I’ve been thinking a lot lately about whether I should continue with these thrifting recaps or not. I personally love reading posts of this kind on other blogs, and I know I’m not alone in that, but I am also conscious of the fact that some people may find my shopping excessive and these posts obnoxious. In the end, I decided to keep running these for the time being. Thrifting is a big part of my life now, both as a hobby and as a life/style choice, and these posts are my way of sharing that here on the blog.

looks promising
looks promising

First up, a quick lesson in on-the-spot authenticating. I saw what appeared to be a Louis Vuitton Musette at my local VV, and zoomed in for a closer look. The material did not immediately scream “fake”, and felt substantial rather than thin and cheap.

Once I opened the bag, however, things began to look less promising. The lining did look and feel cheap, and there were quite a few loose threads — not what I would expect from LV. There was quite a bit of cracking as well, which seemed incongruous given the external condition of the bag.

hmmmm ...
hmmmm …
definitely iffy ...
definitely iffy …
nope
nope

What ultimately convinced me that the bag was a counterfeit was the lettering. It may not be immediately apparent in the photo above, but in real life, it was clear that the lettering was not stamped into the bag but rather affixed like a sort of sticker. The lettering itself may have also been “off” (I believe that the shape of the “o” is often a giveaway) but I’m not sufficiently expert in LV to offer an opinion on that.

close but no cigar
close but no cigar

I was excited to find these MaxMara coloured jeans — in my size! — but they had a few stains, which I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get out, so I passed.

all the designer ties ...
all the designer ties …

I love to buy ties for my husband, and thrift stores are a veritable treasure trove of fancy ones. My husband is very picky about his ties, so I ended up only getting him the Ted Baker one — a score for $8.

Topshop blazer
Topshop blazer

This blazer was nothing fancy, but I thought the relaxed style would make it a nice casual option. It replaces an older blazer of similar vibe that’s now too big.

Made in China, 81% polyester + 14% viscose + 5% elastane (100% acetate lining).

Pilcro Stet cropped jeans
Pilcro Stet cropped jeans

I’ve been looking for a pair of white jeans forEVER, but have found it impossible to scope a pair that was sufficiently opaque and the right style (skinny, cropped) for a reasonable (read: low) price. I love white jeans on other people — they look so cool and chic in the summer — but I’m not convinced that they would be a closet staple for me, so I’m not willing to invest hundreds of dollars in premium denim to find out. These Pilcro pair was an odd cut (cropped but slightly flared, what the hell?), but only $12. I took the chance.

Made in Guatemala, 92% cotton + 7% polyester + 1% elastane.

(I’ve noticed that Pilcros tend to be stiffer than other jeans, and now that I’ve looked at the fabric composition, I see why. I find that the most comfy jeans I own have a higher elastane content.)

Hollister romper
Hollister romper

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right: this is way too young for me. But it’s also hella cute and comfy, and even though the summer’s almost over, I really want to jump on the romper bandwagon AT LONG LAST. For $5, new with Winners tags still attached, I’ll take the risk. That’s one of the great things about thrifting: low risk (and low impact) experimentation.

Made in China, 54% cotton + 46% viscose.

Saturday/Sunday blazer
Saturday/Sunday blazer

I originally pulled this from the rack for Cassie, but it didn’t work for her, so I tried it on — and loved it. It’s soft and unstructured, and perfect for casual Friday or weekend wear. I’m fresh out of blazers, too. [No, no I’m not.] I think this is another Anthro brand, which is amusing; my sixth sense is still as strong as ever.

Made in Vietnam, 60% cotton + 40% polyester.

no name scarf
no name scarf

I love a good blue and red print. That’s all.

Swarovski necklace
Swarovski necklace

I found this Swarovski necklace at a Calgary VV, and got really excited when I spotted the tell-tale swan. I love Swarovski jewelry, and I liked the look of this particular pieces a lot — win, win. Or so I thought. I should have known better; it was priced at a whopping $45, and I immediately walked away. But, as it happened, the following day was my birthday, and I was in a YOLO frame of mind (with some birthday cash burning a hole in my pocket) so I went back for it. In the greater scheme of things, the price wasn’t a dealbreaker, but the sticker shock was real — I’ve been thrifting for so long, this counts as a huge splurge.

no name necklace
no name necklace

I found this necklace at the same store, and it was more reasonably priced at a mere $12. The quality looks better than average for costume jewelry, and the design is really cool. There is a stamp on the back which appears to read “Butler” but I haven’t been able to track that down in any way.

