Thrifting

Thrift Scores Linkup

April was a light thrifting month for me. I was crazy busy and didn’t go out a whole lot, and I’ve been trying to cut back on shopping — even when I do it with a small budget.

That said, the things I did find are already in steady rotation in my closet — confirmation that they were good buys and a reminder that quality is more important than quantity. Here are my finds:

City DKNY Blazer

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Found at: Alexis Suitcase. I love blazers, but I’m very particular about how they fit. Most of the ones I’ve owned just didn’t fit right. This one, however, fits like a glove. It has a single button and the fabric has a slight stretch that makes it hug my hips unlike any blazer I’ve ever worn. I’ve already worn it a bunch of times. You may recognize it from my turn on the red carpet at the 42 movie premiere. On that occasion, I wore it with my next find…

Gaiam Maxi Dress

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Found at: Alexis Suitcase. Of late, I have become a huge fan of maxi dresses. Slip them on with some cute shoes, and you’re done. And with a change of accessories, a different jacket or top, shoes, etc., you can wear them a million different ways. This thing is so ridiculously comfortable that it feels like wearing pajamas. Seriously, I need to go to the Gaiam website and find it in a bunch of other colors. It’s that awesome.

Michael Kors One-Sleeve Top

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Found at: Alexis Suitcase. You can never go wrong with a black top, and I love the one-sleeve detail on this one. It fits really well and still has enough coverage that I won’t feel half-naked or unsupported.

Ralph Lauren Tie-Neck top

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Found at: Alexis Suitcase. This top looks simple, but the top silhouette of it is asymmetrical and really unique. It’s hard to describe, but it’s the perfect complement to a pencil skirt in almost any color and can be dressed up or down.

Vintage Floral Dress

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Found at: Goodwill. I picked this up off the rack and was tempted to put it down, but something made me take it to the fitting room. I’m really glad I did. I LOVE the fit and flare silhouette and even the drop waist (which I usually hate on my body). I also love the bow details in the back. I’ll have to do some altering to the back straps because I’m so busty, but I can’t wait to wear it this spring and summer.

Max & Cleo Dress

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Found at: Goodwill. This dress is a size…small! Can you believe that? When you do a lot of thrifting, you eventually learn to spot things that will fit your body, regardless of the size on the tag. I knew that this quality stretch fabric would fit, and though it’s a tiny bit snug in the bodice, it looks intentional and has a pinup quality to it.

Ann Taylor Purse

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Found at: Goodwill. I generally don’t look at a lot of accessories when I’m thrift shopping, and I really don’t know why. I’ve been trying to do more of that, because I really don’t need any more clothes. I’ve also found myself wearing the same accessories and purses over and over again, so I’m trying to find some variety. I love this small purple suede clutch. The color is one of those neutral purples that doesn’t have too much red or too much blue, so I can use it with a lot of other colors.

Marc Jacobs wedges

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Found at: Goodwill. Usually, my Goodwill separates luxury brands and marks them up a bit from other shoes. For example, while you’d pay $5.95 for your average pair of shoes, ones from BCBG or Prada (gasp!) might run you between $20 and $50. So imagine my surprise that these Marc Jacobs wedges were sitting with all the other shoes for less than $6! They’re not exactly my size, but I snatched them up anyway knowing that I can eventually re-sell them.

That’s all I bought for the entire month of April, and I have yet to go thrifting in May. What are your favorite finds?

If you want to do some online thrifting of your own, head over to the Green & Gorgeous shop, where I’ve recently listed a bunch of new items!

