Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Goodwill Hunt, Part 2: The Loot

Okay, it’s not Thursday again already, but this is the promised follow-up on last week’s Thrift-Shop Thursday post, in which I explored a fabulous Goodwill boutique in the hipster-cool Hawthorne neighborhood of Portland. (Don’t you love the store displays?) Today, I’ll show you what I bought, and finish off my review of this hard-to-believe-it’s-a-thrift shop!

You know how it goes with thrift shopping… feast or famine, right? Some days the shopping cart runneth over, and on other days, you regretfully leave with nothing. This experience was a kind of hybrid of the two; I did find several wonderful things— for my daughter, who was with me on this shopping safari. One girl’s bust can be another girl’s bonanza.

First, this will give you a sense of the variety and quality I found throughout this Goodwill boutique:

Trying things on

Exploring what’s available. At left, Valerie is trying on an adorable vintage wool boucle jacked with mink collar (lined in silk, price: $24.99.). To the left of the mirror is a gorgeous BCBG silk blouse (also $24.99). And on the right, I won the traditional who-will-be-the-first-to-find-cashmere race when I spotted this J. Crew lilac cashmere pullover for $39.99!

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Goodwill Hunt!

On previous Thrift-Shop Thursdays, I’ve occasionally mentioned a Salvation Army Boutique shop that’s close to where I live; remember the Christian Dior jacket I found there for my daughter? (It would have been for me if I was a few sizes smaller, but at least the jacket found a worthy wearer.) I love this shop; it’s quite small (compared to the usual warehouse-like thrift shops), but evidently someone is doing a major job of editing its contents, because much of what I see there is higher-end quality, including quite a few designer names.

I discovered recently that Goodwill is also opening up boutique versions of its trademark thrift shops; I learned this from my friends over at the Goodwill Hoarding blog, who were also kind enough to let me know where I can find the 2 Goodwill boutiques* in the Portland, Oregon area. There’s one downtown, and another in the Hawthorne district, which just happens to be one of my favorite parts of Portland: eclectic, lively, and high-energy. I’ve actually walked or driven past this boutique many times, but always had something else to do that prevented me from stopping in.

But not today! Today I’m heading over to Hawthorne, excited about what I might find there, and will continue this post after I get back. Wish me luck! Continue reading


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Thrift-Shop Thursday: The Online Experience

I was thinking this week about how lucky I am to live near so many fantastic thrift shops, when it suddenly occurred to me to wonder about those of you who don’t. Maybe you live in a rural area, or a residential-only suburb, or perhaps it’s physically difficult to get around. Whatever the issue is, what can you do to feel the thrift-shopping thrill?

What about bargain-hunting online? Okay, maybe clicking and typing is not as visceral an experience as riffling through rack after rack in a thrift or consignment shop, but it’s always exciting to find something beautiful/unique/inspiring— especially when it’s discounted!

So where do you start? There are the usual big-name thrifty suspects, like eBay and Amazon, each with their bargain specialties. On eBay, check out their Daily Deals page; today they’re featuring electronic-related items (including 20% off an iTunes gift card). eBay is also a wonderful source for vintage clothing and collectibles, among many other categories. Personally, I’ve used eBay mostly for buying and selling yarn, fabric, and patterns; there are amazing bargains to be found in these categories.

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: A Postscript

You know, it just occurred to me that you may not yet be familiar with thrift shops in your neighborhood. And I must admit I habitually go to the same 2 (mentioned in my last post), because they’re both within 5 or 6 minutes of where I live. Out of curiosity, I just did a quick search (“thrift shop” plus my zip code), and got some surprising results, including a thrift/consignment shop described as “upscale”; it’s inside a performing-arts venue, so I doubt I would notice it just driving by the building. Its website also says that profits go towards maintaining and improving the entire performing-arts facility, which means that shoppers are helping to support an important local organization. So in addition to the well-known thrift-shop chains like Value Village, Salvation Army, and Goodwill, you might just discover a local gem that’s also worth supporting!

Ooh, look what I just found: a national thrift-shop directory! Just put in your city or zip code, and voila! And this site includes an online community, as well as advice on thrift and consignment shopping. Even if you’ve already done your own local search, going to another search engine can yield surprisingly different results.

Happy thrift shopping, everyone! Oh, and please do let me know when you make a great thrift-shop score, okay? I’d love to do a regular feature out of your shopping triumphs!