Gabby Skye dress
Gabby Skye dress

Total impulse buy, but I was intrigued by the print. It looked vaguely Mexican to me — probably because of the bright colours and striped pattern. It’s not particularly minimalist, but I decided to indulge my boho side this time. I think this is a brand sold at Nordstrom, but not one with which I’m familiar.

Made in Vietnam, 100% polyester (100% poly lining).

BCBG dress
BCBG dress
close-up on belt
close-up on belt

No lie: I bought this dress primarily for the belt. At $7, it was a good deal. Still, the dress itself is growing on me. The top and lining is made out of what is basically t-shirt material, so it’s super comfy. I can see getting a fair bit of use out of it on weekend dates.

Made in China, 100% silk (contrast & lining is 95% polyester + 5% elastane).

Ted Baker tote
Ted Baker tote

Another Calgary splurge, this Ted Baker tote set me back $20 at Goodwill. I’m a sucker for rose gold and metallic bags. This one is in pretty good shape, minus some hairline scratches (which are to be expected given the delicate foil coating).

Ferragamo
Ferragamo

I bought these vintage gold Ferragamo Varas (in mint condition) for my mom … and kinda wish I could fit my ginormous, ugly stepsister feet in them. In the end, they sadly turned out to be too narrow for my mom, so they’re now up for sale on the blog shop page. Sigh.

How did your thrifting go this month?

Unrelated sidenote: the second chapter of my free weekly serial is now up on my author blog, and you can read it here. Hope you like it!

47 Comments on Tales From the Thrift: All the Pretty (Useful) Things

  1. Please don’t stop posting “Tales”. I look forward to each and every one. I love all your posts, but these are my favorite…why? They are highly educational and fun.
    I like all the loot you bagged this time, the S/S jacket, the BCBG dress ( can’t wait to see it on), the Mexican dress, it goes on and on. What fun!
    I have little time or energy for thrifting after work, mostly eBay my finds, but I have learned so much from you. Most of all, be yourself, love what you buy and buy quality, and buy it for the lowest price. That’s what these posts speak to me.
    I work in a factory, so there is no dressing up, but I will not look like a frump! Thanks Adina for another great Tale!

  2. I am a big fan of the thrifting tales so I’m glad you decided to keep the series. A little vicarious shopping on my part but also it’s really inspiring to read about your thrifting wins (and not-so-wins). Honestly, who reads a fashion blog that doesn’t enjoy a good haul?

    • Right? Gosh, I love reading (thrifting) haul posts — I’m glad I’m not the only one. It’s like those kids’ Youtube videos where they unwrap Kinder surprise eggs. It’s the excitement of the unknown, LOL!

  3. I love the thrifting recap posts, both with items you got and items you didn’t! I don’t live in a big city anymore, so thrifting isn’t a great pastime here, and I have to live vicariously through you instead. I vote for keeping the thrifting posts.

  4. Love your thrift posts! Please don’t discontinue sharing your hits and misses. Anyone who doesn’t like them doesn’t need to read them. That crystal Swarovski necklace is gorgeous – worth it I think.

    • I do like it a lot, and I’ve already forgotten (kinda) how much it cost, hehe!

      Not reading is always an option, but if everyone felt that way, I’d be writing to myself in no time flat. It helps me a lot to occasionally check in with you guys — after all, I do want you to keep reading. Can’t please everyone, for sure, but I want to please at least some πŸ˜‰

  5. I love thrifting posts because it’s like going on an adventure or treasure hunt! Can’t do that myself, so I’m living vicariously. And about it being excessive, who wants a fashion blog that doesn’t mix in new stuff every now and then? And I feel like it’s very educational, both what you end up getting and what you pass on. It’s a good lesson in careful shopping and ahem, some of us need that. It’s one of the things that sets your blog apart from others, so keep on doing it! It’s wonderful and it’s part of your interests so why edit yourself?

    • Honestly, I could be more careful about the things I buy, but I get easily carried away by the “what ifs” in my head. (There is ALWAYS some scenario where an Anthro dress will be needed.) The nice thing about thrifting is that it’s a low-cost, low-impact mistake in the end.

  6. Please don’t stop the thrifting posts! They are my favorites! I’ve been an avid thrifter myself for years and t’s really what got me interested in reading blogs in the first place. A number of bloggers I once followed seemed to ditch thrifting once they started getting popular (and sponsored). Anyway, I think it’s much more inspiring to see someone get creative with second-hand finds.

