06 May 2009

A Girl, A Thrift Store & Twenty Bucks

THE MISSION:

It seems like everyone is cutting back these days, me included. I've always enjoyed thrift shopping but I know for some it's become a neccesity rather than a choice. But just because you're shopping at the thrift store rather than the mall doesn't mean you have to look any less stylish. So with that in mind I headed to my local thrift store with $20 in my pocket, a mission to put together an outfit and (hopefully) a little luck on my side.

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Right now I’m really leaning towards skirts and blouses (as opposed to dresses) so I planned on hitting those sections up first, followed by a run through the accessories section for shoes and a bag.

First the skirt. The skirt section of the thrift store is always a bit intimidating to me! It always seems like it’s packed with suit skirts that got lost from their matching jackets and bad 70s polyester. But every once in a while I’ll stumble across a pretty wool pleated skirt or a perfectly matched up bias plaid number. After thumbing through three rows of skirts I had my choices narrowed down to a cute high waisted corduroy pencil skirt or a navy plaid 60s wrap skirt. The corduroy seemed a bit out of season, so I went with the wrap. Now on to the blouses…

Since I chose the plaid skirt I needed a simple top to go with it so I headed over to the row of cream colored blouses. After passing up one blouse because of a stain, another because it was too big, and yet another because it would put me well over my $20 limit, I settled on a pretty pintucked top with buttons running down the back.

Then I ventured over to the accessories section. I think I spotted it at about 50 paces. The bag I’d been looking for! I must have brought some luck with me after all. There, hanging amongst the faux leather and the scarily sequined bags, was a buttery soft Coach satchel. A perfect compliment to the navy skirt and cream blouse!

Shoes can be trickier. There’s no altering shoes. Either they fit or they don’t. After a few misses I started to feel a bit like Goldilocks. One’s too big, another’s too small. I finally found a pair of light brown woven sandals with a chunky wooden heel. All set!

THE GOODS:
c
pintuck cotton blouse: $3.99
navy plaid wrap skirt: $4.99
woven leather sandals: $3.99
Coach purse: $6.99

Grand Total: $19.96

THE FINAL RESULT:

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72 comments:

retroliving said...

I love the skirt and the shoes! The entire outfit looks stunning!
♥Darla

marina said...

Brilliant! Very inspiring. The blouse is so lovely...looks like Lyell!

anabela / fieldguided said...

That blouse...! I cannot believe you scored all of that for $20.

Key said...

the bag is beautiful!
you look great :)

xx

kaysee said...

I am so jealous that you have those thrifts shops there:(

Erin said...

What a cute & helpful idea. I bet it was kind of fun to have a specific goal and parameters; I might have to try this challenge!
That blouse is heaven.

anja louise said...

This is such a good idea for a post! You came away with some cute stuff too, well done. $20 is especially impressive since you went for separates, AND you got shoes. Rad!

Pretty Pirate said...

LOVE!! What a fun post. Everything you found is beautiful and all together, amazing. I love all the pieces but the accessories are truly epic. I have been looking for some shoes like that for summer, you really scored.

futurelint said...

thrifting magic!

Emily said...

I'm so impressed by your thrifting shopping skills. I must be hitting up the wrong kind of vintage stores but your outfit is so cute! I love that you kept it all under $20 AND that you found a Coach bag!! That's amazing!

Hannah said...

This is such a fun post! I'm so envious of you statesiders and your wonderful thrift stores. I'd love to try the same with the charity shops we have over here but I think I'd be much less successful!

mallory said...

That bag is fantastic! Just the thing I've been looking for. Will it be for sale on Ebay/Etsy?

Sally Jane said...

Thanks so much everyone! I had a lot of fun putting this together. Perhaps I'll turn it into a regular feature on the blog.

Mallory: Thanks! I've been looking for a light brown Coach bag for ages so I think I'm gonna hang onto this one. ;)

kiran said...

genius post, makes me want to run my local salvation army and do a similar project, but unfortunately, even the prices at salvation army in brooklyn are hiked up- they recognize a coach when they see one! kudos to you and PLEASE do turn this into a regular feature- maybe you can even focus on different themes other than outfits- kitchenware, etc.

kiran said...

genius post, makes me want to run my local salvation army and do a similar project, but unfortunately, even the prices at salvation army in brooklyn are hiked up- they recognize a coach when they see one! kudos to you and PLEASE do turn this into a regular feature- maybe you can even focus on different themes other than outfits- kitchenware, etc.

