Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thrifty Cinderella

I feel like I'm making a confession here.

I have recently become obsessed with a thrift store. 

I follow some blogs of women who frequent thrift stores. They were always finding these amazing deals and posting these dynamite outfits of brand name clothes.  Then they tell you they spent $7.50 for the entire outfit. Whaaa?  Okay, I thought, where do I sign up?  I love clothes. And shoes. And purses.  And jewelry.  But my budget is not what I'd like it to be (unlimited) , so I have always shopped clearance and sales.  After reading the blogs of these other women, I wondered if I wasn't missing out on something better in the thrift store.

I checked out a couple of local church stores and all I can say is - scary.  I donate items to these stores regularly and did not see anything that was even near the quality of things I was giving them. It actually made me feel like I needed to go home, go through my closet, and donate some more things to them.  I was discouraged but not ready to give up. 

Then I looked into a store I had heard about in Springfield.  I made a trip over to browse one day when I was on spring break, but my kids were in school.  All they had was clothing that looked like it was for 14 year olds.  And it looked worn out and old.

But did I give up?  Well, yes, actually I did.  That is UNTIL my teaching assistant (who is one of the most wonderful people I know) told me about a newer store in town that was "high end" resale when I complimented her on a dress she was wearing from there.  I didn't go until about two weeks later when school was out for the summer.  I am a teacher.  This is when I actually have a life and can start doing things for fun.

The first time I went, I was a little hesitant.  Thrift stores, even nice ones, all have a smell.  I am a person who is sensitive to smell.  When we were looking for houses several years ago, there were many I walked into, took one whiff, and said, "No." and walked right back out the front door.  Anyway, this store had a smell, albeit, not a bad one.  It smelled like someone's house.  You know how everyone's house has a smell.  Again, it didn't smell bad.  It just smelled like someone lived there. Department stores don't have that smell.  Why is that?  I squared my shoulders and lifted my nose and tentatively began to look around.  About five minutes in, I found a pair of black leather with patent trim Sofft heels.  They were peep toe with a MaryJane strap.  I fell in love.  I just had  never seen anything cuter.  I took off my sandal right there in the middle of the store and slipped one on.  It was a Cinderella moment.  They were my size (a nine) and adorable. The bottoms weren't even scuffed up.  They looked brand new.

I know how much Sofft shoes cost.  Like I said, I love shoes.  I turned them over and saw they still had the price tag from Von Maur on them - $99!  They were marked down several times with the last, lowest price being $24.

But wait, that's not even the best part.  They had an orange tag on them. Do you know what that means???? (I did because the lady at the counter told me when I came in. Thank you, nice lady.) That meant they were half off the lowest price.  $12 for these shoes! 

I looked around a bit more, clutching my Precious, and even tried three items on.  I also purchased a green Anne Klein cardigan.  No surprise there to anyone who knows me. I am the queen of the cardigan.  I probably own at least 30 of them.  It was $4.50. Even on clearance, I don't think I've ever bought a cardigan at that low of a price.

So, to paraphrase Shawn Colvin, this is my new thing now.  I have been back every week, sometimes more than once in the same week.  They put out new items every day.  And if something is there for more than a week, it goes to half price off the already thrifted price!

I've already worn them to church.  No, they are not the most comfortable shoes.  They are high heels.  They aren't supposed to be.   They're the kind you wear when you want to look great but know you'll only be in them for a few hours.  I have no problem with spending $12 on these shoes even though they won't be "all day" shoes. What I CAN'T do is spend $99 on a shoe like that.  But $12?  Yes, please.  Get me to the ball. I've got to be home at midnight.

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