For this month’s Tuesday Night Thrift adventure, Nicole and I hit up the Goodwill store on 51st Avenue, one of my frequent haunts. Before I show you what I found, here are some things you need to know if you’ve never stopped into a Goodwill before, and want to give it a try:
• Goodwill organizes its store by categories; within each category by size; and within each size by colour. This is helpful if you have a set list of colours that you shop for (or, conversely, avoid).
• Most prices at Goodwill are standard, and determined by category. So, for example, in Edmonton (and Calgary) all dresses cost $7, all pants cost $8, etc. Some pieces are individually priced, but they are typically placed on separate racks. There is no rhyme and reason, in my experience, to what clothing Goodwill will price individually – hockey jerseys and 90s prom dresses being an exception. Bags and shoes (and household objects) are always priced individually.
• Every week, Goodwill has a “50% off colour tag” sale. The concept is simple: each item has a plastic coloured tag (or coloured sticker, in the case of things like shoes) attached to it. When it’s “50% off green tags” week, all items with green tags are … you guessed it, 50% off.
• Goodwill is a non-profit (unlike, for example, Value Village) which means, among other things, that you won’t get charged GST (sales tax) on your purchases.
• Goodwill does not give stamps or coupons for donations, but will do so for purchases. For every $25 you spend, you get a stamp; with 10 stamps, you can get $15 off any purchase of $25 or more. It’s not a huge discount, but considering the standard prices (and the weekly sale), Goodwill is still one of your best bets for getting the most value for your bucks.
Alright, enough talk: let’s look at my thrift spoils. Nicole and I were not keeping score, but I think I came away from our excursion pretty well … even though there was only one, solitary Anthro piece to be found, and I didn’t even end up getting it:
I talked someone else into trying it on, but I don’t think it was a winner for her either. Oh well. Moving on, I was super tempted by this Alice sweatshirt (official Disney swag, y’all) – my kids are currently obsessed with AiW, and I’m thrilled – but I decided to be generous and pass it on to Nicole.
I did get the Madewell sweater on the right (above). It’s forest green (colour palette, check!) and vaguely fisherman-y, and that’s my sweater catnip right there. It’s going to get a lot of wear this winter, especially on weekends, and I am debating having it replace one of the Vince sweaters I thrifted earlier this year, which has been something of a disappointment.
I also scored two pairs of medium-rise J. Brand skinny jeans. The regular medium wash (Utopia) pair replaces my old William Rast skinny jeans (too big). The teal pair (Riviera wash) is a substitute for the *grey* J. Brand skinnies I thrifted recently, only to decide after one wear that they were too big. I re-homed those with Nicole, which means that this pair is 100% guilt-free.
I was on the fence about these Rag & Bone wood wedge sandals, but my rubber arm was conveniently twisted and I bought them. I’ll have to decide next year if that was a good idea or not.
Funny story about this Rebecca Taylor top. I was loitering near the changing rooms, waiting for Nicole to finish trying on her finds, so I stopped to look at the “reject” rack nearby when – lo and behold – I found this. In my excitement, I went to show it to Nicole … who thought I was bringing it for her to try. The result was a hilariously awkward exchange, which Nicole insisted we recreate for the benefit of some of the other ladies who had joined us for Tuesday Night Thrift; check out her post to see/read all about it. Bottom line: this top had my name all over it. Sorry, Nicole! (I did make it up to her, don’t worry.) It will replace my old Rachel Roy floral top, whose print I still adore but which no longer fits very well.
Last but not least, the ladies talked me into buying this vintage velvet dress. It was on sale for $3.50 so I bought it mostly for a laugh. I know velvet is super on-trend right now, but I have traumatic memories from the 90s that prevent me from embracing its resurgence. However! I like the dropped shoulder details on this dress, and am telling myself it has a Vivienne Westwood vibe – hello, neo-classical aristo-quirk! There is a small hole at the bottom of the zipper in the back, which I will need to try to fix, but overall it’s in remarkably good condition – and it was made in Canada!
All in all, I spent just under $48 for all my loot. It goes without saying that these were all things I *absolutely* needed* (fresh out of everything, I am). You can stop laughing now, plz. All kidding aside, apart from the shoes and the dress, the other things I bought are quite practical and will replace/upgrade existing pieces in my closet … which is my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Stay tuned for an announcement about next month’s Tuesday Night Thrift — Nicole and I are working on something to make it extra fun.
Note: Chapter 10 of A Temporary Engagement is now up. Read it here.