Now, it’s your turn

What have you found while thrifting lately? Leave a link to your latest thrifting haul, whether you found clothes, furniture or any other treasure. You can even link to an outfit post if it contains thrifted items. Put it in the linky below so we can all swoon over the great deals you scored! All I ask is that you link back here so others can find the linky. If you like buttons, you can grab this one and add it to your post or your sidebar:

<a href=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net” target=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net”><img src=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/thriftscores-button.png” alt=”Green & Gorgeous Thrift Scores” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a>



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Thrift Scores Linkup

March was an awesome month for thrifting for me. I tried a couple of stores I’d never shopped before instead of going to the same Goodwill week after week, and it paid off. Without further adieu, my finds:

Vintage Morgan Miller blazer thriftscores-march1

I fell in love with this double-breasted blazer the very second I saw it on the rack. The four buttons start just under the bust for a gorgeous, cinched waist look. I’m just trying to decide on the perfect bottoms for it. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $9.99

Vintage Louis Feraud dress

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This dress represents everything I love about vintage, but have always been afraid to try. I love the pattern, the overlapping bodice, the buttons, all of it. And get this: It was made in West Germany — which no longer exists. I can’t wait to wear it! Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $3.50

Vintage Alain Toussaint denim dress & Calvin Klein belt

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I was a little wary about this dress, but once I tried it on, I had to have it. It is relatively heavy, so I’ll have to wear it on a cool day, and the elastic waist requires a belt. This thick Calvin Klein belt was the perfect addition, though I already have a couple of others that would work too. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $12.99 (dress) and $2.99 (belt)

Vintage Jon Roberts romper

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In recent weeks, I’ve been looking at a lot of pinup images, and this romper feels perfect for a pinup photo shoot, complete with bold red lips and a fabulous retro hair style. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $6.99

Ana striped maxi dress

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Aside from all my vintage goodies, I found a couple of items that will be heavy in my wardrobe rotation this spring and summer, and this dress is one of them. In fact, I’ve already worn it. The fabric is so soft, it feels like I’m wearing pajamas. It’s a Petite XL, so it’s a little shorter than your typical maxi dress, but I actually like the length. Found at: Goodwill for $2.97

One-sleeve slouch dress

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This is the other dress that I know will get a lot of wear. It has one shoulder and slouch pockets, and get this: It’s a medium. I originally picked it up with the intention to sell it, but it actually fit me beautifully :) Found at: Goodwill for $2.97

Striped lace top

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I always have my eye out for stripes as I’m combing thrift store racks, and I loved the funky off-center placement of the lace on this one. Found at: Goodwill for $4.94

Candies high-waisted skirt

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Another thing I always look for while thrifting is anything with a high waist. I have a high waist, and I know this is a silhouette that works for my body type. I love the pattern on this skirt and the fact that it flares from the waist. Found at: Goodwill for $2.47

H&M Mock Turtleneck

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I found this top at a store I will be frequenting because they have days when everything is on sale for 99 cents! What?! The overall quality of the clothes isn’t as nice as some of the other stores I’ve shopped, but they have a LOT of vintage, and the idea that I can score some of it for less than a dollar is too enticing to pass up. Found at: Metro Thrift Store for $1.99

Vintage Calvin Klein Denim Shirt

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My long-sleeved chambray top has been my best friend of late, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a sleeveless version to my wardrobe. I can wear this in countless ways. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $2

NY & Co. High Waist Jeans

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These look a bit like mom jeans, but with the right top and the right shoes, the high-waist silhouette is super flattering. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $3.50

Tommy Hilfiger denim shorts

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I’ve been looking for a pair of denim shorts to distress for months, and while I’m not sure I want to cut these up, I do think I’m going to do something cool with fabric paint. Maybe polka dots or a hand-drawn ornate pattern. Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $2

Nine West booties

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My Salvation Army store has several glass cases in the center where they keep some of the really great quality stuff. These boots were in the case and brand new! I paid more for these than anything else, but it was totally worth it. They are gorgeous and super comfortable — a high compliment coming from someone whose feet are just complete averse to heels. Also, they look good with everything :) Found at: Salvation Army Thrift Store for $19.99

Plenty By Tracy Reese Boots

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Yet another pair of boots, equally as fabulous though not as comfortable. These leather boots originally cost at least 10 times what I paid for them, so I couldn’t pass them up. I haven’t decided if I’m going to keep them or sell them yet. Time will tell :) Found at: Goodwill for $16.91

If you want to do some online thrifting of your own, head over to the Green & Gorgeous shop, where I’ve recently listed a bunch of new items in sizes from 12-18 and L to 1X and XXL!

