vintage chic ~~ thrifted fashion find of the decade

Recently, the charming blogger and my dear friend, Adrienne (of Rich Life on a Budget) , wrote a very motivating post about shopping second-hand first.  Many fashion/lifestyle  bloggers that I enjoy reading shop this way.  I am always truly amazed by what they find.  Personally, I have no qualms about buying from thrift stores or consignment shops.  I own many things that have been bought in this manner.  Shopping second-hand first just makes good sense to me.   After I read her post that morning, I decided to hit my local Goodwill on a whim.

Usually I hit the accessories and home goods…bags, shoes, scarves, vintage kitchen ware.  On this particular day I decided to scour through all the racks in the women’s clothing.  The first amazing item I found (but did not buy) was a Dana Buchman blazer from the early 90s.  I was very tempted but it did not meet my wardrobe requirements.  My next find was this Charles Jourdan navy blue, wool skirt — Made in France:

The details on this skirt are so interesting; the pleats, the buttons, the silk underslip, the hand-written tag.  Simply gorgeous.  I knew if it didn’t fit me, it would be a great addition to my Etsy store.

Soon after, I moved on to the dresses rack.  I worked my way through piece by piece.  I actually saw this dress in my peripheral vision and thought, “Oh, I am coming up on something unique”.  Little did I realize.  Check this out:

 Missoni.  Circa early 1980s (thanks to the sleuth work of Jill from Everything Just So and Adrienne–who by the way was especially excited about this treasure).  The knit of this is beautiful.  The colors are what caught my eye before even getting to it on the rack.  They are splendid.  When I first saw the Missoni tag, I thought it was a Missoni for Target offering…why else would a Missoni be in my podunk Goodwill?  But goodness no.  It is a true, blue vintage Missoni dress. Found on that particular day because of Adrienne’s post.  For those of you not overly familiar with Missoni (trust me, I was not…am not) a new Missoni (orange label) dress similar to this can retail between $1500 to $3000.  This find blows away any other “great deal” I have found while thrifting (even the Hermes scarf I found at a consignment store years ago for $6.00).

I thought about keeping the dress…it even fits.  But it is truly not my style and would only hang in the closet, looking like a rich, lost orphan.  While I love the Missoni knits that I see on others, when I have made the attempt to wear them (only via Target in the past), I didn’t feel comfortable in them–it is too much color or pattern or something going on for me.

(Ummm…..no.)

 So this little gem of a dress will be in the Etsy store too by the first of next week.  And no.  It will not be listed for $9.99.  I will be putting a value on it that reflects its quality and history.    But it will still be a good deal for a Missoni.

What is the lesson?  Be open to shopping second-hand.  There are amazing deals to be found.  Plus it makes good sense for the pocketbook (a vintage one of course ; ) ) , the environment (re-using, recycling) and it is a boost for small businesses and supports the companies (like Goodwill) who give back to the community.

What is the best thrift item you have ever found?

~~Heather~~

P.S.  By the way, Adrienne is doing a lovely giveaway on her blog.  You should check it out, ladies.

P.P.S.  And I would like to thank Gabriala from Style Higher who also helped me authenticate the Missoni.  This woman knows her vintage couture and wears it well.

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41 thoughts on “vintage chic ~~ thrifted fashion find of the decade

  1. A REAL Missoni dress – that’s amazing! I haven’t had very good luck in Goodwill or Salvation Army, though it’s not for lack of trying, but I’m inspired when I see others have so much success! I always go in hoping to find a gem but haven’t had luck yet. I have, however, had luck finding some great deals on second-hand clothes and shoes on Ebay and Etsy. For example, last year I purchased some like-new Cole Haan boots on Ebay for $15 (these retail for $150 or more), and an Ann Taylor Loft denim jacket for $10. I also found some vintage huaraches on Etsy for $15, and I wore them all summer long 🙂 I like the ease of being able to narrow my search and look for specific brands and sizes on sites like Etsy and Ebay, but the “thrill of the hunt” in Goodwill and Salvation Army bring another kind of fun. Guess I’ll be making a stop at my local Goodwill and Salvation Army to comb the racks again soon…

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    • Those are all great deals! Like you, I love Ebay and Etsy too because of being able to narrow the search. I would much rather online shop any day that trudge it out in the thrift stores. And yet…there is the Missoni find.