    • No worries here … I won’t stop thrifting any time soon, even if I stopped recapping my thrift finds (not that I’m planning to, based on the feedback I’ve been receiving).

  7. I have followed your blog from the beginning, and the thrifting posts are my favorite. I love to see what you buy and reject and the reasons behind your decisions, and have learned so much from you. I love to thrift, but live on a sparsely-populated island. I thrift only when I travel, but I consider it my favorite hobby. I live vicariously though your thrifting posts and am green with envy over what you find in your hometown Please: never stop your Tales from the Thrift; never hold back. I would love to hear even more.

    • Thank you, Joan — and thanks for reading all this time! I would love to live on an island, but it’s probably not always sunshine and roses. Well, it probably *literally* is (hehe!) but the lack of thrift would definitely be a downside for me πŸ˜‰

  8. I love your thrifting posts. I am not a thirfter myself, but following you may be changing my mind. Along that note, are you aware of any good thrift stores in Salt Lake City? πŸ™‚

    • I don’t, I;m sorry. The thrift scene varies so much from place to place. I would say that any of the “chain” thrift stores — like Goodwill, Savers, Salvation Army — are good places to start. Go to a few (including the little, old fashioned ones) and have a look around to see what they have to offer. Thrifting is 90% about patience … and going often.

  9. Delurking just to chime in… please keep those trift tales coming, I’m also a fan!! I’d love to trift, too, but it just doesn’t work in Germany – 2nd hand stores are either expensive OR full of junk, or both. My inner trifter lives through your scores πŸ™‚

    • Oh, that sucks — I always dream about the treasures to be found in other countries. But I’m definitely learning how lucky I am with our local thrift scene.

      Thanks for reading!

  10. Thrifting posts are my favorite! I find myself scrolling down and wishing that every item you list isn’t the last on the post. Please don’t ever stop them!

    I’ve had a great thrifting month, myself. A new Goodwill nearby has been fantastic…not one or two BUT THREE KATE SPADE DRESSES all at $9/piece? It was a half-off day (down from $18), so I lucked on that. Unfortunately, they weren’t my size. But I gifted them to a lucky, size-0 friend.

    At the same location: Marc Jacobs cardigan $7, Carolina Herrera dress $10, and Lilly Pulitzer crossbody $8. Is this real life? Why doesn’t EVERYONE thrift?

  11. Though I’ve never commented, I read your blog religiously and do I love your thrift post so much. Please keep sharing it on your blog. I even think it’s inspiring and wise.

    • Thanks, Nataya! It’s lovely to hear from readers — feedback is great in terms of figuring out what you guys like to read (or not).

  12. I love the thrifting posts. Please keep them coming. How exciting is it to find a perfect fitting super special item for a great price at a thrift store. It is like the shopping gods have aligned.

    I look forward to trying out thrifting when I have more free time. Buying used online is great but fit can be so difficult even with measurements.

    • Shopping online is definitely tricky, especially from secondhand sources where returns are not always possible. At the same time, I’m glad the option is available, because it gets people who might not otherwise want or have time to try it, into the whole secondhand thing.

  13. I am so jealous that you live somewhere/wear sizes where thrifting is a viable, feasible option of shopping! Thrifting isn’t super big here in Germany unless you live in a big city, and since I’m so tall, it’s hard finding things that fit properly in normal stores, nevermind in thrift shops. But I’m heading to the UK for a short trip next week, and your post has inspired me to try again! πŸ™‚

  14. These posts definitely don’t come off as bragging, seeing as you don’t buy even half of the stuff you show us. I don’t thrift (only use eBay for Boden, Coach and Kate Spade) but really enjoy these posts regardless. Do carry on posting them!

    • I think it was more an issue with over-consumption than bragging. And, in absolute terms, I get that. But 95%+ of my shoppingy is thrift, so I kinda … don’t care? I am not creating waste, and I do actively encourage others to think about ways to do the same. But I do think that over-consumption (of fast fashion, in particular) is a problem, and if a lot of people viewed my posts as encouraging that, I would think twice about doing them (even if I disagree with that perception). I was hoping to hear what you guys thought, to get a better sense of that.

  15. I love the thrift posts too – you get amazing things.

    there’s a UK costume jewellery firm called Butler and Wilson – I wondered if that might be the necklace with no name?

  16. I’m late to comment, but I really like the thrifting posts too. I haven’t done much yet, but it’s gotten me thinking more about doing it myself too. (Though I don’t know if I’ll have your success with finds!)