Now, it’s your turn

What have you found while thrifting lately? Leave a link to your latest thrifting haul, whether you found clothes, furniture or any other treasure. You can even link to an outfit post if it contains thrifted items. Put it in the linky below so we can all swoon over the great deals you scored! All I ask is that you link back here so others can find the linky. If you like buttons, you can grab this one and add it to your post or your sidebar:

<a href=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net” target=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net”><img src=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/thriftscores-button.png” alt=”Green & Gorgeous Thrift Scores” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a>



Remember last week, I said that I was planning to open an online store to sell all the clothes that can no longer fit me? Well, I put in some overtime this past weekend to make that happen. Yes, I work for myself, but I usually don’t work on the weekend, so it was overtime.

Anyway, without further adieu, the store is open!

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At the moment, there are more than 20 items purged from my closet and my mom’s closet, all in great condition, and some new with tags and new without tags (as in tags taken off, but never worn). You’ll find sizes from 14 to 20, XL/1X to XXL/2X.

I’ll soon be adding shoes and accessories to the store as well, and I’ll continue to add clothing as I continue to lose weight or as I find thrifted items I believe you all would like. I still have another bag of items to go through and decide what to sell, so keep checking back if you don’t see anything that works for you right now.

While all items are pre-owned, some are new with tags and new without tags. I have indicated the condition of every item and provided photos of front, back and tags. I tried to keep the prices reasonable, and I’ll be using the U.S. Post Office for shipping. I will ship to anywhere in the U.S. or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If you have questions about any of the items, just fill out the contact form in the store and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Browse the store, look around, and let me know what you think!

AND…I have another announcement:

Just call me your personal shopper

In other news, I have also decided to start offering another service: Personal shopping, with a focus on thrifting.

I’ve had a TON of people complain to me about the quality and/or lack of thrift stores in their area, and I wanted to do something to help.

Do you love thrift store shopping, but are disappointed by the quality of stores in your area? Do you want to thrift but don’t have access to any stores? If you need someone to go thrifting for you for general clothing, shoes and accessories or to find specific items in a specific size, contact me with your request and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Be sure to include your approximate budget and clothing and/or shoe sizes, and let me get to work finding you some thrifted treasures!

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Thrift Scores Linkup

Since I’ll be sharing my thrifted finds on a monthly basis, I thought it would be fun to do a linky where other bloggers could share their awesome thrifted finds too. So if you love thrifting as much as I do, please share your latest blog posts about thrifting at the bottom of this post.

In February, I really didn’t do a whole lot of thrifting. Not at stores, anyway. I shopped at my favorite consignment store once, mostly because I was taking items to consign as I again purged my closet of clothes that are (already) too big. The rest of these pieces came from my mother’s closet as SHE was purging. Thank you Mommy!

Here’s what I found:

Tommy Hilfiger trench coat

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I got this at the beginning of the month, and I’ve already gotten lots of wear out of it. It’s pretty heavy, so it works even on cold days, and it’s a Large, so it should still fit next year. It was 50% off, to boot! Found at: Alexis Suitcase consignment

Black side-ruched sheath dress

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Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a decent picture of a black dress? I couldn’t get a good pic, but there is some lovely ruching on the left side (right in the photo). I bought this on a day when I had no intention of shopping at all, but I saw it, and it spoke to me. The fit is awesome! Found at: Alexis Suitcase consignment

Banana Republic cross-front dress

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My husband laughed when I told him I feel like Michelle Obama in this dress. The silhouette just looks like something she’d wear. And there’s a bonus: I can wear it without a bra (gasp!). For a busty woman like myself, that’s a pretty darn big deal! Found at: Alexis Suitcase consignment

