Wow! This is a thrift store?

Today, I want to talk a little bit about thrifting.  Are you a thrifter?  Do you have a favorite thrift stores you visit regularly?  Oh, let me tell you friend, if you are not a thrifter, allow me to convert you and change your foolish, foolish ways of paying retail.

I know what some of you may be thinking when it comes to thrift stores.  Yuck!  They only sell junk; they sell your neighbor's trash.  The stores smell funny!  They only have used and abused items...yada yada.....

For years, I never stepped foot in a thrift store.  I wasn't necessarily a thrift store snob, I just figured that if someone gave something away, then why would someone else want it.  Was there anything really worth buying in thrift stores?

Oh, how naive I was. So, so, naive.
So what changed in my life that I now include thrifting on a regular basis?  Let's see- budget, kids, staying home, blogging, moving, budget, necessity, budget, etc.  Did I mention budget?  So how does a girl who likes modern style and respectable but contemporary fashion find goods at a thrift store?  The answer is to find the RIGHT thrift store.

Not all thrift stores are created equal.  Some have great furniture pieces but lack in the clothes area.  Some have great clothes but lack in the furniture department.  Others are just ridiculously overpriced.  Yes, there are thrift stores that are overpriced. The key to good thrifting is to find one (or two or three) that fits what you're looking for on a regular basis.  For me it's furniture since I love DIYing, but then.....I was introduced to this place.  Cue heavenly angelic music now!

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine  told me about this AMAZING  thrift store in downtown Denver. The perks- a basement full of furniture, clean, organized, and clothes I would not only buy, but love!  She knows me so well!  I love finding little treasures (and big treasures)at thrift stores, bringing them home and spit shining them all up to make them pretty again!

The thing is, I don't usually buy clothes at thrift stores.  Hardly ever.  I don't have the patience to go through racks and racks of clothes to find that ONE piece I would wear, then maybe it will fit right, but then I'd have to go try it on.  Ugh, this does not sound fun to me. If I had several outfits to choose from, then maybe?  I'm more of the, "let's see those ugly pieces of furniture you've got!"  But I was assured by my friend that I would not only find great clothes, but my beloved ugly furniture I can gussy up as well.  REALLY?

So this last week when my mom was in town, I had to twist her arm (not really) to go check out the validity of my friends statements.  I was on a truth finding mission you see.  We had to take a little trip to this so called AMAZING thrift store and test it's worthiness.  And the verdict?  Well,  let me just say, WOW!


Here's the book area, completely organized with tables to sit at while you read.  Very casual and yes, you can bring in your coffee to sit and relax.

High, vaulted, ornate ceilings with great lighting.  Umm, not your average thrift store.  This is the housewares department- very dangerous for me!  My son found a surf board clock for our beach themed bathroom makeover as soon as we got there. That's where the trouble all started for us because then we just had to check EVERYTHING else out.  LOVE IT!

Pendent lighting down the middle of the store with cans throughout the rest.  This side of the store is women's clothing.  The stairs go down to the basement where I found a room full of furniture.

Shoes?  Yes, Please!  I found a great pair of dressy sandals.
All the clothes are clean, organized by season/type, and sized.  I wanted to find capri pants and casual blouses, so I went right to that section and found "several" things to try on.  When it comes to finding clothes at a good thrift store, I grab "everything" that I like, and kind of like, and maybe it'll fit?  The more clothes to try on, the better my chances of finding something I'll buy.  I'm always surprised at what looks good and what doesn't.  And I only buy if I really like it on me.  What's the point of shopping at a thrift store if I buy something, even for cheap, take it home and never wear it. It's just money wasted, right?

When I went shopping at this Goodwill, I tried on at least 20 pair of pants and half as many blouses.  They had a lot of name brand, gently used clothes. Anything that looked good on the hanger, I put in my basket to try on.   I've learned to change quickly and make a yes, no, and maybe I'll buy pile.  To my surprise, I had a lot in my yes pile and had to narrow a few things down.  Luckily, mom was with me and bought me an outfit- complete with my Donna Karan shoes!  Woohoo!  Thanks, Mom!
On top of my thrift gift from mom, I bought 3 pair of pants by Calvin Klein, Gap, and Ann Taylor (I'm not a name brand girl, but some people like to know these things) and two blouses for about $27.  That's$9 an outfit!  YES! PLEASE! and THANK YOU!

Downstairs was full of great pieces.  I prefer to buy solid, real wood pieces, but this store's furniture prices were a little too high for me to purchase right then and there. Never fear!  All thrift stores have a 50% off sale during some point each month.  Find out when your thrift store has their sale and get there early to grab your pieces.  This great wood dresser has a few bumps and bruises with a price tag of $70.  Not bad, but two more days and it will be $35- if it's still there.  It's a risk I'm willing to take.

This wasn't a perfect thrift store though.  It didn't have very many kids clothes or toys, but my munchkins still managed to find their one thing they could take home.   We spent 3 hours on this first trip and laughed most of the time as we ooh and ahh-ed  with each section.  So fun!

So lessons learned when it comes to thrifting:
1.  Find a "good" thrift store
2.  Be patient when looking at clothes and grab everything that's a possibility for you.
3.  Shop with a friend that likes thrifting as much as
4.  Only buy what you'll use.
5.  Inspect everything carefully.  Check drawers and pulls on furniture.  Check for stains on clothing
6.  Go back often!

Hope you all have a blessed day!  I'm off to introduce Mr. Lewisville to my new favorite thrift store.