First, I stopped in the kids' book section. To my delight, some wonderful staff or volunteer had organized the series books so I didn't have to go digging for Magic Treehouse books for the kids. I grabbed all the ones we don't have yet. We're reading them out of order, and it's the kind of series where that doesn't matter very much.
I found a few cute things for Punky that looked like they were in brand new condition: a dress and swimsuit she can wear this summer, and a long-sleeved shirt for next winter.
Then I dug and dug through the womens clothes, not finding anything good. I went over to the New Arrivals area, where I sometimes find the best things, and I saw an intriguing pattern sticking out. It was a t-shirt with a Marc Jacobs label. Also, the label said XS. So I moved on. But then I came back and looked some more. It was cropped, and it was also cut big, so it would be worn very loose on a size XS person. So I decided to take it home with me. I rationalized that either it would fit me and I could figure out a way to style it, or it wouldn't fit me and I could use the fabric to make something else.
Somewhere Marc Jacobs is crying, "No! Only urban, dirty-haired waifs who look like they live in garbage cans but actually have lots of money get to wear my clothes."
I was still desperate to find something usable for myself so I ended up buying a Max Studio dress. I think I bought it because it had an interesting retro pattern, but it didn't fit well, and it was in a synthetic fabric I don't enjoy wearing. I had buyers remorse within 5 minutes of leaving the store. I went home and tried it on again and tried to convince myself I would wear it, but I finally had to admit that it was a mistake. Then came the dilemma of trying to return it or just tossing it in my donation bin. Since I was headed back in that direction to pick up Punky from preschool anyway, I decided to take it back to Arc. I don't think I've EVER tried to return something to a thrift store before. Luckily this one has a limited return policy for rewards member and the money gets credited to your account.
I'm glad it went back. With summer coming, I don't want this drab thing anyway.
Magic Treehouse books $.79 x 6
Girls Cherokee tank dress 3.99
Girls Land's End top 3.99
Girls Old Navy swimsuit 4.99
Marc Jacob's top 6.99
(Max Studio dress that I didn't keep 12.99)
I had a 25% off coupon because I had donated a carload of stuff prior to going into the store.
Now I have a little credit sitting there for next time I shop, which probably won't be for awhile, in hopes that the store will be restocked in the meantime. Every once in a while I run into a dry spell like this. When people tell me I'm really good at thrifting and finding amazing deals, I emphasize that it's mostly luck. If I visit four thrift stores over a two week period, maybe I'll find something useful at one or two of them. And the truly exciting finds, like Marc Jacobs tops, Tory Burch shoes, and Marimekko bags, only pop up once in a blue moon. The point is, those things DO pop up, and you won't find them unless you keep looking.