Rachel said...

What an inspiring post! Please do more like this; I loved it!

Meaghan Kelly said...

this is an absolutely genius post! I love it! Please make this a regular feature I think it's so much fun to see what people can do for 20$!!!!!! :D
and you look fantastic!

Rebecca said...

Fun idea! This is how I've been shopping lately, but not so much with outfits in mind. It's such a challenge, and always feels so triumphant to come out with good buys!

Kelley said...

What a great idea for a post! Nice outfit too:)

me melodia said...

you get the thrift goddess award.

Meghann said...

LOVE IT!
I love the bag!

I want to do this it seems like you had so much fun!

Endless Vintage said...

awesome outfit. i went to 9 thrift stores this week and only found a few things. i swear.. it was NOT my week. it was yours, though!!

- Sarah

http://endlessvintage.etsy.com

Michelle said...

Such a creative idea for a blog post! Great outfit. This was a lot of fun to read...Please make this a regular feature!

benjamin said...

I'd like to live in America...

Meg said...

Clearly I need to take you shopping with me. How on earth do you do it!

ann said...

I loved this entry - what a brilliant idea :) Thanks for being such a great source of inspiration.

corrie said...

You're so lucky, the thriftstores here in NYC are so small, picked over, and overpriced. Never ever would I find a complete outfit. Wish I could go thrifting with you!!!

AlicePleasance said...

The blouse is amazing! Once again I miss thrift stores so much...

esme and the lane way said...

WOW! The outfit is fantastic. Such good finds; I would think myself extremely lucky to have found just one of those things after months of thrifting here!!!

kgkq said...

Great post!
I'd love to see more of these thrift store MISSIONS

Amelia said...

Cool challenge! I think your thrift store is a bit less expensive than the ones near me, but it's still a cool concept. I really like the idea of shopping for outfits, probably because it's completely foreign to me. I might give this a try next time I'm at the thrift store.

fashion1psychology said...

Great look i ♥ it. Their are so many good finds, i go every Wednesday they have all 50% off and certain tickets are .99 cents. I got this great dress for only $4.99 this includes the 50%. I love it. But lately Marshalls, Target, Walmart, T.J.Maxx, JCP, and Kohl's have really good sales to. So i definitively shop around. This is great.

Eyeliah @ stylesymmetry.com said...

The skirt in particular is a dream, fun challenge!

Freddie said...

wow, highly impressive! Great finds!
I too definitely want to take on this challenge, though it's hard to find much for under $8 or $9 at my nearest thrift stores. Thanks for the inspiration though!

mamas*little*treasures said...

Great post! I've been doing a similar series on my blog entitled "Thrifty Thursdays" or "Frugal Fridays." Trying to put together an entire outfit, including shoes, purse, and jewelry for under $100 . . . . but you've got me beat by a mile! This is kind of a fun article to write. I'll be back to see what else you come up with. Nina @ Gossamer Wings Studio

Ace said...

I love it! It's so good that you're showing people that being frugal doesn't have to mean looking subpar.

Hippie Frou Frou said...

A great final result! I too am trying to lean towards skirts and blouses versus throwing on the easy dress. great pairing!

jess s//

gracie said...

20USD for an outfit!

Singapore doenst have such buys at all! I REALLY wish i live in the states :(

*super envious*

Coco Fontana said...

I love it! :D Here in the Philippines we don't have thrift shops so it's hard to look for cheap vintage pieces. I'm sooo jealous! :D

alli said...

OH MY GOSH that satchel! I am always on the lookout for that type of thing. Gimme leather purses, briefcases and camera bags ANY DAY...

Great finds.

http://dotluv.blogspot.com

Nico and Brigitta's Vintage said...

i love this challenge!
I can't believe you found all of that for $20!
All of the thrift stores near me have been jacking up the prices lately, you can't even find anything under $5

http://nicoandgitta.blogspot.com

Kiki Kannibal said...

