodwill takes the thrifty cake. They recently started a Goodwill Club Card which gives you 20% any and all purchases over $25, AND they give you a $10 gift card when you have accumulated over $200 in spending over time. You just have to sign up for the card. You can sign up online at http://www.goodwill.com or at the register of any Goodwill store. Also, they have a 55 and over Senior discount of 25% off any purchase on Mondays, (Come on Mom, it’s time to go shopping!) and about one Saturday a month is 50% day. (more on half-off days below) Check out Goodwill’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GoodwillDenver?ref=ts&fref=ts on Mondays, as they usually post a 25% off coupon that can be used that week. ARC also offers a Senior discount (55 and over), and has 50% off Saturdays, however “current” color tags are NOT included in the sale, which means all the new stuff that came in that week will not be on sale, unlike Goodwill where everything but “blue” tags is 50% off on their Saturday sales (blue tags are usually new, special high-end, vintage or collectable items) A word about 50% off days. They are pure unadulterated bedlam. Be prepared for an anxious crowd, grab your cart and watch it, (I’ve had items pilfered out of my cart before) Get there when they open (usually 8am, check the websites) for the best shot at the good stuff. It’s a challenging adventure, but it can be very rewarding.

I hope these tips get you fired up to go out and hunt for some treasures. I’ll continue talking about thirifting in the future, including new tips, local thrift store reviews, and showing off my “Finds of the Week”.  Subscribe using the link to the right, and you won’t miss a thing.
What are your best Thrift Store Finds? I want to know! Post them in the comments section below. Happy Thrifting!

By the way, I do not receive any sort of compensation for any products, stores or websites mentioned in these blogs. My recommendations are all based purely on my personal experience.

FIND of the WEEK

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FIND of the WEEK

This week’s finds come from my favorite thrift store…

2 adorable BCBG Maxazria skirts and a darling Cache’ top that matches my hair 😉 All 3 in perfect condition of course. The skirts were $3.99 each and the top was $3.49. (plus I saved an additional 20%, more on that in “Thrifting It” Part 2, coming next week) I’ll be rocking these cute finds as soon as the weather warms up here in Denver. Be sure and subscribe to see how I put them together into fetching Spring outfits.

Learn all the ins and outs of finding the good stuff at the thrift stores in “Thrifting It”, Part 1…Part 2 coming Next Week!

I have a confession to make…

Looking fit at Burning Man 2012 after P90X... Here I am looking fit (and rather silly) on my Burning Man vacation last year, after P90X, before all hell broke loose…

I have a confession to make. Right now, I am feeling slightly less than fabulous. Like so many women, I’ve been fighting that old “Battle of the Bulge” all my life, gaining and losing the same 20 pounds over and over. While my closet is full of fabulous clothes, they range in sizes from 6-10. Today finds me on the high side and back in the 10s. I want my 6s back. I was doing so very well last year. I’d completed both Insanity and P90X, was down on the small side of the closet and feeling great for my August vacation to Burning Man. Then upon returning, all hell broke loose, emotionally speaking. Financial stress hit hard. My father went into the hospital, then passed away. A couple months later my Mom got very sick and was in and out of the hospital as well. (she’s doing better now). Through it all, I let my workout routine go to hell, and ate for comfort. Today I begin the official journey back to feeling fabulous. Eating for health, working out 4-5 days a week, and adding more physical activity to my days. I will be sharing my journey with you here, and you have my permission to hold me accountable. I’ll be posting all sorts of helpful tips & tricks as well. I’ll tell you what’s working for me, and what isn’t. So come follow along, it’s going to be an interesting ride…

PS No matter what your weight, you still have the right to look great! Dress well and work it, no matter your size, because you ARE fabulous.

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Thrifting It, the Thrift Store Shopper’s Starter Kit – How to Find the Good Stuff, Part 1

thriftinglogoThrifting It, the Thrift Store Shopper’s Starter Kit – How to Find the Good Stuff, Part 1

Moschino, Versace, Maxmara, Diane Von Furstenberg, Guiseppe Zanotti, Prada, Hermes…what do all these designers have in common? They’ve all lived in my closet. And, they came from the thrift store. Yea that’s right, the thrift store. 90% of my closet is filled with designer labels, and about 70% of that came from thrifting. So get over your pre-conceived ideas. I’m going to teach you how to find the good stuff.

After over a dozen years of hard-core thrift store hopping, I’ve seen it all, and learned the ins and outs. So what’s so great about thrifting? Well, besides paying pennies on the dollar for really great stuff, it’s green, the ultimate in recycling. You’re saving items from the landfill, and usually the proceeds are going to charity. You’ve gotta feel good about that, but mostly, it’s fun. There’s nothing like the rush of finding something amazing, something you really love, for just a few dollars. I call it my weekly treasure hunt. What are some of my best finds? A gorgeous pair of Guiseppe Zanotti heels for $8.99; Prada boots for $12.99; a brand new Versace shirt for $3.99, and that’s just a tiny sampling. My top two finds so far have to be a beautiful new-condition full length custom-made ranch mink coat (I would only ever buy second-hand fur) for $29.95 and 2, yes TWO, Hermes’ scarves in perfect condition for a total of $43.99. (they were not quite my style so I sold them on Ebay for over $700, which covered most of my thrift shopping for the year, but more on that in future posts) You won’t find something good on every visit, but the times you do find a treasure make it all worth it.

Here are 9 Thrift Store Shopping Basics to get you started…
1.If at all possible, go during the week. My favorite days to go are Tues-Thurs. Most people go on the weekends, and it can get mighty crowded. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have to elbow my way to the skirt rack.

2. Be consistent. Most stores get in new merchandise daily, so there is a high turnover. Try to visit your favorite store once a week. And, it will help you get to know the store and the employees, which will end up saving you time in the long-run. (more on this next time)

3.Wear comfy shoes. You’ll be roaming the racks for an hour or two, so be good to your feet. (I admit to breaking this rule, I love my heels, but I usually regret it)

4.Wear clothing that’s easy to get on and off so trying on clothes is as painless as possible. (and um, be sure and wear underwear)

5.Bring socks, both athletic and every-day, so you’ll be able to try on any type of shoes.

6.Bring a friend who will be honest about how the clothes look on you whenever possible. This can be a life-saver, or at least, a clothes-saver…

7.Grab a cart. You may not think you need one, but trust me, grab it. It frees your hands for flipping through the racks instead of holding stuff. Toss whatever you find interesting in the cart. Don’t take the time to check it over just yet, you’ll do that before you check out. I know I’ve missed out on some great stuff by thinking “I can come back for that”, only to find it gone. If you like it, throw it in the cart.

8.The Most Important Thrifting Tip: Check out the new stuff first! The bigger chain thrift stores like Goodwill, ARC and Salvation Army are putting out new stock constantly throughout the day. If you see bins and rolling racks, (ie: stuff on it’s way out to the floor) dive in! I find most of the good stuff before it ever actually gets hung on the rack. I am not shy. I will follow the employees pushing carts out of the back room so I can get first dibs on the new goodies, which brings me to #9…

9.Always be nice. I often see people being rude to the employees. These folks work hard and put up with a lot, so be kind to them, and your fellow treasure hunters.

In “Thrifting It”, Part 2, I’ll show you all the extra “hidden” discounts you probably don’t know about. We’ll also talk about what to do with that cart full of stuff before you check out, the ins and outs of some of the various thrift store chains, and much more.

Have any comments or questions? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments box below.

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