Thrifty & Chic: Week 1


I’m starting a new column here on IS•LY dedicated entirely about finding awesome things on the cheap. I really hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’m excited about sharing it with you.

Many of you who know me personally, know that I’m a very thrifty person. A lot of this comes from my mom; she’s the quintessential frugal woman. She learned as a stay-at-home mom while my dad was in school to make do & stretch every dollar. Even when the success fairy bestowed my parents with a comfortable living, my mom still made it a point to keep spending at a minimum and saving at a maximum.

I remember being so embarrassed when my mom would take me thrift shopping for clothes, etc. I just wasn’t as creative back then, and now I’ve made a complete 180! I just itch for any chance to go and peruse the aisles for hidden treasures. This Saturday I went with Susan on a sans-kids thrifting excursion. She was looking for a desk, and I was looking for a side table. Neither of us were successful finding exactly what we were looking for, but we still scored some awesome goodies anyway.

These shoes might be the reason why I’m starting this little column. I am so excited about them, I’d make up any excuse to share them with you. These shoes are all leather, made in Brazil (my favorite country ever), remind me of some shoes my mom used to have AND they were $3. Score? SCORE!

Are you the type of person to gossip to all of your friends about the good deals you find? If so, please consider me your closest friend and best listener. I want to hear all about it!

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    1. they looked so cute with those plum tights yesterday too!

    2. Risti says:

      I’m becoming more thrifty as I get older, though I still don’t buy that many thrifted clothes or shoes. Once in a while I find something special, but I don’t usually have the patience to look for good pieces. Those shoes are a nice score.

    3. I absolutely love to tell all about my thrifty finds. Just come look at my blog and you’ll see all my thrifty posts.

      Those shoes are very nice!

    4. Meredith says:

      Oh! I’m so excited about this column. I am a huge fan of thrifting and getting good deals in general. My current favorites are colorful hardback books you can find at most thrift shops for about $1 and look so chic on display (and are fun to read, too!).

      Also love Craigslist for cheap vintage finds:

      Found and modified some JC Penney curtains for $25 for 4:

      $5 “Man Room” lamps from TJ Maxx:

      And most recently, Northern Tissue Art- 11 for $12.50!

      Sorry for such a long comment.. I couldn’t find a “contact me” link or I would have emailed this. I’m seriously on board with this column! :)

      • Melissa says:

        Thank you for sharing your links! This is fun. Keep them coming!!

        Meredith –
        I’m A HUGE fan of your new mirror and possibly a little jealous. I found a VERY ornate gold mirror on Saturday for $10, but it weighed about 35 lbs & had disgusting sponge bob stickers on it. I decided to pass it up, it would’ve been so much work to get it to look nice again. Maybe I’ll be lucky like you and find a sweet MCM brass mirror one of these days.

    5. Collette says:

      I think I will like this column!

      I too was a embarrassed kid shopping at thrift stores (especially since at one point I knew we weren’t shopping there specifically for good deals, but because that is what we could afford. And I always hated when someone asked where I got something. I got over it though and in fact, just got home from Thrift Town where they were having a 30% off sale, plus most of my items were the 50% of for the day items. Now that is getting really thrifty!

    6. Lydia says:

      Cute shoes!

      My all time favorite find happened last month when I found my dream sewing machine at Goodwill:

      And I’m really excited to see your future finds!

    7. Hannah C says:

      I need to become friends with a thrifter like you. I am envious of you finds. I walk into DI and walk out about 30 seconds later because I get overwelmed.

    8. Erin says:

      those wedges are fantastic! excellent find!

    9. Miranda says:

      Ooh bravo! I do love me some thrift shopping. I especially love perusing the kitchen items, it is where I’ve gotten most of my specialty baking pans!

    10. Amber says:

      Oh, yay! I just had a great Kohl’s clearance day for the kids: 12 outfits for $50, including holiday dresses for next Christmas. This is the kind of thing I always call my mom about. (I tell my husband about it too, but he doesn’t get as properly geeked out about sales as I do.)