White full maxi skirt

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This skirt is loaded with fabric and really heavy — which is among the reasons I love it. The photo doesn’t do it justice. My mother had this for years and never wore it, so I was only too happy to take it off her hands. This will likely make an outfit appearance soon. *wink* Found at: My mother’s closet

Sundress with removable straps

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I couldn’t believe my mother was getting rid of this, but the more I looked at it, the more I realized she’d probably never wear it unless she wore a jacket or cardigan over it. And she’d say it’s too short — which made it perfect for me :) The straps can be removed to make it strapless, and the top has great structure. Found at: My mother’s closet

Black linen blazer

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I already have plans for this baby! The single button falls a little low for me, because I have a really high waist, so I may move it and create a new button hole. Haven’t decided for sure yet. But since I just got rid of my old black blazer because it was waaay too big, this was right on time. Found at: My mother’s closet

Route 66 gray silk tunic

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I believe my mom got this at Kmart years ago, so I was surprised to see that it’s made of 100% silk. Regardless, the fit is really flattering, and the top looks like a shirtdress. I’m trying to think of a creative way to style it. Found at: My mother’s closet

Gold chain box purse

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I can only chance a guess at how old this purse is, but I love it! The strap is long enough to wear it as a crossbody bag if I so choose, and it is the perfect way to glam up an otherwise mundane outfit. Found at: My mother’s closet

Speaking of purging

I’ve been going through clothing sizes faster than I can keep up, and the consignment store will only take so much of it off my hands. So…I’m planning to open an online store to sell those clothes (and maybe shoes). It will take a while (like a week or two) for me to get everything set up and uploaded, but I’m excited about passing my stuff on to other people who can love and wear it. I’ll let everyone know as soon as the store is up and running.

Now, it’s your turn

What have you found while thrifting lately? Leave a link to your latest thrifting haul, whether you found clothes, furniture or any other treasure. You can even link to an outfit post if it contains thrifted items. Put it in the linky below so we can all swoon over the great deals you scored! All I ask is that you link back here so others can find the linky. If you like buttons, you can grab this one and add it to your post or your sidebar:

<a href=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net” target=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net”><img src=”http://www.greenandgorgeous.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/thriftscores-button.png” alt=”Green & Gorgeous Thrift Scores” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a>



Also linking up with: Thrifters Anonymous

Thrifting Haul: January

Suffice it to say that I love thrifting, and I try to do it whenever I can. This usually ends up being Wednesdays while I wait for my daughter to get out of gymnastics class, because there’s a Goodwill right across the street :) Each month, I’ll sum up all the items I’ve found thrifting. I’ve been meaning to post this since the end of January, but better late than never, right? Look for my next thrifting post at the end of February.

Here’s what I found last month:

Ana striped sweater and high-waisted jeans

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Clearly, I didn’t waste any time wearing these. You might recognize them from my outfit of the day post a few weeks back. Super comfy! These are my current favorite jeans. Found at: Alexis Suitcase Consignment

Ann Taylor ruffled top

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I fell in love with the colors and patterns on this top as soon as I spotted it. The colors are more true to life in the detail image on the right. The fit is awesome, and it’s the type of piece I can layer now while it’s cold out, but is light enough to be a spring staple as well. I’ve already worn it twice since I bought it. Found at: Alexis Suitcase Consignment

American Eagle strapless dress

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This fits a little tight, but by the time it’s warm enough to wear it, it should fit perfectly, thanks to my continued weight loss with Shaklee 180. The fabric is gorgeous, and the fit, with a cinched waist and pleating for a subtle flair, made me feel like a pinup model. Found at: Uptown Cheapskate

American Eagle striped cardigan

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This looks really saggy on the hanger, but the fit is more curve-hugging than you’d expect. The stripes feel really preppy and unlike anything else I have in my closet, but the fact that it’s soft and comfy made it an easy choice. Found at: Uptown Cheapskate

