There’s nothing like a good sale when you have a few extra dollars.  You almost can’t wait to give your money away for whatever tangible item it might be.  Well, I must confess, I don’t like spending a lot of money.  I like the classic combo of a sale price coupled with an exclusive coupon.  So, one Saturday morning as I’m scrolling through emails I find this and jump right in the shower and prepare myself for the journey.  I mean seriously, how could I turn this sale away.  I love 1/2 off – not as much as 75%.  😉

The second-hand store has my heart. I’ve always had a love for old pieces.  As a child, we would visit the antique market in the Eastern Market weekly.  I didn’t get into buying clothes from the thrift store until I was an adult. It started in small boutique shops then I ventured into the larger chains. I’m hooked and I can admit it. Oakland County locations are the best and if you’re from around here you know what the OC means! So, I walked into the Value World location with no purse, comfortable shoes and nothing but time. Yup! I was prepared for the hunt through stale industrial detergent smelling items for little gems I could add to my wardrobe. (I’ll be sure to take you along for the next round in a few weeks to show you what it looks like.)

My methods are focused and success driven. I have an idea of what I need in my wardrobe and what sections may produce the unexpected steal. These are the areas I focus on when entering a large thrift store for fashion: work, trends, men’s.

 

The men’s department gave me a blue oxford shirt (I forgot to get a picture.) This is generally what I pick up from that section or a cardigan/sweater.  It’s the tomboy in me that keeps me in that section. I like oversized sweaters and men’s dress shirts for casual days and weekend attire.

My shopping didn’t end with those 7 pieces.  The journey continued as I sought out a few trending items. Kimonos, scarves, and sequins.  Only one of these were fruitful – scarves. I like to wrap my hair/head up from time to time.  Sometimes it makes an outfit grand.  I only wanted the ones with great pattern or silk.  Now, if a scarf embodied both of these characteristics, God bless us all. After searching each end cap’s selection of scarves, I walked outta there with 6.  Some restraint was displayed because at one time while in the store I had 14 in my cart. Then when I got home I realized one of these things was hiding a secret.  I’m not a label whore but I literally screamed when I saw it but it said Balenciaga.  SCOOOOOOORE!!!!

The only hang up I have with Value World is their lack of fitting rooms. I’ve been spoiled by Salvation Armies, Mother Fletcher’s (RIP), and Lost & Found. The majority of your goods are clothing items and the return policy is non-existent. So, why wouldn’t you want to have at least one small area dedicated to physically seeing if this garment works for you?  I mean, I literally had an in-store associate cover me while I got 50% naked to see if that black dress would fit nshit. Heaven help someone that doesn’t feel this motivated to make meaningful purchases in the second-hand store.  I don’t care if the thing is only $5. It’s my money and I don’t want to waste it.  Do better Value World!

Tags

These are the tags from my haul. Okay, not all of them but 80% is damn good. LOL! Now, add them all up and divide that by .50. I walked away from the register with 20 items for $45. BINGO! The time spent was well worth it. All of these items haven’t been placed into the rotation. Some are scheduled to go to the cleaners. The scarves, shorts, and tops have been washed in Tide/Downy Scentables being dried with a Bounce dryer sheet.  That’s all I really need – ensure they are clean.

Since I began shopping at these type of stores, my anticipation about the mall is ever present. I don’t like spending full price and appreciate the individuality of secondhand finds.  It almost guarantees I’ll be the only one with a specific garment on at a particular time and I relish in my individuality.

Are you a fan of the secondhand/thrift stores?

 

 

Yup! I’m finished painting the walls. (Even though I still have the cans under the kitchen sink.) This paint required a little more patience, precision and planning. Once again, an over abundance of HGTV had birthed the idea for the project I was about to tackle. The painting of a solid wood dining room table and six (6) of the eight chairs that went with it.

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I found this dining set four years ago on Craigslist for $150. It has been the crown jewel for several family gatherings. The table alone is perfect for a buffet, extending to it’s maximum length of 9 feet. As much as I loved it’s original design my artist side craved something more contemporary. This piece of furniture needed to co-habitat with the color scheme of my open floor plan living space. It was officially DIY time.

I had been thinking about this for a while and decided to paint the entire thing BLACK. After eight can of spray paint in a high gloss finish, 1 can of Rustoleum brush on, a borrowed sander, countless hours and hauling up and down the stairs – I’m proud of the finish product. I’ll finish the seat covers in the coming year. Take a look at it all come together. That’s Beau Miss!

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Tekla Vintage

There’s no surprise in the fact that I love to shop at the resale stores more than the mall.  Once you start finding those fashion gems that stand the test of time you want more.  On a brief trip to Hamtramck, I discovered a place that took my breath away.  Tekla Vintage is the name and a chalkboard sign was the only indicator I needed to inform me that I needed to go inside.  After parking the car and feeding the meter, I walked pass the couple storefronts in hopes of finding a new place to purchase more personality for my wardrobe.  The baskets of straw hats should have shown me this place was something special.  These hats were brand new from their respective fashion era with the tag still on them.  The 80s, 60s and 50s were all represented and offered for $10.  I love a good hat but didn’t find one I like.  The display windows ordered me to go inside.

