Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: One of the Best Thrifting Days Ever

It had been a few weeks since I last checked out Savers in Bloomington, so I trekked over to the store after dropping Punky at preschool.  It's a bit more outlying than some of my other favorite stores and I usually try to combine the trip with a Trader Joe's run or other errands while I'm in the area.  I had filled up quite a large bag of donations to bring in this time, because I knew I'd get a coupon, so I took care of the drop-off right away when I drove up.

Coupon in pocket, I ran in, not planning on spending a lot of time, but wanting to hit all the bases while I was there.  The number one item on my mental list was, believe it or not, a Home Alone VHS or DVD, and Savers did not disappoint.  (I was disappointed later when I showed it to my kids and realized it was probably a lot more frightening than funny to a four and six year old.  Ugh. Chalk that one up as a another parenting fail.)

Anyway, I ended up being so glad I stopped by Savers on this particular day.  I found two cute scarves, one for warmth and one because I loved the print so much.  

 Then I found a Micheal Kors dress that appealed to me.  But for some unexplained reason, the price was marked at 29.99.  For all I know, the previous owner could have bought it new at TJ Maxx for that price!

So I debated with myself for awhile.  Nothing should cost 29.99 at a thrift store unless someone left a $20 bill in the pocket.  On the other hand, it had everything I love in a dress: muted color, fun print, knee-length, easy to move around in, washable fabric, functional pockets.  It was probably meant to be a casual career woman kind of dress, but I could picture it as a casual stay-at-home-mom kind of dress; just as comfy as wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt, but way cuter.  I also had that discount coupon, and had just received a little Christmas money, so I decided to splurge.

 The next thing I found jumped out at me from the cardigan racks because of the color and the texture.

I took one look at the label, and BAM! it landed in my cart.

So here's what I think happened in my brain at that moment.  I recently went to this Italian Style exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  Most of the clothes on display were very beautiful couture gowns worn in movies or by famous women, but there were also examples of more modern Italian fashion including one extremely ugly Benetton sweater (uglier than most, even) from the 80s.  And when I saw this one, which is crazy-looking, but not quite as hideous, I just got so excited to have it.  Only time will tell if I actually wear it, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

I almost passed up the shoe aisles, and it's a good thing I didn't.  I found a perfectly sensible, comfortable pair of Merrell mary janes.  They looked like they had never been worn outside and they are amazingly comfortable.  I don't really have a lot of black shoes, so I expect these will come in handy.

I've been having a hard time finding some short black boots, so I was pretty excited to find these from Easy Spirit.  I'm not sure they are exactly what I had in mind, but they're close.  They also appear to be in almost-new condition and are so comfy.

I certainly wasn't planning to buy a bag that day, and the bags are usually pretty sad at thrift stores.  There are always a lot of designer knock-offs and cheap-feeling imitation leather, but something told me to take a look since I was there anyway.  My eye scanned the wall of pink, faux-crocodile "Prada" and logo bags with a "C" that I assume were supposed to trick people into thinking stood for "Coach."  And then an understated brown canvas bag with a familiar black label caught my eye.

I had one of those Holy Grail thrift store moments, where I just stood and stared like I couldn't believe it was real.  I mean, you don't find Marimekko at the thrift store!  You just don't.  And yet, here it was, practically glowing under a beam of heavenly fluorescent lighting.

And it's such a nice bag.  It's well-constructed and durable, with heavy, shiny hardwear. The strap converts so it can be used as a traditional shoulder bag or kind of a one-strap backpack.  I looked up the bag on the Marimekko site and found that they call this style Merimies, that being the Finnish word for sailor.  I also saw that it retailed for 1,695 kr, which didn't mean anything to me.  A quick Google conversion told me that was 221.76 in USD.  Not bad!  And it's in perfect condition.  A crumpled Starburst wrapper inside was the only evidence that anyone else has ever owned the bag.

At the end of this shopping excursion, I was feeling like I won the lottery.  I do have days when I find nothing, but as long as I keep looking, good things will turn up.

You'll see below how thrift store pricing is sometimes all over the place.  I'm still shaking my head at the Michael Kors dress, but since I more than made up for it with the other items I bought, I kind of don't care.  I came out way ahead in the end.

(All prices after 40% discount taken.  I believed the discount was because of the coupon I received when I donated, but on the receipt it says "senior discount".)

Home Alone VHS .25
Michael Kors dress 18.00
Benetton cardigan 3.00
Scarf 2.40
Scarf 2.40
Easy Spirit short boots 4.80
Merrell shoes 6.00
Marimekko bag 4.80

Total: $42.02
Time in store: 45 minutes

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