    11. gwen says:

      We are lucky enough to live in a town that is CRAZY for bargains — three thrift stores, three estate sale shops, a huge monthly antiques fair, and yard sales by the dozen every time the sun peeks out.

      Today I scored a vintage handbag with cute circular handles that perfectly matches your shoes — no photo yet.

      The best thing I’ve bought recently is this wonderful ceramic “button bucket”. It was way more than I usually spend thrifting — EIGHT WHOLE DOLLARS — but I knew I would think about it often if I didn’t bring it home.

      And some other thrift adventures around town:

    12. […] This post inspired by IS*LY’S Thrifty & Chic and someone else [I'm blanking here] who went to the Rose Bowl swap meet over the weekend. […]

    13. gwen says:

      Hey, I posted yesterday’s scores, thanks for the inspiration!

    14. colleen says:

      Awesome! I am a long time garage sale/thrift store shopper. Yesterday i bought a hobo purse wallet (retails for $118) in great condition for $1.99! Most of my clothes are anthropologie but come from the thrift store and i redecorated my enclosed front porch for $100 from a garage sale. This is going to be a super column! thanks!

    15. Kari says:

      Love the shoes.

      I, too, love to shop the thrifties–usually for furniture and such. Solid wood, student desk that I found for $15 and refinished. And a fabulous mid-century wingback with ottoman for $25–I even adore the patten, but it’s very girly and I’ll have to wait for a daughter to highlight it (or recover it if that all boy trend continues) but it’s so comfy, I’ll just call it mine forever if need be.

    16. Great Find!

      The number one rule to follow when trying to find good deals at thrift stores is, look well and look often. If you don’t, another more persistent person will find all the good stuff…
      like me!

      Love the shoes! It seems like most of the time the cutest shoes never fit, but sometimes the stars are in your favor! Lucky you!

    17. lara says:

      Hi! I just discovered your website and am loving it! And I don’t normally comment on blogs where I don’t personally KNOW the author but I just have to tell you about the time where I went to Old Navy and tried on a pair of black dress pants marked $o.97. {not thrift store shopping, but wait….} “Wow!” I thought. “I doubt that’s how much they really are. But hey, it’s worth a try.” I took them up to the register…expecting to need to tell the lady that I didn’t want to buy them if they were $9.70 actually. And she said, “Nope. They’re not $0.97.” (figures) “They’ll be $0.47.” WHAAAAA???? Oh my goodness!! I actually have kept the receipt. And periodically, I get it out…just to give myself a warm fuzzy.

    18. Jennifer says:

      Love the shoes!! I have found designer ($300) jeans for $3 twice at thrift stores and in my size I might add!
      I just found your blog through
      Love what I see :)

    19. Natalie says:

      I love your blog and I love that you’re going to share more of your finds! Your shoes are the kind that instantly give some attitude when you put them on. It’s like they make you feel more beautiful, right?

      I made a set on flickr of my thrifted finds:

    20. […] wore such a fabulous outfit yesterday (as always), I’m featuring her for this week’s Thrifty & Chic column. Here’s the breakdown of what she […]

    21. […] shoes were featured in my first Thrifty & Chic post. Remember? I still love them dearly! I’m not huge into wedges, but I love these. I snatched […]

    22. Sarahjane says:

      Melissa, I am love love loving your blog. I find myself checking it all the time and I just started following you on Twitter. I am such a thrifter too. Do you find your shoes at the DI here in Utah? I find the best shoes there. Especially ones from Brazil. I showcase thrifty outfits on my blog too!

    23. […] the niftiest, thriftiest things. Take Kami’s collection of milk glass and Melissa’s Brazilian leather shoes, not to mention the buttery yellow Titleist golf bag Carina snagged at the […]

    24. Lindsay says:

      Amazing shoes!! Love them

      Delighted Momma

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