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Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Experienced Shopper

Have I mentioned how much I love shopping?
It’s probably pretty obvious by now, but shopping is my therapy.
I think for most brilliant people it is.
Seriously, I’ve loved shopping since my early teens. Of course back then, I was shopping with babysitting money. Hence, my love affair with bargain thrift store shopping began.
Once I started college, I really got into the vintage retro fashion that can only be found at thrift stores.
Anything funky with a hint of hippie flair, oh man! I was all over it. Plus, I could afford it because it was second hand.
Thrift store shopping has opened my eyes to fashion I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to purchase. I realized this yesterday at my three son’s basketball camp.

I sat down next to a beautiful mother who was watching her own son play ball.
After we had the initial conversation about how cute Princess Peanut is,

she asked if I was a stay-at-home mome.
“Yes,” I replied as I watched my two-year old Reef run out onto the court. “I’m a stay-at-home mom and love it. Plus, I run an EBay store.”
That sure caught her attention.
“Wow! An EBay store. What do you sell?” she asked.
“I sell name-brand gently-used clothing,” I said as I handed her Princess Peanut and ran after Reef onto the basketball court.

When I finally made it back to her, she wanted to know more.
“Where do you get the clothes you sale?” she asked.
I started telling her the great fashion labels I find at thrift stores and yard sales.
“I just found a Patagonia linen shirt at the Flagstaff Goodwill,” I say. “A new Patagonia shirt is like $80.00 and I paid $3.99 ”
“What’s Patagonia?” she asked.
At this moment I realized I know a lot about fashion because of the great trash I find second-hand.
“Patagonia is a hiking/outdoor high-end line, like Columbia or Horny Toad. My favorite sellers are the classics like Dana Buchman, Eileen Fisher, Brynn Walker and Sigrid Olsen.”
At this point I think I lost her attention, but I was just getting started.
“Last week I found a pair of pants for $1.00 from a designer named Sonia Rykiel. When I came home, I googled her and found out her pants sell on EBay for like $50.00.”
At this point the Princess totally spits up all over my new friend's gorgeous linen dress. I felt horrible.
But, I did give my new friend a My Dear Trash card and told her to check out the blog.
Once I got home, I really thought about my expertise (if that’s what you call it) in second-hand fashion. Sure I don't get to by this year's line and maybe the clothing has been worn a few times, but I can honestly say shopping has really got me somewhere great.
Some of my recent favorite high-end finds are:
Dana Buchman Size XL Black Sparkle Shirt
To find clothing like this is a thrill, especially when I can really profit off it. Here's the secret. When you find something that's superior quality, super stylish or just plain different, take a chance with it. Bring it home and google it. It just might be your next big money maker or maybe, it just might be your next favorite something to wear. I can't tell you how many things I've come home with that now hang in my closet as my favorite personal clothing items. I love when I get a compliment on my latest catch. I go off when people comment on the trash I'm wearing.
As I've grown older my style hasn't changed much, but the vintage stuff has had to wait. Yeah! Vintage for the pregnant/nursing mother is difficult to come by, even with all the shopping I do.


  1. I am trying to find the right words to post without sounding like I am whining or something...
    BUT..just like alot of others we are struggling right now, and I have a hard time trying to keep up my sewing with this very tiring 6 month old!! I know this type of business also takes time, but I already spend a lot of computer hours with a baby on my lap. It's easier than at a sewing machine!!

    Is there a good way to find out good name brands besides spending hours pouring over ebay(which I will do...I think homework is important, nothing is free!)

    Just wondered here I might start!

  2. I haven't had much luck at our Goodwill stores lately... I think I need to come to yours.

  3. Very cool. There's a patagonia outlet near my office and the prices are suppposedly discounted deeply. I still can't afford it!