Tag Archives: rummage sale

A most excellent dress for summer day at Farmers Market (bargain style)

I have several great summer dresses that haven’t gotten much play in recent years. I was determined to wear them this summer – and not “wait” for the perfect event. I wore this to the local weekly Farmers Market one hot July day. I found this dress, a Ronni Nicole, at Ross two years ago marked down to a shocking $3.49! I’d have been attracted to this print any time but the price and the fact itĀ fitĀ me clinched it. It’s polyester/spandex but better, it has a long zipper in the back (shift style dresses are notoriously hard to get into – and out of – and a zipper is awesome). The dress is short but notĀ tooĀ short for comfort.

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I found this great hat on Amazon last March for $4. They key to finding Amazon bargains is taking advantage of the price range option. Supposing I want a hat, I might start with looking at all hats $5 and under. If I don’t see much or nothing I like, I might then bump my range to $6 and under. (A side benefit is that you’re less likely to get/feel overwhelmed by options.)

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The rule of thumb when wearing a loud print like this is not to lay on a lot of accessories; basically to let the print, in this case dress, “do the talking.” I wore a few complementary pieces. I found the watch on Amazon last year for $6, the cuff bracelet, a ringer for the green in the dress, was a rummage sale find, and I made the earrings.

 

Most of my shoes are flats and since I was going to be walking around flats made sense. These sandals, which I found at a thrift store for a couple bucks, areĀ Active Air,Ā a brand I never heard of; I googled the name now and found onlyĀ Clarks Active Air sandals. Hot diggity! Clarks, which aren’t cheap, have a good rep. No wonder I like them so much.

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Since the day I wore this look, I foundĀ Crocs sandals on Amazon for $13 which, honestly, is about the most I’ve ever paid for shoes! I’ve never had any Crocs but I like these a lot. They also make me about an inch taller while still having all the virtues of flats. They’d also work well with the dress.

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This outfit was easy to pull together and I loved the whole look.

My life in low heels

A couple weeks ago I went to a rummage sale and did splendidly in the shoe corner. The thing about buying second-hand, be it clothes or shoes, is you can’t usually get your heart set on an exact item in advance and then just walk in and find it. No, it’s more a matter of going & seeing what’s there. I do sort of have a mental list at any given time of things I might like to find, but truth be told, items can stay on that “list” quite a long time when shopping thrift & second-hand.

So anyway, since I unloaded my car over a dozen years ago, I’ve done a lot of walking. I walk for exercise and pleasure, yes, but the motherload is practical in nature, or actually, I’d say that practical and exercise are often combined. Like, I’ll walk to a shopping center two miles away rather than take a bus. My point, going back to the business of shoes is twofold: 1) I need practical, low-heeled footwear for all the walking year-round and 2) I wear down the soles and need more shoes. I think of shoes as what tire treads used to be! At present, I own more shoes than I ever have in my life, although it took me awhile to realize that was both okay and practical, the latter given my lifestyle. Most are second-hand.

At the rummage sale all shoes were $3. I settled right in and could not believe my good fortune in finding six pairs (in a fairly small display) that I liked, that fit me, and were, for the most part, in decent shape. I always check the “treads” to make sure there’s lots of wear left in them.

If you wondering about cleanliness, a thorough examination of the shoe helps, as does washing if possible. One of my tricks is to use an old toothbrush to scrub surfaces, especially inside. If the shoes aren’t washable, such as leather, I polish them. I routinely put inexpensive shoe inserts in most of my shoes anyway, so that also makes them feel “newer.” I hope I don’t have to tell you if they look funky-bad in any way, I pass them by. Most shoes at thrift stores or rummage sales are pretty good. (I’m more likely to see shoes at yard sales that should have been tossed in the trash.)

