I hesitated - vintage Ferragamo is for old ladies - but when I tried them on? They actually looked pretty cute. I'm not going to get all emotional and age-crazy on you, right now, going on and on about how I'm now old enough to wear old lady shoes. There are plenty of other posts on that theme in the "What's On My Mind" section, if you're in the mood.
Instead, I want to share some of my thrift store wisdom with you. Because I'm so good, that people follow me at Douglas Gardens to see what I'm putting in my cart. You think I'm joking, but I'm not.
Now, the first thing I want you to do is to put two fingers up and make the "peace" sign. Now turn those fingers and point them straight at your eyeballs. That's the way I want you to approach thrifting. Like a hawk, circling in on a kill.
Next. Start in your favorite section. For me? It's shoes. I love shoes. I scan the terrain like a hawk, to see what I can see. I look at every pair, in every size. Why?
Because people don't take things to thrift stores one item at a time. They take them in boxes and bags. . So my theory is, if you find one precious jewel, chances are that there are other items in the store that day that are worth searching for. When that happens, it's like a thrift detector antenna automatically extends itself from the top of my head, boop boop boop-ing until I lock and load on my treasure.
Por ejemplo, the day I found a pair of perfect, vintage 1950's pumps, I also found four perfect, vintage 1950's cashmere swing coats from glamour Chicago department store I. Magnin. Some woman dies, and her best clothing falls into the hands of someone who doesn't see its value. The things she loved, saved, and protected all of her years wound up in a thrift store in rural Montana. But it all works out o.k., because it was obviously God's plan that I give all these vintage coats a home. I think I have about 30 vintage coats in my collection.
Shop at regular department stores and know your brands. Today I saw worn t-shirts from Old Navy selling for $5. Why would I pay $5 for a used Old Navy T-shirt when I can get a brand new one for $5? A pair of wool Nanette Lepore trousers in perfect condition? Worth $6. A blue silk blouse by Worthington? Nope. Worthington is JC Penney. Not worth $9 to me.
Know your fabrics. I can identify cashmere just by looking at it, can you?
Don't be afraid to buy something for "re-purpose" purposes. A friend bought a great suit jacket just for it's vintage bakelite buttons. Today I found a gorgeous men's Scottish cashmere sweater with a tiny hole in it. I don't care about the hole because I'm going to use the cashmere. I plan to make myself a gorgeous "Origami" wrap from this free pattern that I saw on Creative Kismet.
Before you check out, go through your cart and sort it again. Is it rare? Do you have a place in your house or an immediate purpose for the item? If you leave it here, and it's gone tomorrow, will you regret not buying it? If it's clothing, does it fit you? Will you wear it? If you won't wear it, is it worth keeping as a 'museum' piece? If not? Put it back.
What's your best thrift score of all time?