Suzi Chin one-shoulder party dress

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This is a size 10, but it actually fits! This a bubble dress, meaning that there’s hidden elastic at the hem to make the skirt balloon outward when worn. I’m impatient for the day it’s warm enough to wear this. It will make a great date night outfit, and I may even pull it out on Valentine’s Day just because. The color looks crappy in this photo because of low light, but in real life, it’s more merlot than strawberry. Found at: Goodwill

Talbots black & white dress pants

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They don’t look like much when draped over a hanger, but they have a high waist and a pattern subtle enough to be dressed up or dressed down. Can’t wait to wear them! Found at: Goodwill

Tahari burgundy patterned dress pants

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This is another item in the “can’t fit yet” category at a size 10, but I’m confident they’ll fit in the coming months. The burgundy tone-on-tone pattern is gorgeous. The photo doesn’t do it justice. Found at: Goodwill

Benetton wool coat

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This item was the icing on the cake. I couldn’t believe I found this Italian wool coat by United Colors of Benetton for — wait for it — $8 dollars! The thrifting gods smiled on me that day :) Plus, I just bought a pair of camo skinnies that would be perfect with this with some neon shoes. Found at: Goodwill

Thrifting tip

I pass on a lot of things when I’m thrifting because of one simple rule: If I can’t envision an item in a specific outfit or styled a specific way with some other specific item (whether I already own it or not), I won’t buy it. Every single piece I bought is already part of an outfit in my mind or styled for some fictional future event. That way, when an opportunity arises, I’ll already have at least one idea for how to wear it. This helps me avoid buying stuff that I like, but would never actually wear.

What have you found on your recent thrifting trips? Do you have any rules even unspoken ones, that help guide you when you’re shopping secondhand? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

My biggest problem with thrifting? I am tempted to buy SO much! No matter where I shop, I always manage to find at least a couple of things that would work well in my closet. This time, I shopped at Goodwill and Alexis Suitcase, and I wasn’t disappointed.

What I Found:

  • INC lace shirt (new with tags): $3.95
  • NY & Co. sheer button-down: $3.95
  • J. Jill 100% silk button-down: $3.95
  • Handmade skirt: $4.95
  • Nordstrom blazer: $8.95
  • Cabin Creek “wrinkle-free” men’s shirt: $4.95
  • BCBG heels: $5.95
  • BCBG flats: $30 (and totally worth it!)
  • Elle long cardigan: $10

Most of the items were found at Goodwill — hence the rock-bottom prices. The higher priced items were found at my favorite consignment store, Alexis Suitcase. I don’t mind paying a little more for high-quality items, and the quality at consignment stores will almost always be better than thrift stores because they are more selective about what they sell. On the flip side, though, this means that you’ll generally get a good return when you consign items with them.

With fall in full swing and winter quickly approaching, it didn’t take long for me to realize just how ill-prepared I was. The few cold weather pieces I owned were too big, so this shopping trip was very much focused on warmer items, or at least stuff I could layer. This cardigan will be great for days when there’s just a little chill in the air.

I’ve really been loving menswear-inspired looks lately, and I can easily envision this men’s button-down shirt from Cabin Creek tucked into some high-waisted jeans with pointed-toe boots.

This blue blazer from Nordstrom called to me from a few aisles over as soon as I spotted the color. It is just slightly snug around the arms, but it’s a size 12, and I have every intention of fitting into it beautifully within a few months. My Cinchspiration weight loss journey has already brought me from a size 20 to a 16 (and I’m more than 30 lbs. lighter!), so I’m confident I’ll keep moving in the right direction.

I showed my husband this handmade maxi skirt on the rack, and he looked at me like I was insane. To be fair, I’ve never worn anything like this in my life, and it looks much more like something my pattern-loving mother would wear. But then I tried it with a red sweater that fit like a glove, and I fell in love with it. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity to wear it :)

This crinkly silk top from J. Jill will be a part of my wardrobe for a long time to come. I can use it to dress up jeans, with slacks, tucked into a pencil skirt or about a dozen other ways.

