Thrift audit: Shady thrift store, March 26

This is part of a series of posts pulling back the veil on my process for buying and selling secondhand clothes: 

Sometimes when you are thrifting, you have to follow your instincts. I woke up one day about a month ago and said to myself, "This feels like a good day to haul my kid to a town half an hour away to go to a weird thrift store." And sure enough, it was. (That being said: I know the quality of these photos is not my best work ...)

The thrift store in question isn't so much "weird" as it is more like a permanent rummage sale. Everything there is pretty filthy and run-down; there are no prices marked on anything, and when you bring your stuff up to the counter, they will sort of give it a once-over and say, "Eh, how about three bucks?" Which is awesome. 

BUT, on the day my spider senses told me to make the trek up there, they were having a bag sale. Which means I scored all of this stuff for $1. Not $1 each, but $1 TOTAL — which works out to about 13 cents per piece. And at that price, I tend to get pretty greedy and just snatch anything that looks remotely vintage/sellable — as you will see. 

Vintage feather-print dress

Keep or sell: Sell
As I have said countless times before, I am a sucker for a good print. And, OK, maybe it is a stretch to call this print "good," but it is certainly striking and I kind of love it. 

Good or bad buy: Good buy. I'd like to think there are others out there like me whose eyes light up when they see a dress like this! It is in my "to list" pile for my Etsy shop right now. 

Vintage red and black abstract floral dress

Keep or sell: Sell
There is something about these vivid, stretchy, polyester dresses of the 70s, with their all-over-the-place prints, that I just love. Dresses like this kind of do all the work for you of putting together a striking outfit, you know? Add some white tights, black heels and a belt, and blammo, you're a knockout — while still being comfortable, and not freaking out if you spill coffee/yogurt/beer on your clothes. 

Good or bad buy: Good buy. It's also headed to Etsy, but it may wait until fall because no one wants to buy long-sleeved stuff in April, am I right? 

Vintage gray wool maternity jumper

Keep or sell: Sell
I always get so excited when I find vintage maternity (which just started happening recently, weirdly — where was all this when I was actually pregnant?!) because so many maternity clothes at thrift stores are just THE WORST. They're just all so pedestrian and office-friendly and blah. So I love finding pieces like this, which to me looks classy and chic and pretty. 
Good or bad buy: Definite good buy. It is a quality piece in great condition, headed for my Etsy shop this fall. 

Pink wool Loft trousers

Keep or sell: Sell
I am not even going to let myself try these on, because they are close to my size, but I most definitely do not need a(nother) pair of pink pants. 
Good or bad buy: Good buy — these are in remarkably lovely shape, considering the typical level of dinginess on display at this particular store. I've put them in storage for the summer, and will try to hawk them at a local consignment store this fall. 

Vintage floral print dress

Keep or sell: Sell
Just look at this print! That's all I really have to say. Plus, it has a crazy little peplum detail at the front of the skirt that I love. 
Good or bad buy: Good buy. It's up on Etsy now — I'd be surprised if I get a bite before fall, but I just couldn't resist listing it right away. 

Vintage pink tuxedo shirt

Keep or sell: Sell
OK, so along with crazy prints, I am also a sucker for ruffles, ribbons, lace — pretty much any embellishment. (I seriously have to force myself to look at plain-colored stuff at the thrift store sometimes because sparkles! and florals! and wacky novelty prints!) So, hot pink tuxedo shirt? Hell yes. 
Good or bad buy: Honestly, I will probably have trouble selling this, but I just couldn't resist buying it and everyone always says that you should be true to your own aesthetic as a vintage seller, so hopefully there are some other rodeo clowns out there who will be into this. 

Mod psychedelic print house dress

Keep or sell: Sold!
This was the crown jewel of my thrift trip right here. I saw the print from across the store and made a beeline for it, and was thrilled to find that it was free of stains, snags or cigarette burn holes — nothing short of miraculous. I listed it on Etsy the day I brought it home, and sold it within a week. 
Good or bad buy: THE BEST

Vintage Etienne Aigner purse

Keep or sell: Sell
I have this dream of finding a vintage Dooney & Bourke bag at a rummage sale or thrift store. Until then, I'll just have to be satisfied with Etienne Aigner, which I find at pretty much every sale I go to. When I got this one home, I was afraid at first that it was a knock-off, but after doing some research, I'm pretty sure it's just from the early 90s, when the company started having more products manufactured overseas and the quality kind of went down. 
Good or bad buy: Good buy. It may not be a high-end bag, but it is still a vintage cross-body bag, so I'm hoping to find it a new home on Etsy soon. 

I just want to take a minute to point out that I didn't buy anything for myself! (Not pictured is a truly hideous pair of sneakers I bought for my daughter, who is threatening to grow out of her shoes any minute now. I like to be prepared.) So I give myself pretty high marks for this trip. I was positively giddy to leave the shop with all this and plop down only $1 for it. In fact, I was so pleased with it that I went back a couple weeks later! More on that coming soon ...


  1. MY eyes light up at the sight of those 70's print dresses! I think my biggest problem for etsy selling is that I want to keep all of the things that would probably sell the best because they are the coolest. Haha! But I've been making myself give up some of the stuff I wanted to hang onto because I know I'll never wear it regularly and someone else might love it.

    Also, that thrift store sounds AMAZING. I need to research and see if there are thrift stores elsewhere close to me that I can raid for good stuff.

    1. Oh, I totally know what you mean about wanting to keep everything! I have actually found that having my Etsy store makes me *more* disciplined about keeping stuff. Often just having the chance to model/wear something is enough for me. Plus, I REALLY like money ... so that motivates me a lot :)

      And yeah, this thrift store is EVERYTHING. I definitely recommend trying to scout out a non-"branded" store - they often have more flexible/reasonable prices. Or, I can't say enough good about rummage sales, too!

  2. Wow, I admire your bravery taking your toddler to a thrift store! Mine would have everything off the shelf in 5 seconds. Looks like this was a really good haul. The pink Loft pants and the cross body bag are classics that won't go out of style anytime soon so I don't think you will have any trouble selling those. In fact, I can think of a large company that has almost identical inventory at the moment! Rebecca/

    1. I have been hauling my daughter to thrift stores and rummage sale since she was tiny! But, truly I am lucky that she usually has pretty good behavior at 3 years old (although when she was 2, it was anyone's guess what would happen and we definitely made some hasty exits from a few stores, ha ha).

      I find SO MUCH Ann Taylor/Loft at my local thrift stores, which is funny because we don't have a retail store locally. But those brands always catch my eye as being rather well-made. I'm afraid this purse will be too generic to catch anyone's eye - but I'll just have to list it and find out!


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