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  2. Congrats on your great finds, Heather! Alas, I have never found anything like this in any of our local charity shops (as we call them). seriously, when I see the stuff that Adrienne finds my mouth drops open in amazement. Now you too have found some classic pieces. i know what you mean about the Missoni – you have to love that particular design but still, what a find! I must admit, I do love the skirt. It just looks like a lovely, beautifully tailored garment. Will you be keeping it?

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    • I hear/read this a lot from Europeans…that the thrift market is more of a challenge over there. That really blows my mind. Maybe it will catch on with all the countries who are in bankruptcy or on the verge of it (including the USA). ?? Not sure about the skirt yet because I am scared to try it on…you know, the suicidal repercussions and all should it not fit and I have to deal with the fact (AGAIN) that I am fatter than I think I am.

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  3. WOW Heather did you score BIG!!! I hope the skirt fits you because it is so unique-so “french”!!
    Best thing i scored recently?? A dark cherry red wool/mohair/cashmere silk-lined car coat from Lord & Taylors for $4 at the Rescue mission. It probably was about $500 new. i wear this almost every day now!

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    • See my response to Sulky about the skirt.

      In general, yes!, a great day at Goodwill. You are one of the bloggers that inspires me to keep searching for the gems. I saw that red coat you speak of yesterday on your blog. Nice find!

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  4. I don’t normally care much for pleated skirts, but that one is really intriguing! I look forward to seeing it on you. I think Missoni prints are lovely to look at, but very hard to wear. You had an amazing day at your ‘podunk’ Goodwill! I went thrifting yesterday but didn’t come up with much at all.

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    • Isn’t that skirt a gem? Please see my above response to Sulky about why I have not tried it on yet. Maybe I should do a 10 day cleanse before trying it on??

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    • Persistent gene…I like that. I will have to use that with Brett. “Honey, I am not nagging. It is just my persistent gene that we must deal with today.” : )

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  5. The Missoni dress I really like and I think you look beautiful with it. It’s a shame that you sell. It is not your style, it is true, but a change from time to time is good. The skirt is great and the underslip silk is beautiful. I like pleated skirts and I hope to see her soon.

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    • Josep-Maria, I swear I could wear a burlap bag with a leopard belt and you would think I look good in it because you are just that sweet. I truly did think about keeping the Missoni but after trying it on I just knew it wasn’t “moi”. I was hoping it would be but it isn’t. I would rather a Missoni aficionado find it and love it to death than keep it. As for the skirt…well, we shall see.

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  6. First…I agree with @josepmbadia! I think you look great in that dress! Second…NICE FINDS! You have a good eye. Have you thought of opening a thrift/consignment store? I hope you decide to keep the dress and wear it like nobody’s business! 😉

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    • Thanks, Cat. I really do not find this dress flattering on me but thank you for the compliment. I guess my thrift/consignment store is my Etsy store. Cheap overhead and less headaches. ; )

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  7. Though it is true that I have found some lovely treasures at my local thrift shops, I have never scored THIS big!
    I am so thrilled that you wrote about your finds. I am always encouraging people to try thrifting if they haven’t.
    Thank you for the mention. It warms my little thrifty heart to know that my post inspired you to go out that day 🙂
    xoxo,
    Adrienne

    I hope you make some big bucks on that dress! Let me know when it goes up for sale and I’ll be sure to get the word out!

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    • Thank you for your help, enthusiasm and input. I hope I make big bucks on it too because I am saving for a digital SLR which I would MUCH rather have than a Missoni dress. xo

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  8. My Mum has always liked navy, but I’ve never been able to wear it with my colouring and have always steered well clear – however I love that skirt! It has a definite French feel to it.
    The dress does look good on you, but to be honest I’d prefer your purse!! Great find though and I hope it makes you a nice profit.