Another look I’ve been liking, but not quite daring enough to wear (yet!) is a sheer top with a bra showing through. Not everyone does this well, and my goal is to do it in a way that doesn’t look trashy. This top is a dark enough color that I’d be able to get away with a black bra without looking like I’m half naked.

I’ve really been wanting something made of lace, and this INC top definitely fits the bill. The pale pink color is more feminine that I’d normally go for, but it’s lace, so that point is sort of moot, isn’t it? Lol! The top is also a 2x (I’m in an XL or a 1X at the moment) so it fits really loosely. However, I plan to wear it with a belt, so the looser fit just means I’ll get the tunic effect I want.

And finally, the shoes. I found not one, but two pairs of BCBG shoes on the same day, from two different places. The brown pumps on the right obviously win on price, because I found them at Goodwill. And coincidentally, I saw the exact same shoe, in black, at the consignment store later that day. But the flats on the left win on style. Take a look:

The black patent leather is great for winter and for dressing up an outfit, and the ankle straps and back of the shoes feature both silver AND gold, so I can wear them with bling in either finish. Love!

I think I scored pretty well this time. What did you find on your last thrifting trip? Feel free to share links to your hauls in the comments!

Salvation Army Thrifting Haul

I have donated items to the local Salvation Army thrift store on numerous occasions, and I’d shopped there before when looking for furniture. But I never took the time to go through their clothing department. I’d been missing out! For my budget of $50, I brought home a LOT of stuff, some of which was so awesome that I actually did some reselling.

It’s hard to see everything in that pic, so here’s a list, with prices:

  • Kenneth Cole striped blazer: $5 (50% off $9.99)
  • Sag Harbor blue wool blazer: $5 (50% off $9.99)
  • Black Worthington black blazer: $9.99
  • Chunky gold necklace: $5.99
  • Gap long-sleeved denim shirt: $3.99
  • Oscar by Oscar de La Renta silk shirt: $3.99
  • Ann Taylor jeans: $4.99
  • Talbots denim skirt: $4.99
  • Mossimo jeans, new with tags, to resell: $3.50 (50% off $6.99)
  • BIG SCORE: True Religion jeans, to resell: $4.99

TOTAL: $52.43

If you’re not familiar with True Religion jeans, here’s a brief description: They’re expensive. Very. Like $200 a pair brand new.

So to find a pair for just $5 meant I was going to buy it whether it was my size or not (it wasn’t, not was it the size of anyone I know). I inspected them carefully to make sure they were genuine and not cheap knockoffs, and then I took them to my favorite consignment store. I’m not sure yet how much they will sell for, but I can guarantee it will go for more than $5. It’s entirely possible that I’ll earn back the entire amount I spent on this thrifting jaunt.

I also resold the brand new Mossimo jeans to a different clothing resale store for $10 — a profit of $7.50. Which brings my total spent down to $44.93 — less than my original budget. I didn’t go thrifting with the specific intent to resell, but sometimes you just come across things that are worth trying to sell for a profit.

Other than those two items, I did get some other items I’d really wanted. As you can see, I went a little blazer crazy. But with the weather getting cooler, I really needed some jackets to help me extend my summer wardrobe, and I didn’t want to spend a whole lot on them. $19.99 for three quality blazers is a darn good score. My observation is that the blazer prices at Goodwill are a little better (around $5.95 on a regular day, and better with sales), but the quality available at this store was better. I just need to find an eco-friendly dry cleaner (actually wet cleaner) so I can have them laundered.

I’d also been looking for a long-sleeved denim shirt for long time. This one isn’t exactly what I was looking for, but I’m planning on doing something cool to it. It’s a men’s work shirt (I believe), and planning to add some studs to update it a bit and make it more feminine and fun.

My final favorite is the chunky necklace. I had the hardest time getting a good picture of it, so excuse the poor quality. They’re everywhere these days, and I really like the look. I’m learning every day how to best accessorize my outfits, so this was a great find to add to my collection, and I’m just looking for an excuse to wear it. Trust that you’ll be seeing it in an outfit post soon :)

So how did I do? What did you find on your last thrifting haul? Feel free to share a link to it in the comments!

