Lollie Note: One of my dearest girlfriends, Mindy Smith, is a former retail buyer and now a full-time mom in Houston, Texas. With a panache for fashion, styling and even writing, Mindy’s personal style is a wonderful combination of elegance and edge. While packing for a Parisian getaway with her handsome hubby, Mindy sent me photos of her latest fashion finds – high-end, fashion forward pieces that she got for next to nothing. I insisted she share her fashion bargain deals with my readers by writing up a guest post. Being the good friend she is, she has done so. Below is Mindy’s account of thrift shopping, with photos of her haul and her introduction to a new word for me: thriftanista.
It all started with a Salvation Army drop off. I myself have donated several desirable items throughout the years. After making my donation I decided to venture in and see what this little Northern Houston store had to offer.
Thirty minutes of disappointing labels and regrettable fashion choices in, I figured this place was a waste of my time. I leafed through the clearance section before heading out the door. It was then, marked at 75% off, I grabbed an adorable fluted, grey suede skirt. I checked the size and then froze. Yes, it was my European size. The label read Valentino. Wait, what? Valentino. Yes, authentic Valentino! From the dressing room I made a beeline to the register. After markdowns were taken, my Valentino set me back… wait for it… $5. I looked around; it felt like stealing.
And now, like hitting a boutique, I make a point to thrift. Personally I prefer to shop somewhere with a good cause. I’ve also found that cause-specific shops seem less aware of the labels sitting on their racks and prices are marked more reasonable. Later, I scored an authentic Armani Collezioni suit jacket for $12 at the same Salvation Army. It was one of three on the rack I tried on.
I don’t just buy any item because of the label on it. It also has to meet certain criteria or it is a waste of money, which would also devalue the joy of being a “thriftanista.” Two simple rules guide me: it must fit well and it must be something I would wear more than once.
To inspire you, here are a few more deals I have found recently on my thrifting expeditions. On the hunt for some vintage flair to wear in Paris, I hit the jackpot. I bought an authentic 100% silk Givenchy shirt from the 80s for a mere $18 and a red custom made petal peplum jacket from Paris for $6.
I find it thrilling to be a part of the story that an article of clothing will one day tell, as it leaves the life of another woman’s wardrobe and makes its way into mine. So, I challenge you to get out there and hit the second-hand stores. You never know what fashionable find could be awaiting you and how you could be a part of its story.