Monday, November 20, 2017

Five steps to Educated Thrifting...

Chanel yellow gold and diamond ring $21,000...
My Chanel-esque gold and champagne rhinestone ring $5...
Hermes scarf in mustard and turquoise tones, silk, hand rolled edge...Around $1,000...
Pure silk no-name scarf with hand rolled edge in mustard and turquoise tones, with the Chanelesque champagne rhinestone and faux gold flower ring (which I plan to use as a scarf ring), $1.50 and $5 respectively.

Chanel flower ring used...$2,900...

...Chanel-esque flower ring used...$3.
Mid century modern engraved starburst hinged bangle online $65...
 ...Mid century modern starburst engraved hinged bangle $13...

Hermes enamelled geometric scarf ring $350... enamelled geometric scarf ring $3...

Hermes gold scarf ring $150..
...ummm $3...

Hermes scarf...$750... scarf...$7.50...
...cobalt blue pumps online $40... cobalt blue pumps $9...
Vintage blue crystal necklace $65.... crystal necklace from my

...Review brand fit and flare Interview dress $35...retail $200+...
 ....Petal skirt satin and tulle Graduation dress $35...retail $129...
Jacqui-E wiggle dress...$12-ish...retail $200...

..Here's my Hermes-a-like scarf and scarf ring...
And while we're looking good for mere pennies on the dollar, I can actually afford to snaffle a genuine Hermes now and again...thanks eBay...

Now the question on everyones lips is probably where...and how...

Vintage, antique and thrift stores, that's where.

Now the how...

I call it Educated Thrifting.
I've talked here, and here, about knowing what you're looking for, and being savvy enough to educate yourself in the look you're trying to create. In fact, if you put the word 'thrifting' into my search box on your right, a bucketload of posts will come up that demonstrate how the savvy shopper can save money on all kinds of stuff.
I've shared often here on the blog, how I've sourced a particular item I'm wanting, by being patient and never passing up an opportunity to check out a charity shop, no matter where I am.

1. Know what you want and be patient.

I've shopped in charity shops in my home town, interstate, in London, Los Angeles, and Paris. They're everywhere, and generally speaking, the more affluent the area, the more likely you are to get lucky.

I swear there must be a slew of designer loving Divas living in my area, because we regularly strike gold at my favourite local charity store.

2. Search out more affluent areas and shop in their thrift stores.

That said, I can also spot a Review or a Kitten D'Amour dress (Aussie designers that my daughter loves) at ten paces. If there's a Chanel-esque camellia to be had in that junk bowl, I'll find it. My practised fingertips can feel a silk scarf from polyester one in an instant, and I don't even bother looking at anything other than silk, unless it's a design or colourway modelled on my favourites. I know a scarf ring from a thumb ring, and sterling silver bangle, from stainless steel.

Get to know what your most desirable treasures look and feel like, so that you too, can find similar treasures for less.

3. Know exactly what it looks and feels like.
And it's not just designer copycats that we find with regularity. So you don't have to be sourcing those if that's not you.

As I've discussed so often this year, it's about knowing your body shape, your lifestyle and what suits YOU.

4. Know what will flatter you and give you the look you're after.

I have friends who wouldn't be seen dead in a thrift store. That's okay. More power to them. More for me too, dare I say.

But if you, like me, have better things to do with your hard earned cash, than supporting someone elses business, take thy head from the clouds, and check out your local thrift store. Not just once. But regularly, frequently, and with a mission in mind. Sort through the racks garment by garment, get them out and really look at them, eyeball the labels if that's your thing, and dig deep in that costume jewellery bowl. You never know what you might find.

5. Be persistent and be prepared to dig for your treasures.

That's it. No big secret. And if thrift stores are voodoo to you, well all the more for me I!



  1. What gorgeous finds! My aunt, like you, seems to have a gift for finding the most elegant items at the lowest prices. She is also never a afraid to ask if they can go lower. Thank you for another wonderful post! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    1. Thanks Marci! It's always lovely to see a comment from you. Your Aunt and I would get along like a house on fire I'm sure! Mimi xxx

  2. Great post, Mimi. I love the comparisons of retail vs thrift! And thanks for linking up, xo


    1. Thanks Patti. I'm glad you enjoyed my post. Mimi xxx

  3. Love all your thrifty finds, Mimi! You have some great tips here. I am a dedicated thrift shopper myself. I just found a beautiful Irish knit sweater for $5 with the tag still attached - originally $150. xx Karen

    1. Dear Karen, so lovely to see you. An Irish knit for $5 is a true treasure! Mimi xxx

  4. I'm a thrifter like you are and can spot quality from across the room. ;) I will forgo designer items that look good though if the fabric is not soft to my touch.

    1. Yes Debbie, I agree. Beautiful fabrics are paramount. I love the thrill of a designer look for a fraction of the price. So much more fun than straight retail therapy! Mimi xxx

  5. What a great post... right up my street!
    I LOVE a charity shop bargain, especially if it can pass for a designer piece.
    Fabulous finds (swoons over cobalt shoes!)

    Thank you for linking up to #fakeituntilyoumakeit!

    Fake Fabulous | Style Tips and Fun with Fashion, over 40

    1. Dear Samantha, yes those cobalt shoes are swoonworthy indeed! Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

  6. Wow, what a great post. I love thriting and people are always amazed at how much I spend and SAVE.Thank you,

    1. Marie, I've just washed my hair in preparation for trying your beautiful hairclip. I can't wait! Mimi xxx

  7. Great finds there Mimi. I do like your stripe T-shirt, scarf and green cardi - that looks great. I'm inspired to have a look in a couple of op shops tomorrow. Janiebabe

    1. Janie, that's a look suggested by the French Chic Academy. I never would have thought to pair navy and fresh isn't it! Mimi xxx

  8. As you know I love op shops! You can find ANYTHING. My current favourites are exquisite crystal glasses, decanters and bowls. Heavenly. Also fine china. Fabric especially good old fashioned thick German VELVET. Silk... I love silk.
    I have some op shopping coming up but my most recent scores are good kitchen carving knives including bone handled for 50c, fabulous cook books...pure wool blankets, preserving jars... I love it all so much. xxx

    1. Dear Annabel, yes! Literally ANY THING at all. You just have to be persistent, and get to know which thrift stores are good for which items. I know which one to go to for furnishings or china, which one for vintage jewellery, which one for designer pieces. Pure wool blankets are a special passion of mine too, so long as they are in lovely pastel colours. Have a great weekend. Love, Mimi xxx

  9. Great advice. Thank you for sharing your fabulous suggestions and for joining my link up.


  10. I enjoy thrifting as well. I recently purchased a pair of walking/running shoes that looked brand new for $13. They retail for over $100. I love them! I am currently wearing a name brand black hooded rain jacket that I thrifted for $5. I get great compliments every time I wear it. I enjoy better quality products but can't afford to pay retail so thrifting is great by me.

    1. Great buy on the runners! Your jacket sounds like a find as well. Go the thrift store shopper I say...Mimi xxx

  11. Hi Mimi,
    Just wondered if you knew about the Brisbane Carindale Salvos? Clothing is $1 or 15 items for $10. Stuff is brought out another 3 times each morning. You have to be patient and persistent!

    First Wednesday is Designer Clothing for $7 but I’ve scored loads of designer stuff on the normal days. My teenagers love it when I go there! Also got some great retro stuff, necklaces and scarves.

    It’s open W to F mornings. Open at 8am. Best to get there early if you can.
    Happy New Year!

    ps Don’t post this! I feel a bit silly writing to you about this but just wanted to share the op shop love!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx