I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been very lucky in my thrifting. I’ve scored some amazing designer pieces for next to nothing, and I’d be hard pressed to pick favourites. There aren’t many things that still make me go “ooh” when I discover them on the racks of my local thrift stores; I’ve stopped being surprised at the things that people donate — because I’ve seen pretty much every major label you can imagine. There are, of course, a few exceptions. Some, you might say, unicorns. Hermes, Chanel, Dior — that sort of thing. In those cases, the best a thrifter can usually hope for is finding vintage pieces, and even those are truly rare.

I have a shortlist of “unicorns” that I would love to find, but near the top of the list are a few practical ones. For example, Manolo Blahnik Campari pumps. Saw a pair at Nordstrom last year and fell in love, but at $500 (on sale) it wasn’t a love destined for a happy ending. My black Stuart Weitzman pumps are reaching the end of their useful life, and I would like to replace them with another pair of pointy toe pumps … like the Campari. No luck so far, sadly. Another practical thing I need is a trench. I’ve been looking for one for at least 3 years, and have never found one I liked at an affordable price point. I mean, a girl can only dream about Burberry, right?

Well …


… it turns out that a girl can do more than dream, sometimes. To my utter and complete disbelief, I found this like-new Burberry trench at a local Goodwill. I don’t know the name of the style, but it looks like a contemporary one. All the hardware is in pristine condition, which leads me to believe it isn’t more than 5 years old (or was never worn). There isn’t a single flaw I could detect in this darn coat. And it cost me all of $8.

Burberry trench, $8 (!!!)
Burberry trench, $8 (!!!)

It’s such an unlikely, unbelievably lucky score, I can’t help but laugh every time I think about it. If only I was this lucky at playing the lottery, I could have been a multi-millionaire by now. On the plus side, who needs the lottery to look like a million bucks when you have a good thrift scene at your disposal?

Tell me: what was the biggest unicorn you have ever captured in the (thrifting) wild? What’s the biggest one you’d like to find?

21 Comments on Tales From the Thrift: The Time I Found a Unicorn

  1. Wow what a great find and crazy price!
    A Burberry trench is on my thrift wish list, along with a Missoni cardigan, Marc Jacobs older style Ukita, vintage Gucci bags and of course a DVF wrap dress.

    • Oh man, a vintage bamboo-handle Gucci bag would be fantastic! I just found a DvF top at the thrift store, but I haven’t come across a dress yet. Good luck & may the thrift gods smile on you πŸ˜‰

  2. I love that it’s one of the patterned ones! You will get so much use out of that.
    I found a Burberry cashmere sweater for about $2 (it was BOGO at the Army that day), and a Rebecca Minkoff silk jacket (now $50 at Nordstrom Rack but it wasn’t at the time!). It’s not as high fashion but I bought a vintage 90s DKNY 40s-style dress that I LOVE. I’ve also seen lots of designer things that, for the most part, were not the right size or style for me. I would absolutely love to find some Marni, Milly, or Suno.

    • The DKNY dress sounds amazing! It sucks to find things you like but don’t fit. At least if they’re too big, you have options … but still, boo.

  3. I found a basically brand new quilted Burberry jacket about 3 years ago – that was my unicorn! I ended up selling it on Ebay for almost retail cost, and used it to buy a Burberry trench that I found on sale at Nordstrom. Sometimes I still regret selling it though since who can argue with a $10 Burberry jacket!

    • I remember that story, and was so jealous! I think a trench is probably more versatile, so I think you made the right decision πŸ™‚

  4. My two best thrift finds weren’t for me, but for people I was with (maybe I am like a unicorn guide, destined to help others look?): 1. a Burberry Trench at the Garment District in Boston, clothing by the pound, so the trench was well under $10. 2. DVF dress at Salvation Army, with the correct color tag for 50% off, $1.98.

  5. I recently found a Rachel Roy dress for $6 and my dream kelly green flared knee length double breasted winter coat for $14. Unicorns are any quality dark wash denim in a size and cut that works for me. There’s a lot of sad, faded, stretched out jeans but every once in a while something nice is on the rack.

    • It’s so funny how that happens … there are so many new or almost-new jeans to be found here in Edmonton (all kinds of premium denim), at least in sizes up to 8 (I don’t usually check the higher sizes, but I think there’s quite a bit of selection there too). I’ve bought way too many pairs recently, even though I don’t really wear jeans much anymore.

  6. Awesome trench!! I love reading your blog because of all the thrifting stories πŸ™‚

    I’ve found (and sold) two pairs of Louboutins that were too small for me. One pair was adorned with feathers and had nearly perfect red soles!

    • OMG, Louboutins are definitely unicorns! I’d love to find a pair, or some Valentino Rockstuds (so cliche, don’t care). Another blogger in my town found a pair of mint condition Rockstud flats. Edmonton thrifting, man …

  7. Was this from the 51 ave goodwill? I think I was there earlier the same day, but I don’t usually check the jackets. Regrets! Although I did find a dvf dress a few weeks ago at Salvation Army for $3.50. Anyway, awesome find! So jealous! πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, that was the one. I never used to check coats either, but I’ve been making more of an effort. This was, literally, the last rack I went to look at. The DvF is quite a score too!

  8. What a find! I love your thrifting posts. Nothing like a Goodwill find.
    I’ve been a silent reader for about a year now and just had to comment because of the awesomeness.

  9. Score! I once found a Saint Laurent silk blouse for 50p. I took it up to the counter with that fear of “will they realise their error and charge me a proper price….gulp?!” But no, mine for 50p. I wore it until both armpits had worn through I loved it so much, haha. Price per wear? Must’ve been about -Β£100!

    • Man, I love those stories! Label aside, it’s amazing to find something you adore and suits your style perfectly for next to no money, and wear it constantly — that’s the clothes version of true love, right there.

  10. I’m really late to the party, but I love your blog and I’m obsessed with your thrift finds and I wanted to share my own! I found Stuart Weitzman dark brown snakeskin heels for $12.49 and a Chloe oversized purse in tan for $6.99 at Value Village. I almost cried.

    Love from a fellow Canadian!

    • Wow, those are great scores! I wish I had better luck finding bags in thrift stores … I would be crying (tears of happiness) for sure πŸ˜‰