So there we were in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, The Man in the Plaid Shirt and I. With remarkable patience, he sat through not one but two thrift store visits. (His modus operandi: Check out the books and maybe the music CDs and then find an out-of-the-way Man Chair and settle down with the reading material always kept in his pack for such purposes.)
First stop: The Franciscan Thrift Center at Coliseum and Clinton. Very clean, good variety, pretty good prices: Hoodie, 4.99; skirt 3.49.
Also found a nice purple sweatshirt for 2.99 and some jewels for 2.00 each. And then 20% off the whole lot because it was discount day. Yay!
Another day brought us to the Goodwill at Coldwater and Dupont. I visit Goodwill less often than Salvation Army because they price by category, rather than by garment: All the blouses are 4.25, whereas many at Sal A are less. But not bad for this batch. The brand-new Jones New York thin cotton short-sleeved t-shirt came with tags (Marshall’s) still attached (but torn so I couldn’t see the original price).
And this Liz Claiborne cotton tunic.
Their stuff fits me really well, and I love the style: easygoing but not sloppy or cute, and lots of geometric prints. And I love knowing that the company, founded in 1976, revolutionized the retail world (guess why department stores now sell coordinated separates?) and was the first headed by a woman to make it into the Fortune 500. (She was mainly the designer and had guy co-founders, but still.) Doesn’t hurt, either, that my hero Tim Gunn is now their chief creative officer. My favorite piece of Claiborne clothing is a cotton tunic that I got at a thrift store in Virginia. It’s literally decades old and beginning to self-destruct.
(Wonky aside: The company, sadly, got itself into hot water and in 2009 sold its intellectual property and its name to J.C. Penney. It now consists several brands, among them Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, and Lucky Brand. In a Wharton School of Business interview, co-founder and former CEO Jerome Chazan tells all.)
My only mistake here: A navy cotton t-shirt (I’m experiencing a blue moment) with a lovely see-through lace front (already have the under-cami). Alas, too small. True confession: I rarely try things on at thrift stores, except for pants, (because I need a long rise), and sometime skirts. I’ve developed a very good eye for what will fit me, especially for blouses, tunics, and other uppers, and rarely make a mistake. Still, this is not a practice I recommend, unless you’re into re-selling.
Two men along on the Goodwill jaunt, both patient, one helpful: I showed him a possible blouse choice for his 89-year-old mother, and he responded with a concise “Yuck—ugly!” Well, all righty then; back on the rack.
And then, on the way back to the Right Coast, we passed through Jamestown, New York, and just happened to come upon a Salvation A (an outcome fervently hoped but not planned for). The Man in the Plaid Shirt indulged me yet again, despite wanting to hightail it home so he could prepare for a presentation he had to give the next day. A nice big, clean store with plenty of space for moving quickly up and down the racks.
Cotton sweater with just one tiny thread to be pulled inside and knotted, 2.00. Old Navy fleece, 2.99; earrings, .99 per pair; bracelet, .99; pin, 2.97.
And these sweet treats for my adorable 89-year-old pal, who needed a bit of cheering up after a rather sudden journey to the hospital, 3.99 each.
All in all, a good time for a good price: grand total, 61.37. Only disappointment: No Lucy-themed tee’s or sweatshirts—Lucy in the chocolate factory, Lucy selling Vita-Meata-Vegamin, Lucy splainin’ things to Ricky—here in Lucy’s hometown! Well, next time through . . .
Tags: Ft. Wayne Indiana, Ft. Wayne Thrifting, Goodwill, J.C. Penney, Jamestown New York, Jerome Chazan, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Lucille Ball, Lucky Brand, Salvation Army, Thrift Shopping, Thrift Stores, Thrifting, Tim Gunn, Wharton School of Business