I just got back from a week-long trip to Lake Texoma, and all I got was this vintage Coach bag.
Hmmm. Let me explain.
I started thrifting when I was a teenager, out of necessity. My family did not have a lot of extra cash, and I discovered that I could spend half as much money and get twice as much stuff if I purchased items at thrift stores. When my family lived in Houston, I shopped at MAM's, which received donations from wealthy older people. Through my shopping at MAM's, I learned about designer clothing, shoes, and handbags. I became a junior high expert on vintage fashion. And I wore handmade Ferragamo loafers as I dined upon ramen noodles.
Over time, thrifting became less of a need, and more of a joy. I love thrift stores! I go thrifting on a weekly basis, and when we travel, I make a point of seeking out thrift stores in every town we hit. I love the treasure hunt feel of thrifting. You never know what you'll find. Sure—it's easier to go to Target or Wal-Mart and just grab what you need, but when I go thrifting, I have the excitement of the chase. Plus, every dollar I spend goes to a good cause.
So when we went to Lake Texoma, it was a given that we would spend at least part of our time checking out the thrift stores in the area. This is what I came home with:
--a vintage Couroc chaparral tray, valued at about $15, purchased for 50 cents;
--a vintage wool coat, probably valued at $20, purchased for 30 cents
--a vintage Coach watermelon tote designed by Bonnie Cashin, valued at $200, purchased for 30 cents
--a vintage Lou Taylor handbag with swivel mirror, valued at $25, purchased for $1
--a Laundry by Design silk sheath dress, which can be had on eBay for $50, but purchased for 30 cents
This was a particularly good thrift store haul, most of which was purchased at the Grayson County Shelter thrift store in Denison. (If you go there, say hi to Tom-Tom the cat for me—and leave some of the good stuff on the shelves, will ya?)
But this is by no means an unusual thrift store haul. Over the years, I have purchased an Hermes scarf, many Vera Bradley scarves, countless designer dresses and coats, Ferragamo and Coach shoes and handbags, a delightfully tacky velvet painting, bits of china and antique furniture. My husband and daughter have caught the thrifting bug too, and now we all go to second hand stores together as a family, scouting our own version of the perfect purchase—for me, more vintage goods; for my husband, camping gear; and for my daughter, Barbies and stuffed animals. Last week we scored two pairs of Tod's loafers in mint condition for our daughter—they'll match perfectly with her school uniform next year.
As a family, we seek out thrift stores, garage sales, and other second hand means to supply our needs, wants, and even our desire for entertainment. What about you? What are your thoughts on thrift stores? Have you found any treasures?