Boutique Shopping, Goodwill Prices

On Saturday last, The Husband and I found ourselves with an opportunity to visit one of the newer concept ‘boutique’ Goodwill stores located in Southern California and what a rewarding experience it was.  Rewarding, in that I was able to purchase 9 items of clothing for about $100; four pairs of pants, a skirt, a cold-shoulder top, a jacket, a lighter-weight coat, and a pair of shoes.  With the exception of the jacket, the items were in ‘like new’ if not new condition (one pair of pants still had an original manufacturer’s tag).  The ‘not new’ jacket is likely more than 20 years old but still in beautiful condition except for some discoloration on the lining.  Today’s post will feature the coat and the shoes.  More on the other items will be shared in future posts.

Our day started at 4am when we awoke so as to be in Newport Beach by 6:30am, giving us time for breakfast before arriving at our destination where we would be watching our son in a rowing regatta.  As this is his first year on rowing crew, Saturday was to be the first time we would see him in a competition.  Unfortunately, the boat was damaged just prior to the race so his group could not compete.  We spent about 20 minutes chatting with him and he signed his tax return forms that I had prepared for him.  There was no need for us to stick around to the end so by 9am we free to go on our merry way.  At that point, The Husband asked “where to do you want to go now?”

Earlier that week, I saw a notice about a furniture outlet store located in that general area that was closing and the store was having a liquidation sale.  The Husband and I are still looking for nightstands so when I told him about the sale, he agreed that it would be a worthwhile stop after the regatta. We had made no other specific plans for the day and now we had a whole lot more time on our hands.  So when The Husband asked “where to do you want to go now?”, I did some quick thinking and I remembered an article that I’d read last summer in the LA Times about boutique versions of Goodwill stores opening in Orange County.  A quick look up on my smart phone (I love the internet) showed there was one that was about a 15-minute drive from our location and in the vicinity of the closing furniture store.  The Husband started the car and said, “which way am I going?”

The OC Boutique was all I could have hoped for in a thrift store and more.  The décor, ambiance, and merchandise displays were similar to a standard retail store.  The clothing, as well as the home goods and housewares, seemed less weathered and worn than I’ve seen at other thrift stores and they were all well organized by type and color.

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The one item in my haul that I’m super excited about is the shoes.  They are a good mid-quality brand, in one of my favorite color combos, and they showed no sign of wear even on the inside (there are pics towards the end of the post).  The color combo matched the colors in the coat so that was another “can’t pass on these” reason to buy them.  Oh, and they were only $8.

After deciding that the first post on the haul from the OC Boutique would be of the shoes and the coat, it occurred to me that I might be able to put together an entirely thrifted outfit and that is what you see below.  Although the jewelry isn’t thrifted, the blouse, the skinny jeans, and the purse were purchased at thrift stores as were the shoes and the coat.  The necklace I bought on sale at Charming Charlie and the bracelets I’ve had for a few years.  With the exception of the bracelets, the total cost for this outfit was less than $40.

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I adore the color combo of blue and black so I was immediately taken by the use of those colors in the houndstooth pattern of this coat. Who cares that it’s almost Spring and that I won’t have much need for a coat in a couple of weeks?  Not me, especially when the coat is marked $15 and has the color of the week tag so it’s 50% off.  I have a nice cozy place in my closet it can hang out in until the weather turns cold again.  The J.Jill blouse was purchased several months ago for $4 at a local thrift store and was part of my vacation capsule for a trip to Arizona last November.  I bought the jeans (no tag) at a regular Goodwill store closer to home a few weeks ago on a day when all clothing items were on sale for $3.


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The label on the coat is Axcess, a brand that I believe is or has been carried by Kohl’s.  Although it is fully lined (bonus), it is a perfect lighter-weight for SoCal weather.  And, it has pockets.  The sleeves are a tad too long but I can fix that with a quick stitch or two.


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The purse was also purchased at a regular Goodwill store closer to home and, at $10, it is the most ‘expensive’ item in the outfit.  The label says INC which is a brand carried at Macy’s and this is the third time I’ve shown the purse (previously seen in Wedding In Fall and Wedding In Winter).

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Above are the close-ups of the shoes as promised.  Blue and black Nine West suede pumps in a classic silhouette with a cutout near the heel for an added bit of interest.  You can see that there is no evidence of wear on the insole and the wear you see on the bottoms is from walking around I did during the photo shoot. They fit like a glove and are comfortable to boot (pun intended).


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I don’t want to end the post with a photo of the inside of a shoe so here’s one of me getting my strut on in this newly put together emsemble.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I even got a compliment on the outfit from The Husband so I’ve got that working for me, too.

Are you a thrifter?  What’s been your favorite find?  Leave a comment and share your story.

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