That is sucha cute outfit, you have inspired me to do something similar. If I saw you down the street in that NO WAY would I think you spent under 20 bucks! Good job!

steadybliss said...

omg... this is awesome! love love love the post, i'm from the philippines (there are A LOT of cheap finds here) and i wouldn't have topped a 20-dollar wardrobe in a thrift store. i'll probably try this challenge soon and let you know if i succeed.

svenskaussie said...

wow !!!!!! you are indeed the master, that outfit looks amazing, you have a gift my dear. xx

svenskaussie said...

wow !!!!!! you are indeed the master, that outfit looks amazing, you have a gift my dear. xx

Missa said...

This is such a brilliant idea for a post, I love the final result, and now I want to try it myself!

Bravo, and yes you should totally make it a regular feature :)

Carlotta said...

great finds, love the skirt!!

Frances Baker said...

Those sandals are the best find you lucky thing! And please make this a regular thing its a fantastic idea!!

young said...

Sometimes I just can't believe how amazing you are :)

Lily Zemuner said...

Fantastic!!
The skirt é pretty nice.

xoxo
Lily.

Babelle Brown said...

Charity shops in the UK have been making appeals for people to donate more items – there is a national shortage of stock. Another challenge to anyone looking for good vintage finds in the UK is that these shops are now trying to mimic conventional stores by stocking as newer items as possible – so most places have stacks and stacks of cheap-n-nasty clothing sold at prices equal to how much the items cost new (e.g. £2 t-shirts). It’s worth asking the shop assistants if they have anything ‘older’ in storage – I’ve scored some beautiful vintage items this way.

http://babellebrown.wordpress.com/

LauraHelen said...

AGH!! thats friggin beautiful. i need you to come down here right now and help me put an outfir like that together! am too imptient to go through all the clothes and i never go in with a goal... but the thrift stores are really great down here. there full full full of clothes and books and bags and shoes. i just dont have the patience haha

Crystal said...

love it!

Fräulein Julia said...

That looks really beautiful! What a pity Vintage shops over here are so expensive...

Holly said...

You should do another post like this, it's a fun thing to read, and makes us feel like we are going on the thrifting adventure with you. While I like the finds individually, I don't love them all together on you, sadly.

Rebekka said...

That is really, truly impressive.

Suzy said...

I'm so shocked the store didn't try charging twenty bucks for the bag..there is always at least one vintage Coach bag dangling around at the stores here in Chicago, but the store managers raise the price so it costs more than, like, anything else in the store. Grrr..

Purrfect Kat said...

This is such a GREAT IDEA!! I'd love to see more of these missions! brilliant!!!

kej. said...

wow, great! <3 and you have spended only 20 $ cool :)

Vintage Angel said...

I did a similar challenge and linked back to this post. I'd love to see what you manage every week or every two weeks because I think I'm going to give myself the equivalent of $20 a month for a thrift challenge.

But you have a really good sense of style that would really make it interesting. Especially if you keep going.

Here's the link to my challenge: http://vintage-angelc.blogspot.com/2009/05/20-sheckel-flea-market-challenge.html

theblogbloglog said...

This is fantastic. High-five. I am envious of that satchel and the sandals!

Ringo, have a banana! said...

Man, I can't BELIEVE you found those sandals for $3.99! Well played :n )

Ann Marie said...

Lovely and AMAZING!!

Olivia said...

such a cute outfit! those sandals look so similar to ones that you posted in an earlier blog entry...!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_hcCAySXimcg/SEBsuZUqxpI/AAAAAAAAEPI/-zHqlwxxfGA/s1600-h/2.JPG

ZombieLace said...

Success! I love the little adventure story!!

TigerLily said...

oh wow, you nailed it girl! those are awesome choices. The overall look is very put together, nicely done!

Are you interested in link exchange?


xoxo,
twothousandthings.blogspot.com

Abby said...

I recognize that Salv Army - are you shopping at the one in Lancaster on Manheim Pike? I live in Brooklyn now but always stop there when I am home. Some of my best finds! Keep up the good work :)

MRose said...

Have you sold this bag already/kept it for your closet. I would give my first born for it. Bag love.

Vintage Angel said...

I am going to have a similar bag in my etsy shop this week... http://skylinevintage.blogspot.com for updates.

-h said...

awesome job!

poca said...

I appreciate how you took us through your style hunt - showing each piece separately then as an outfit - very creative and inspiring.

I too LOVE a thrift store find - check out my site for some "thriftspiration": www.stylespotrun.com and see how I stay on-trend and in-style by thrifting.

Poca@Style.Spot.Run.

mirian ramos said...

Woow! This is awesome!