Come Inside

I had been transformed to place filled with vintage music, retailer décor and retro clothing.  The racks were full!  Mirrored display cases showed off the most interesting head pieces, handbags and other accessories.  As I combed the racks in sheer amazement that I had somehow missed this place, I kept noticing these words – New Stock from 50s and so on.  These clothes had never been purchased to be worn.  So it was a real vintage experience.  Garments from decades gone by presented to new shoppers for the taking.  It seemed as if my joy had reached a euphoric peak as I pushed garments from side to side trying to find something I could not live without.

I began to get a little discouraged because the customer service wasn’t really up to my standards.  These two ladies seemed to be buzzing around in their own little word, having private conversations and the worst part ignoring me.  As my old patient, Pauline Klein, would say “haste makes waste.”  I did not respond with anger or leave the store I made up my mine to look at everything before I made the ruling on supporting this store or never looking back.  Once I arrived in the area for the slacks and pants, I stumbled upon the most gorgeous items and removed them from the rack in hopes of this place offering me a fitting room to try it on before I committed to purchasing them.  My hands were full and one of the associates walked over to me asking could she put them in a fitting room for me.  Of course!  Service was definitely on the rebound after my initial feelings.  Combing through the last few racks I satisfied my need to see everything before I made my final decision and made my way to try the pants on.

The fitting room held many surprises and disappointments.  There were three (3) pairs of pants in question and I was really dying for one pair in particular.  I love ankle pants almost as much as paisley and this pair of pantaloons had combined them both in a corduroy fabric.  Perfect for the upcoming fall here in Detroit.  Someone was delusional in the 1970s and it could have been all the drugs, social unrest and politics because these pants were going to swallow me according to the size 10 tag attached.  I wrestled with them on my size 4 hips and thighs only to be upset when I couldn’t zip them to close.  Blasphemy!  There’s no way these are a 10- someone at the J.L. Hudson’s in Detroit had marked these pants wrong.  I hated that I couldn’t have them.  More importantly, I wondered if all the garments would be facing this time warped sizing and I would be out of luck among all of these fabulous clothes.  Two pair of silk pants waited in standby for me to press my luck.  This cream & black embroidered beaded pair felt exquisite on but they lacked the minimal customization I desire when purchasing vintage.  The other pair were golden and pushed me away from my fashion safety zone.  These were definitely going home with me.

Emerging from the fitting area, I requested a few items in the showcase and checked out the tie selection.  You never know when you may run across a great bow tie.  😉  The saleswomen explained to me that this was their 2nd week in business and they were still setting up the space.  I was one of their 1st customers!  That explains a lot of what I observed with regard to the buzzing around they were doing.  Okay!  She apologized for only being able to accept cash at the time and ensured me on my next visit everything would be set up.  We engaged in small talk for a few moments about their offerings and great baklava.  Please with how my experience turned around, I informed them I would be back and offered them well wishes for a good day.  Here are the winners from my shopping.

Silk Floral Pants

As always keep 🙂 !  Especially if you’re saving money! Do you know of any great resale shops?

Whenever I’m away you already know I’m doing something constructive. Currently, I playing the role of Home Decorator Maker. This includes but is not limited to hours shopping for eclectic pieces to add personality, DIY projects and organizing the clothes, cookware and linen. I’m very particular which creates an even longer amount of time for me to be settled.

All of the big furniture was delivered and set up. In my mind, I was plotting on the walls and light fixtures. I saw a place the leasing or maintenance man wouldn’t recognize and a home I had pinned on my Make Home Beautiful board on Pinterest. The first place we had to organize was l’chamber. My bedroom. The owner has to be comfortable to battle the many tasks before her. Do you remember the paint cans in the basket in my last post?

Welp! They served as a spring board to my vision. I went into Loew’s that morning and picked up painters tape and 2 cans of what they call “Oops Paint” both we’re 5 bucks. Of course I couldn’t beat that and the colors are agreeable with me.

I came in an taped a haphazard pattern on the wall in front of my bed. Taped the wall down the entry of the apartment and a few other places. Needless to say this lady emptied 2 rolls of painter’s tape on making this place DIFFERENT.

Here are the results from my projects:

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Before The Reveal
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Ta Da!!
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Come on In
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Black Walls and Shiny Floors

I refuse to throw the black paint out for some odd reason. Maybe it’ll find it’s way to the dumpster once the television comes and I find the remaining pieces for the living area.

So far so good! I’m growing to like the added touches and smile when I open my door! Next project gallery wall! Talk to you soon.  That’s Beau!

Let me be the first to tell you- I DO NOT like, watch or recommend horror movies. The purge I encountered began in my bedroom within the closets, organizers and storage boxes. It was time to release some of my fashion weight! There was no way I was willing to part with anything so I called in re-enforcements. Yep, my son and beau (as my brother-in-law would say). They relished in the opportunity to tell me I had to get rid of some things.

It began with the clothes I recently published on Poshmark. That system was a little too slow for me. The selection was so massive for potential customers, you were lucky if someone liked your items. Through all of this I managed to sell a pair of booties I was holding on to. It was just too much for me to keep up with. I decided to close it down and take the remaining garments to a local resale shop.