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    • You know, I have just started with adding Navy to my core colors. I really, really like it and it is one of the colors I am supposed to wear (in contrast to black which I shouldn’t but do).

      I love the purse too. Patricia Smith Moon Bags. And if you want to see a heapin’ bunch of them go to Etsy.com. A seller listed a whole mess of Moon Bags. I nearly had heart palpitations.

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  9. Oops just was writing a comment and something went awry – hopefully my partial comment wasn`t submitted. 🙂

    I was congratulating you, from one thrift lover to another, on your amazing Missoni find (which I rather like on you) and that exquisite French-made skirt. Since moving to France I have found a Lancel and a Bally bag for around four Euros each in the few thrift shops I`ve found here. While living in Canada, my entire closet came from thrift shops, so it`s difficult to isolate the stand-outs, but I have hung onto a vintage Jimmy Hourihan of Dublin black cashmere cape for probably under $10; a pair of brand new black platform Stuart Weitzman high heels for $9.99 (Goodwill); and an amazing Canadian-label coat by Mackage, for $14.99 that would have sold new for maybe 700 bucks – plus too many quality vintage pieces by forgotten designers, mostly Canadian, to list here. How I miss Canadian thrift shops! Will def check out your Etsy shop as Etsy is now my shopping salvation!

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    • You are the QUEEN of much more than grunge. I checked out some of your finds on your blog. Well done! I am so jealous that you get to live in France. So green with envy jealous. Merci for stopping by though!

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    • What is up with all those stingy (sp) yuppies? They must buy the best quality everything and hang on to it all until death do them part. Maybe you should be checking out estate sales??? Just a thought.

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  10. P.S.: Too funny; just visited your shop and see I have already ‘favourited’ one of your items weeks ago, without knowing who you were! (I was doing a search for carpet/tapestry handbags, my current obsession).

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    • Nope. I want a digital SLR camera worse than a Missoni dress that I would probably never wear. But thank you for saying so! You have a great weekend too!

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  11. Unfortunately, I don’t know any great second hand shop in Munich – only some who sell second hand designer pieces for a quite expensive prize, not even comparable to what you found! I wish we would have Goodwill in Germany too…
    But I understand what you mean with Missoni just isn’t really made for you, it’s the same for me, I just don’t feel comfortable in it. But I love the navy skirt! Are you going to keep it or will you sell it on etsy?

    xxx Anita

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    • Please see my above response to Sulky about the Navy skirt.

      Too bad that you don’t have these types of stores in Munich. The Goodwills have changed in my area in recent years. Now they have people who try to weed out the “good stuff” from donations and mark it up or send it to their “boutique” stores (it kills me to write the words Goodwill and boutique in the same sentence). I think this is totally unfair (I mean, come on! They are getting this stuff for free) but I understand it is about making a buck. So finding an item like this is really difficult nowadays.

      Thank you for poppin’ in for a comment!

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    • A $6 Talbots find is a good deal! I would say that is more typical of my finds at Goodwill but this was just a special day, I guess. : )

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    • I understand. My height (and other measurements) can make it very challenging as well. I was in shock when the Missoni actually fit me. Too bad I don’t like it! Adrienne is the pro. She has either a great knack or a great pool to pull from–or both. : )

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    • Thank you. I just listed it tonight in my Etsy store. In measuring it and looking at it closely, I was again impressed with how pretty it is.

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  12. Hi Heather,
    So many great items you found at Goodwill! Your Louis Jourdan skirt is just adorable! I also think you should keep this Missoni dress. You look gorgeous in it 🙂 Sometimes it may seem difficult to adopt a new style but it’s a question of getting used to it. I am sure you will love your dress after a while.
    xoxo,
    Anne (Playing with Scarves)

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    • Thank you, Anne. But I know, I truly know, I would not feel comfortable in the style. I would hate for it to just hang in my closet and not be used. In fact, I just listed it in my Etsy store. Maybe I will find another one some day that is more to my liking. (yeah right).

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  13. Pingback: vintage and chic ~~ accomplishments | vintage french chic

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