Today was a banner day for Thrift Store Confidential. I met my friend Mindy, who is a complete genius with such a keen eye for all things designer it boggles my mind. I’ll do a feature on her in an upcoming post. Anyhoo – the Goodwill on 25th Street in NYC boasted that all clothing was 50% off after 5:00 p.m. I have weeded out my closet to exclude anything ill-fitting, non-flattering or downright inappropriate, and was in need of several staples to fill out the gaps that my purge left behind. Mindy and I met up at 2:00, and the games began.

I wanted a knee-length trench for Fall, and I’m only halfway through the first rack when Mindy walks up with two beautiful trenches, a crisp classic by Banana Republic and a more casual little number a NYC indy design house. As I’m trying them on, Mindy comes up with a gorgeous Eddie Bauer silver down puffer coat. Good friends: Priceless!

My other obsession for Fall is dresses. I don’t know about you, but last year I got so tired of the jeans/top/sweater combinations I could scream. This year, I want to give a more girly, polished feel to my everyday wardrobe, and for me, that translates into dresses. They can be playful or serious, dressed up or down with simple accessories, and if you find the right cuts, flattering as all get-out.

The short story – I got an entirely new wardrobe for $228.00. That would be:

Part of the haul

Part of the haul

  • 9 spanking new dresses (Ann Taylor fall samples, yay!)
  • Eddie Bauer silver puffer coat (hey – it gets cold here!)
  • 2 fitted blazers (one Ann Taylor fall sample, one Talbots)
  • 2 trenchcoats
  • 1 beautiful J Crew merino wool cardigan
  • 1 pair Hobbs satin slingbacks
  • 1 pair Cole Haan G-Series metallic loafers
  • 1 kick ass western belt
  • 1 Patrizia Pepe amethyst tank

All of the dresses and both blazers were spanking new with tags! The dresses themselves retail for $190 each at Ann Taylor, and they’re from the new Fall line. Imagine my glee!

Mindy, on the other hand, is amazing. She had two baskets full of Armani, Theory, Carolyn Roehm, LK Bennett boots that just screamed luxury…and her eye for cashmere…oy!

Now, it may sound like I’m bragging, and I am! But mainly, it’s the pride of the kill, so to speak, to show off 19 new fantastic staples of my fall wardrobe that were bought for the price of a sweater and a couple of weeks’ worth of lattes. It can be done, folks.

Thrift Store shopping does take diligence, a good eye, and determination. We were in that store for 3 hours, trying on, schlepping stuff from aisle to aisle, eyeing the salespeople as they brought out new racks… if you’re able, go with a friend and make an adventure. Bring hand sanitizer, water and some sort of snack, and try show up wearing leggings and tanks that will allow you to slip into your finds. A friend will tell you if it’s flattering or not, and will trust you’ll do the same for her!

Bargains are beautiful!

Bargains are beautiful!

The important thing is this: nearly every American is hurting financially, and there’s no shame in it. We want to look good, and it’s doubly painful to watch so many advertisements filled with beautiful things that are out of the scope of reality. So make a list of a few things that will fill out your wardrobe, and go hit your local thrift store. Though they may not have the glut of designerYou might just be surprised at what’s in store!

Until next time, all the best to you in your adventures!


3 Responses to “GOODWILL HUNTING”
  1. Leese says:

    You are amazing and this site is too. What a steal I cant believe you got all of that for $228. Crazy! IN any case, congrats on getting this site together. Love the writing style – I can hear you talking – and it is so cool to get tips from the goddess of thrift store shopping herself.

  2. agie says:

    Hi! I’m agie n I live in indonesia,I love thrift shopping,and fyi,u r my muse! Hmm,I’m asking permission to use ur tips on thrift shopping for my own thrift store (u r more than welcome to visit if ure in indonesia-oh pls do come!). Let me know if ure ok with that kay? Thx a bunch,long live thrift shoppers,yay!

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Agie! I had no idea there were thrift shops in Indonesia?! You’re welcome to use any of my tips, and I hope they help out a lot of people. Because all of my text is copyrighted, please just credit me with the language, and link to my site. Thanks!

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  • Any fool can spend money. It takes intelligence, creativity and bravery to get what you want at the price you can reasonably afford.
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