I am a self professed brand snob. Yes. I said it. Nothing makes me feel better than having a $1200 pair of Prada or Chiristian Louboutin shoes on my dainty little feet, carrying an $800 Louis Vuitton “never-full” bag, or cuddling on the couch with my $325 retail Burberry sweatpants on. Before you stop reading, I will tell you I NEVER PAY FULL RETAIL FOR ANY OF THIS! In fact, I won’t ever pay more than $100 for any of it. I am a brand snob cheapskate.
One of my best friends introduced me to this Goodwill hunting kind of shopping. I never imagined myself stepping foot inside a goodwill. In fact, the only time I ever did was to find an outfit back in college for a Kappa Delta-Delta Zeta-Sigma Chi-Lamba Chi Alpha “White Trash Bash” party back in the DAY. I remember the old clothes smell and the length of the shower I had to take to finally feel clean after I left. To say the least, it was not a positive experience. However, the above aforementioned friend scored a $1400 retail pair of Valentino rock stud heels just last week at a Goodwill, for $15, and will probably profit handsomely off eBay for this find.
However, the slippery slope I am now headed down began about a year ago when I discovered Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet. Clothes Mentor became the place where I purchased ALL of my clothing. Why would any person with basic knowledge of economics purchase a Ralph Lauren sweater at Macy’s for full retail when they could get it at TJ Maxx for $29.99. Why would anyone buy that same sweater at TJ Maxx when they can obtain it for $12.99 at Clothes Mentor, or even lower when they put their seasonal clothing at 50% off!?! That is how I have acquired my massive collection of Lilly Pulitzer and Ralph Lauren sweaters. I haven’t paid more than $10 each for any of them. Same with Lacoste or any other nice brand you can imagine. It’s incredible, especially when you’re a brand snob. (*Note: I don’t judge others for not wearing these brands. If I am at Target or Wal-Mart and see something cute, I’ll purchase the item. However, the “higher end” items tend to not fade, be more durable, and be classic pieces I will have for years to come.)
Back to the story. This weekend my Goodwill hunting advocate friend and I went shopping. The purpose of this shopping spree was to get some killer deals. Our first stop was to trek to Louisville, Kentucky to the Zappos Outlet there. Oh what deals we found. I purchased seven pairs of shoes. The respective retail prices of these shoes were $235, $199, $178, $135, $129, $79, $59. My total bill was $135.78. Yes. One tenth of the retail price. I justify my purchases by the fact that they actually had shoes IN MY SIZE there! you see, I truly wear a size 4.5 shoe. Four and a half. However, historically I have bought size six and used inserts in the shoes. My theory is that this has contributed to my difficulty walking on flat surfaces when wearing heels (AKA it is expected that I fall down when walking by all of my friends.) I saw lovely Stewart Weitzman at the outlet and so many other brands that make me weak in the knees, but alas, I had my two whiny children with me, hungry, tired, needing to pee, and giving the Stewies the concentration they need was not in the realm of possibility that day. My friend was able to score NINE pairs of shoes for $90. Awesome beautiful uber designer heels. Fantastic finds.
After our Zappos (or 6pm.com outlet) and Clothes Mentor experience, she convinced me to take my whiny children to a Goodwill in the “good part of town.” I walked in, not entirely entirely comfortable, until she started pointing out some diamonds in the rough. I’m not sure if it was my lucky day or some type of divine intervention to begin my Goodwill hunting adventures, but I scored three dresses, White House Black Market, H&M, and Calvin Klein, and FIVE tops, including a new Juicy Couture zip up jacket. The dresses I purchased all had dry cleaning tags still attached, but this will not stop me from having them re-cleaned. Goodwill still evokes visions of bedbugs and roaches dancing in my head, even after my extremely successful shopping trip.
Check out this great blog I found, The Goodwill Gal, the photos of her home are beautiful, and she gets all her goods at the Goodwill! This one was pretty great too, Goodwill Glam. There seems to have been quite a few thrift store/Goodwill bloggers out there, but none of them write anymore. Sidebar: don’t you have when you fall in love with a blogger and they just STOP WRITING? I hate that. Give us some closure people!
Have you ever shopped at Goodwill or any other thrift store? Share your stories with us! And stay tuned for our newest team member, and read her stories about goodwill hunting!