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Lately, I’ve been a little fashion crazy. I’ve been devouring fashion blogs and I’ve spent hours upon hours searching for chic, eco-friendly clothing that would actually fit my changing body. I chalk some of it up to my weight loss journey, but I think a lot of it also has to do with feeling comfortable in my own skin. Since plus-sized, eco chic clothing is hard to come by, to say the least, I’ve become a big fan of consignment and thrift stores. I used to shop them primarily for home decor and furniture, but in the past year or so, I’ve started utilizing them for clothing as well. In addition to the green benefits of buying clothing secondhand, there’s also the wonderful fact that you can find lots of name brand pieces — some high end — for a fraction of the retail price.

Last week, I made a stop at my favorite consignment store, Alexis Suitcase in Johns Creek, GA, and I wanted to share some of the awesomeness to be found there along with some tips for your own fashion thrifting adventures.

The first thing that is immediately obvious about Alexis Suitcase is that it is very well organized.

Unlike many consignment and thrift stores where you have to search through racks and racks of clothing to find anything that fits, these racks are separated by color and also organized by size. So if I’m looking for a white top in size XL, I immediately know where to look.

But even if I’m not looking for anything specific, knowing where to go to find my size helps me get in and out quickly. But I do have a note about that:

Tip 1: Don’t make assumptions about sizes.

The size labeling on the racks at Alexis Suitcase goes up to XL and 18, but in my experience it’s not uncommon to find sizes well beyond that. On different visits, I’ve found items up to 3x and 24. I’ve also found this to be true at other thrift and consignment stores. If you wear a particular size, chances are someone else in your area does too, and you’ll be surprised by what you can find if you just take the time to look.

On top of that though, I’ve learned not to assume that items won’t fit. If I find something on the rack, hold it up to my body and it looks like it will fit, I will try it on even if the tag doesn’t show “my” size. I’ve found great pieces this way that I never would’ve tried if I were restricting myself to a specific size. I’ve found that skirts and dresses tend to be the most forgiving in terms of size. Great example? I found a J Crew skirt at Goodwill the other day in a medium (right now, I’m in a 1X or XXL), and it fit beautifully!

Tip 2: Find out how sales work.

Nearly every thrift and consignment store has a sale policy that can turn good bargains into great bargains! For example, Alexis Suitcase uses a color-coded discount system. Each item features a colored price tag, and each week, items tagged with a specific color are discounted as shown on signs throughout the store, like this one:

I’ve bought a Michael Kors dress for $12 because of one of these discounts. The sale changes every week, so a full price item today might be 50% next week. It really adds a thrill to the hunt :)

Many consignment stores also discount items that have been on the shelves a while. So after 30 days, it’s reduced by 15%, 30% after 60 days and so on. If there’s a store you shop often, just ask about their sale policies. I’m sure they’ll be happy to share if it means you’ll become a regular customer.

Another example: When I lived in Tennessee, on the first Saturday of every month, Goodwill offered 50% off everything in the store. Everything, from shoes to clothes to furniture and electronics. Of course, the stores were always packed on the first Saturday, which brings me to my next point:

Tip 3: Shop on weekdays.

If you can help it and you’re ever available on weekdays, I’d suggest doing your shopping then. Consignment and thrift stores get new items every single day, but the pickings tend to be better during the week when there are fewer customers in store. If you do go on the weekends, try to go early and beat the crowds, particularly if its a sale day.

Tip 4: Patience, grasshopper.

Shopping consignment and thrift stores can be a slow process. Admittedly, some stores make for faster shopping than others because they are well organized while others are not. But either way, you’ll have to take your time and look through the racks to find the really good stuff.

Plus, there’s the fact that you’ll rarely find more than one of the same item. So if those shoes you love are too small, you’ll just have to keep looking until you find a pair that fits.

Tip 5: Go with an open mind.

