Last week, John and I attended a charity event called Child’s Play. Its a organization, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, created by the games industry to provide toys, book and video game consoles and games to kids at Children’s Hospitals worldwide. They’ve raised millions of dollars over the years and have impacted thousands of sick kids all over.
John is a video game developer so this is his company’s charity of choice and every year they buy tables for the event. Its such a wonderful time to have a night out, get all dressed up and watch/participate in the silent and live auctions. Its such a valuable cause.
Its something that we do only once per year and we honestly don’t have to disposable income to spend a lot on formal wear, especially at this time of year. So I make it my goal to bargain hunt for my ensemble. My grandma taught me well when it comes to finding the best deals, although I don’t think she was the “thrifting” type, she still would never buy an item at full price and bragged about how much she saved. It was certainly a wonderful example to those of us around her.
Before I get to my purchases, I wanted to share of few of my own tips for thrifting.
5 Thrifting Tips
- Hit or miss. Don’t feel bad if you don’t “find a find” on the first trip. Be prepared to visit a few times if necessary to find what you’re looking for.
- Open your mind. If you see something that possibly interests you, even if you’re not sure, try it on. Often items on the rack will look 100% better when on. Or maybe not. But its better to try than miss out on a bargain that you never knew would look good on you. (This is good advice even with regular store shopping actually)
- When in doubt, don’t buy. If you’ve tried on an item and still are unsure, chances are you won’t like it any better at home. Only buy things you love. You typically can’t return a thrifted item.
- Push the boundaries of color/pattern. I know I am often drawn to blacks and grays, so when thrifting I try to think outside the box a little with my color and pattern choices.
- The Upcycle. That dress is just a little too poofy, or those shoes have a couple weird rhinestones, but you like them otherwise. Consider making a slight adjustment at home to create an item you’d love to wear. And by the way, I don’t sew but scissors and iron on fabric tape is a non-sewing girl’s best friend. (see below)
I went to Value Village, my favorite thrifting spot. My daughter goes to school a few mornings a week and its right near a store. So I headed over one morning on the hunt. It’s of course hit or miss, so I actually went back a few times until I found my dress. I try to avoid all black most of the time, and its rare to find a nice saturated jewel tone. So I was thrilled to find this teal strapless dress for $10! What a steal. It had a full skirt with crinoline underneath–and with the brand name “Urban Girl Nites” obviously its a Juniors Prom Dress. Haha. So I decided to do a little “upcycle” cut out the crinoline.
I love the color of course, but I also like how it cinches me at the waist for an hourglass shape, with its wrapped effect.
Its been freezing here lately (like everywhere but Florida, damn you!) so I was worried that I would be an ice cube in a strapless gown. So on the day of the event, I headed back to Value Village to try and find a wrap. I was lucky to spot the black velvet wrap ($6), which seemed perfect. I came home, tried everything on and decided to pin it with a black flower pin at the shoulder. I’ve own the flower for several years (purchased on Etsy for a wedding.)
I just loved the look. And John looks so handsome! Ellie certainly thought so. 🙂
I also purchased the black pumps by Aerosoles ($12) at Value Village as well.
For jewelry I wore a gold and opal ring that I inherited from my grandmother. My grandfather (Papa) picked up several large opals in Australia during World War II and upon his return they made a few pieces of jewelry. When Papa passed, my Grandma gave me the ring. It has such a brilliant fire. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
The gold necklace was my other Grandma’s, which I inherited after she passed.
The black rhinestone bracelets and earrings I purchased last year at Nordstrom Rack for holiday party. Finally the gold bracelet was a gift.
I’m pretty proud of how it all turned out, and especially for the price tag. What do you think?
Are you a thrifter? What kind of great bargains have you found? Its definitely an art!