Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thrifty Tip #2: Don't be a label whore

Ah, the label whore, the person who, at any given point within a conversation (usually unwarented) will bring up who they are wearing. The person who snubs any brand that cannot be purchased at stores like Norstroms, Sak's, or Neimans. The person who finds the Brian Atwood shoes at a tag sale and buys them to wear, even though they themselves cannot walk in them...please, my dear readers, don't be this person.

Ok I know what you're thinking. "This same woman who was falling apart at the seams over a Valentino Blazer, Prada Pumps, and Sergio Rossi heels is saying don't be a label whore?" Let me explain.

I don't love the labels for label's sake. I love quality. I love workmanship. I love the idea that I could wear or use this item for years to come or even pass them down. Not all high end designers make stuff worth wearing, least of all buying, in my opinion. Some lesser known designers make amazing things that look good on and last.

This is that rope necklace I shared in the Treasure Hunt at Philly Aids Thrift. I don't know who makes it, and I kind of dont care. It's cool. It's interesting. It's my style, and it was a dollar. 

Here is a headband from the same treasure hunt. Again, don't know who makes it. Don't care. It's cute. I love bows. Floral and navy look cool together. Sold!

While watching Resale Royalty, I heard the best quote that better describes what I'm saying, "These are stylish women. They don't care about the label, they want to look good."

So don't buy the purse just because it's a Louis V. or Fendi. Buy it because it's in your budget, because you are in the market for a new bag (moderation to be discussed in a later post), and because it's your style.

Happy Thrifting!

Friday, August 30, 2013

OMG Sergio Rossi

So, once again I was caught off guard by the epic-ness of an impending find as I walked in to browse a bit at one of my favorite spots. 
Everyone...meet Sergio.

The detailing on these masterpieces are exquisite. The flower looks like a calla lily, crystal covered gems adorn where the pollen would be. 

Love these! Sergio Rossi sells for (at the least expensive end) $600. I cannot divulge but I will admit that I didn't pay anywhere near that for them.

Alas, I wish Sergio was large enough to cover my own feet, but thanks to eBay, I'm sure these gorgeous works of art will go to a good ( and stylish) home.

If you're interested, check out my eBay page (Godsgirlalese). Along with these bad boys there are a few pairs of Manolos, Giuseppes, and a few other pairs. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Treasure Hunt! Philly Aids Thrift

My 1st love and my long standing relationship with all things thrift will always be Philly Aids Thrift. 


I try to just peak in every once in a while but dammit if I don't always leave with a haul. Located in the vicinity of Old City (rich people), South Street (stylish trendy people) and Queen Village (cool family people) it has been my go to spot since I was a baby-thrifter. Let me show you why. 

Here is my haul for the day. You will not believe what I found.
So here is pic number 1. Here we have a cool headband with a big bow (I love bows!) , an ombré rope necklace, and 2 pairs of shoes...that happen to be Kate spade (pointy ones) and juicy couture...score! These shoes are being listed on eBay as we speak...

Pic number 2, just a striped tee, by John Paul Gaultier! The second is a silk patterned wrap blouse by Diane von Furstenburg. A total of $12 spent on these. Oh yeah!
Pic number 3, a pretty blouse by a designer out of LA I'm unfamiliar with but Im starting to like called YA Los Angeles. (I don't ONLY buy big labels, if it's cute and it fits and "jumps out at me" I take it home, regardless of who is on the label...I'll talk about that in a later post).

And finally...
Yes...black PRADA pumps! And there was a sale today so these were half off! Yay! If only they were my size. Well, someone on eBay will get a great deal on what would normally have been super expensive good quality heels.

What's best about Philly Aids Thrift is that the money raised for everything sold goes to aids research. How can a girl say no? 

