Remember how in my last post I was all “so put on your pink dress show winter who’s boss!”? Yeah. That lasted about a day and a half. Then April came and I saw the words “windchill of -12,” and I started feeling like a petulant child again: “NO MORE OUTFIT POSTS UNTIL YOU GO AWAY WINTER! NO MORE!” I have florals that want to be worn, sandals waiting to be buckled, and nylons that I yearn to symbolically burn. Alas, all of those things will have to wait just a few more days. In the meantime, I realized it’s been a while (like, a year) since I posted a behind-the-seams thrift trip. This should serve as the perfect filler while we wait (not so patiently) for spring.
Over the Easter weekend, Matt and I headed to the USA to visit some in-laws. You may recall that last spring, I scored this excellent $1 rainbow dress from a Grand Rapids Salvation Army, so I was eager to try my luck again. This time, we started at a Goodwill. For the longest time, I thought we didn’t have any Goodwills in Canada. It turns out we do, but we don’t have any in Hamilton, so, same diff. Either way, Goodwills are a rarity for me, so they always feel like a bit of a treat. This one was particularly nice – well organized, decent selection, nice size, too. That said, thrifting in the USA is a bit like looking into the future for Canadians. In 2012, mega-retailer Target recently announced its impending arrival in Canada, and the first wave of stores have just opened up. Upon hearing this news in January, I quipped this on Twitter. That was probably a little harsh, but seriously accurate. Nearly every third item at the Goodwill we pillaged was Target. All that Target could seriously dilute the quality of the haul if you’re not smart about it.
All that said, I took my fair share of Target pieces into the change room, because trendy cheap crap is quite a siren when it’s $8 or less. Let’s talk about those things first:
The striped dress, while cute, was just a little large. It was also a little flimsy, and one of those items that I tried to justify with “I could wear it to the beach!” Then I remembered that I don’t live in the OC, and, sadly, the time I spend on a beach every year adds up to about 8 days if I’m lucky. The second black and white Prabal Gurung dress was priced attractively: $3.50 for something that Target is still selling for $44.50. BUT the zipper was busted (quality merch), and let’s be real: I don’t fix things. The only item that almost made it to the check-out line was that cute little neon sweater. But it was a little short, and I had the sneaking suspicion it was something that, upon laundering, would become a lot short.
On to the non-Target items: most of them were just all just a half-size away from being perfect. The jeans above were rated R in the back if I wasn’t careful, and the minis were adorable for spring, but a touch too tight. But worry not! The last item I tried on (which was the first item I picked up) was an easy win:
This Nicole Miller blouse is a beauty, especially for $3.50. I love the colours, and it’s something I can wear to work and play.
I’m just about ready to wrap up this re-cap, but not before I share with you one last thing, because it’s extra bizarre sort of concerning. Among the mostly-pre-worn shoe shelves, there were big piles of never-worn shoes called “Chatties.” I suspect some new-stuff-retailer had a surplus order of these shoes, and gave a whole batch to Goodwill. All of the brand-new shoes were priced at $9 – quite a bargain. I took a liking these leopard print loafers, and was just about to slip them on when the label caught my eye:
GAAAHHH! What the heck, right? I didn’t even know that was possible! And why are you selling these shoes, Goodwill?! Yikes. When I saw these, it reaffirmed that my rule of thumb is the complete opposite of Barny Stinson’s. He may believe that new is always better, but I’d say that old is the way to go. We do both agree that suits are nice, though.
Scary chemical shoes aside, it was a good trip. While I didn’t find all that much, the few things I came away with are wearable, quality pieces, and they won’t give any of my future offspring a third eye. That’s the real target for any thrift trip. More than that, I can pat myself on the back for exercising restraint, and bringing a sense of practicality into the change room. Maybe I’m not such a petulant child after all.