My summer wardrobe was my next destination and things got serious real fast. After being called a Kindergartener, little girl and receiving several thumbs down signals. I’ll be shopping all summer to look the part in the upcoming season. Some things that I knew Mister wouldn’t approve of were ordered back into my closets for a later date. One being an Arden B. jumpsuit I never wore with the tag still attached. Apparently, this was suitable for date night. Oh okaaaaaay!

I even parted with a few coats. This surprised me more than anything. You all know how much I love my coats but it was time for me to downsize in prep for new things and my upcoming move. I located items I forgot about & never wore. In my pressured state, we discovered a few things my “Fashion Police Panel” knew I could not part with and one would give a special look when the approval was overwhelming. It was a fun experience and we all enjoyed ourselves and I ended up with 4 garbage bags of donation worthy articles.

In all my efforts to get these items to the respective destinations. I had a few people lighten my load by removing things they could use and love. My mom in true spirit knew a young lady that was in need and she took 3 of the 4 bags. Needless to say the scraps were left and a few items I made good faith promises to people about that I had to hold on to. During the beginning stages of my packing I uncovered more items up for grab. We’ll see if these make it to the charities as planned!

How do you decide which garments to part with? Have you recently held a “Purge” of your wardrobe? I was left with enough to NOT be naked one the streets if you see me, lol!

Barbra Streisand sang it in a song best! “Father has a business strictly second-hand/ everything from toothpicks to a baby grand/ Stuff in our apartment came from fathers store/ even things I’m wearing someone wore before/ It’s no wonder that I feel so abused/ I never get a thing that ain’t been used.” Poor “Rose” (that was her name in the song) was so sad about her hand me down garments. So glad we’re not friends she’d probably bring me down because I’d probably love her dad’s store and every other thrift, consignment and vintage establishment in our area. There’s also a chance that I could have helped her feel better about the opportunity of THRIFTING!

I get more excited about a secondhand store than I get pulling into the parking lot of the greatest mall or most exclusive boutique. On days when I just need to get out of the house, I tend to end up at my favorite vintage store Mother Fletcher’s in Ferndale, MI or any one of the Value World’s in my metro area. However, over the last month I ventured into one of the oldest secondhand stores in the nation The Salvation Army. The size of the retailer has often scared me away. I went in the store a while ago and walked right out after it overwhelmed me by the size. Then I just always assumed that’s where all the JUNK is. Boy, was I wrong on two different trips. One day on my way to work I realized I was waaaaaaaaay too early. So, I stop in that same location that I ran out from. As I shifted through the garments on the racks a voice rang out over the intercom system informing the shoppers that there would be an additional 15% taken off the jeans. With my eyes big as saucers, I began looking for as many pairs of jeans that I felt comfortable with taking home with me. After leaving this area with several pieces, I journeyed into the men’s department. I had been looking for a dress shirt to wear for comfort around the house. They had plenty to choose from but I went with the classic blue dress shirt. As I knew the time was drawing near to report to work, I headed to the checkout. My final purchases include a LandsEnd dress shirt, American Eagle Outfitters shorts, Lauren by Ralph Lauren jeans, classic Levi’s skinny jeans (which remind me of some that I got rid of) and a pair of Joe’s denim Bermuda shorts. The total on the receipt gave me even more joy. All of this, for $20.88 and a flyer informing me that on Memorial Day all clothes would be 50% off. These are the items from that visit (excuse the wrinkles, some of them have been in the bag the whole time).

So you just about know when my second visit to a Salvation army happened. That’s RIGHT!! Memorial Day, you didn’t think I was going to miss that sale and I knew exactly which location I was heading to – the one in Royal Oak, MI. Royal Oak is home to some of the best thrifting a girl could experience. I hit the door with a mission. It was simple get something different and for work. This store was a fraction of the size of the one I had visited previously. This made it a lot more “intimate” for all the shoppers that were there to take advantage of this event. I took it all in stride and took my time. After looking through every section except shoes, I don’t mess with no hand me down shoes. This darn place had a daggone dressing room and I headed right for the soup line reminiscent line. After standing in the line for 25 minutes my turn came to get behind this curtain. Arms loaded with everything I thought I wanted, I started trying things on and declining everything that had to stay at the store. Needless to say, I was having an enjoyable time. I didn’t end up getting all the items I chose. However, the bounty was plentiful. After paying $60 for the things I wanted here’s what I got, 7 of all mankind jeans, J. Crew cargo and ankle pants (I’m loving the ankle pant right now), polka dot tank, brand new Banana Republic slacks, Talbots silk scarf and the jewel of the trip a floor length robe. Here are the pics from that excursion and the dressing room.

Yes, I still go to stores and get NEW clothes but more importantly to me they’re all new no matter where I get them from. I give every garment that rests on my skin an opportunity to be involved in the event of my Mojo (personal style). I like saving my money. There are more important things to put the money on, like shoes!! So if you know of any second-hand stores that I should check out let me know.

As always smile, it might make someone else’s day a little more than you. 🙂