Check them out at www.phillyaidsthrift.com/

Once Worn Consignment


I just discovered this little gem of consignment heaven while out with a girlfriend in Northern Liberties (906 N 2nd St, PhiladelphiaPA 19123)...and I think I'm in love. After going pretty much all over the city, you think an experienced thrifter/consigned like myself would have seen the best (and unfortunately the worst) in gently used clothing, but then I find this spot and I have to revise my thinking. May have to pay this spot another visit after pay day (trying to be responsible, people)


PROS
- very organized and neat (a MAJOR plus for consignment) everything is perfectly organized into size, from xs to xxl. Even the sale items were well organized and labeled 
- small boutique like feel
- the staff is friendly and very helpful

CONS
- umm...well this is awkward...I can't really think of one...I guess trying to find a parking space in Northern Liberties would have been the only con

TIPS
- check the outside sale racks. They had a few super cute items that were also super cheap.
- DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT omit the sale racks downstairs. Your first inclination once you enter the store is to go upstairs, and that is absolutely correct, but don't miss out on the low priced goodies downstairs either. (hello people, when you see an entire rack of your size of sale clothes, you get super stoked! Nabbed a Cynthia Rowley silk blouse WITH THE TAGS STILL ON IT on the sale rack, retails for $275, got it for $12!!!) HAPPY THRIFTING!

Thrifty Tip #1: if it's not authentic, DO NOT BUY!

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to find that amazing piece while thrifting. A pair of black Kate Spade heels in my size stuffed in the back of a shoe display. A demure Citizens watch hidden between gaudy sparkly distracting timepieces. An authentic Prada bag on a mannequin wearing a time stained dress. My poor closet doesn't have the space to hold it all! (Hence the monthly purge sessions I will talk about at a later time).



However, I cannot begin to stress the importance of buying authentic ONLY!

Just because it looks just like a real Louis Vuitton doesn't make it a real Louis Vuitton.

"C'mon Whit, what's the big deal?" Style is the big deal. Quality is the big deal. I don't care if side by side no one can tell. Time will tell. Where a quality piece will last you for years and you can send them to their manufacturer to be repaired, knock offs will show their inauthenticity, and who has the, as my bestie says in her sweet southern accent, UNMITTIGATED GALL to get a fake repaired. The price you pay for quality is one time for something that will LAST. Knock offs cannot promise this.

The entire point of going with thrift, consignment and resale is to not pay retail, yes. But that doesn't mean you forfeit quality for price. Yeah, it would not be wise of me to buy a Miu Miu Matelasse bag from Saks or Nordstrom, but I should aim to find one at the resale store. 

But I'm not going to rob a label I like by purchasing a fake. 


Ok so lets say you find a great piece while out and about but you are unsure as to it's authenticity. Hop right onto your smart phone and pull up any of the hundreds of authenticity guides online. Ebay usually has very good ones. It's how I found this beautiful vintage Prada (the black one that says Prada) and cute Dooney wristlet at my favorite spot! You can be your own authenticator right in the spot. 

TIPS:
1) Be patient, Be consistent- you won't find good deals every single time you go out. But you do have to keep trying in order to be successful.
2) Shop around- have more than one spot you shop in different neighborhoods. The resale shop in the "rich" neighborhood may have all the high end designers but the thrift store near the university has all the trendy stuff.
3) Know "your stores"- know when new merchandise comes out. Know when there could be sales or specials. Make buds who can let you in on some deals.

I hope this rule really helps. You may want a great deal, but i believe you are too fabulous to buy fake.

So rule number one, "When in doubt of authenticity, DO NOT BUY IT." 

Happy Thrifting!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

May I introduce you to my newest blazer...Valentino

This is a Miss V by Valentino piece. And I'm in love. 

I found this beautiful blazer and the closing out of one of the neighborhood consignments near work. 

The owner, a wonderful but disorganized woman, had this gorgeous piece shamefully stuffed between items of much poorer condition. She admitted that she had zero desire to clean and organize her closing shop. She was preparing to return to Kansas City to take care of her ill father. Understandably, placing shirts and skirts and beautiful blazers in order are not priority. 

However, when she said I could name my price on anything I wanted...and it was already reasonably priced, yeah I couldn't resist. Sold! Welcome home Miss V!

Salutations People! Welcome to The Reclaimed


Hi!! I'm Whitney, and I am the main blogger on this humble blog. I have been shopping thrift stores, consignment, resale, yard and tag sales for over 10 years now. What started out as a necessity has grown into an awesome hobby and even a way of helping me pay for grad school.

This blog is dedicated to the treasures I find, the places I've been, and the cool people I've met along the way. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

I am all over social media. Here's where you can follow my adventures:

Yelp: (see where ive been) Whitneyawilliams.yelp.com
IG: (see what i see) the_reclaimed
Twitter: (see what i think about what ive seen...including pics of a giant inflatable rat and other oddities) thereclaimed
eBay: (where I sell a lot of what I find...in case you're interested) godsgirlalese