Many people assume that the clothing you’ll find in thrift stores will be in terrible condition. Some of it is, to be sure, but there are gems to be found among the faded t-shirts and grandma’s house dresses. Plus, consignment stores offer a much better chance of scoring quality finds because each item is inspected and selected by hand before it ends up on a rack. So don’t assume. Just go in and take a look.

Additionally, some stores do a great job of showing you how to create an outfit from thrifted finds by creating beautiful vignettes throughout the store. Alexis Suitcase does this very well:

Even if you don’t have visual examples in store, there are other ways to find inspiration. On Pinterest, create a pinboard of looks you like, then try finding thrifted pieces to recreate those looks. Or walk into the store with a single item in mind from your existing wardrobe: for example, a black pencil skirt. Try to find a number of tops, shoes, accessories, etc. that you could wear with that one skirt.

Or some days, just throw caution to the wind and go see what you can find. I’ve become a lot more adventurous with my clothes over the past year, picking up wool skirts, blazers, shoes and dresses I never would have considered several years ago. And sometimes, you just find something you weren’t expecting:

I’ve been wanting a pair of TOMS wedges for years, and on my last visit to Alexis Suitcase, I not only found a pair of TOMS: They were actually my size! (aff) I scooped them up as soon as I realized they would fit!

Tip 6: There’s Always Shoes, Purses & Jewelry

Even if you can’t find any clothes you like or in your size, you can almost always find shoes, purses  and jewelry that will tickle your fancy, so don’t ignore those sections of the store. Need some examples? No problem!

Tip 7: High End is Still High End.

In other words, don’t walk in the store expecting to pay $20 for a Gucci purse or Manolo Blahnik sandals. Is it possible? Yes. It is likely? Not at all. That’s not to say you can’t find these items secondhand, because you absolutely can:

But even the smallest stores have become savvy enough to know which brands can justify a higher price tag, particularly when it comes to shoes and handbags. So if you do score a deal like that, shout to the rooftops, because you’ve found the needle in the haystack!

What I’m saying is that while you’ll pay a fraction of the retail price for that pair of Christian Louboutin heels you have your eye on, that could still amount to a couple hundred dollars. Only you can decide if they’re worth the price to you.

What’s not to love?

I personally love thrifting and consignment shopping. I walk in with a budget, and its usually not hard to stick to it. I always surprise myself by what I can get for relatively small amounts of money, and I feel good because I’m buying stuff that’s in its second life. So I can feel good about purchasing designer items that I either couldn’t afford or wouldn’t want to buy otherwise because they’re just not very sustainable.

I really love Alexis Suitcase in particular because on top of their excellent selection of pre-loved fashion, their customer service is awesome! While you’re walking around the store picking up items, they will actually hold a fitting room for you, by name, and put your items in the room as you finish browsing so you don’t have to carry handfuls of items.

I’m always greeted with a smile. A when I’ve consigned some of my own clothes and shoes there, both me and my items were treated with respect. Plus, there’s an online system where I can login to see if any of my items have sold and how much I’ve made so far. Which brings up a good point:

Tip 8: Give Back to the System

At least 3-4 times a year, I go through my daughter’s closet to find items she’s outgrown so we can consign or donate what we’re not able to give away to friends or family. When we’re able to sell them, we make a little extra money, but even when we’re not, we love dropping off donations at local thrift stores so someone else can enjoy them and to help the causes of organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill.

And now that I’m losing weight (17.5 lbs. and counting!), I’ve been purging larger items from my own closet for consignment or donation. I have no intention of going back up to those sizes, so getting rid of them will help keep me motivated to keep moving toward smaller sizes :) And as I move through the sizes, I’ll keep doing this. Shopping thrift and consignment is also a great way to get clothes in an in-between size without spending a lot of money if I know I won’t be wearing that size for long.

 Your turn…

Do you ever shop consignment? What have been some of your favorite finds? Are there any important tips I missed? Share in the comments below and feel free to link to your thrift hauls if you have them online anywhere!

Also, would you like it if I shared my own thrifting hauls here? Let me know!