I pounced on these hiking boots – TimberlandĀ©! I’ve gotten into a habit of wearing hiking boots a lot in winter because they’re warm – I hate cold feet – reasonably attractive with jeans, and can handle snowy/icy conditions. I already have a pair of (what else but second-hand) REIĀ© hiking boots but the heels are showing wear and I have to use “Shoe Goo” on the front of one where it’s pulling apart. If you are a hiking boot person, you know these babies are pricey. I couldn’t quite decide if the TimberlandĀ© boots are Mens or Womens, but since they’ll fit me with winter socks, it really doesn’t matter.
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Last winter I found myself perusing Amazon in hopes of finding an inexpensive “driving shoe.” Not because I’m driving anywhere, but so far as I could tell, it’s a casual, moccasin-style, low-heeled shoe that might be nice to wear at home in Fall/Winter. (I could be wrong so far as what a “driving shoe” is.) I never found the cute, inexpensive shoes in my mind’s eye on Amazon, so I was intrigued to find a close enough possibility at the rummage sale. The oh so very nice thing about $3 shoes is that it’s not such a big risk to try something new or different from what you’ve considered in the past. And – these still had their store tag!
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I always need tennis shoes, athletic shoes, sneakers – whatever we want to call them. These don’t have much wear left but I was feeling pinched for such shoes so I got ’em. I didn’t notice – probably courtesy dim lighting (it’s rummage not Neiman Marcus) – that one of the shoes was pulling apart at the toe. I hand-stitched that.
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Red slippers! Cozy as heck! Unused looking! (You find me the woman who could wear these and still leave the white so clean, ’cause I’d like to meet her.)
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I’ve never had shoes like these either. They seemed like summer walking shoes. When I got home I Googled the brand – Merrell – and discovered it’s a pricey shoe; the website says “Womenā€˜s footwear for running, hiking, and everyday adventures.” Sounds good to me. (Side note: they make Men’s shoes too.) These are really comfortable. Neutral color = goes with all.
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Red. Can you tell I like red? Red shoes just make me happy. (Back in the day, I had a pair of bright red pumps. My sister called them “Minnie Mouse” shoes.) Red shoes aren’t easily found second-hand, so I was delighted to land these. They’re made in Mexico – something else I rarely see.
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Son of a Gun!

At a rummage sale recently, I smiled happily to myself at the sight of a familiar-looking bright red blow dryer for sale, a ClairolĀ© Son of a Gun, one of which I previously owned. Apparently they are now “vintage.” I drew a picture of it in a college art class.
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When I was a teenager still living with my parents and enough of our older siblings had moved (and stayed) out, my sister (who was two years older) and I finally got to have separate bedrooms. Yet my sister would arrive at my door pleading for help because her hair dryer, a different brand, had once again sucked her long blonde hair into the back air vents and entrapped it. There she’d be with her head bent at an odd angle, hair dryer dangling and effectively stuck to her head till I’d help her get untangled. She called her blow dryer Son of a Bitch.

Oh, how I do love a rummage sale

People love themselves some yard sales around here. Flea markets and rummage sales and white elephant sales and estate sales and whatever else you can call used-stuff-for-sale-at-bargain-prices, are all popular. (Hoarding is also popular…)

Although I’m increasingly selective and particular about what I’ll buy, I love these sales too. It’s not only the actual bargains that draw me but other aspects too.

I find it very relaxing and fun to poke around, hunting for potential treasures, imagining how I might use something or fix it up, or if it’s clothes, how good I might look in it or what I might pair it with that I already own. The camaraderie with other shoppers is enjoyable too and usually people are in good moods. I mean a yard sale is not Target on Black Friday. (Although you do have to watch out for the occasional aggressive, crazed yard salers who’re throwing elbows, crowding, and trying to swipe your finds (I hang on with a death grip and watchful eye).

Sometimes in summer little kids will have a lemonade and whatnot table at their parents’ yard sale. In late summer an industrious young couple was firing up a grill at their yard sale; sadly I was done looking and wasn’t going to hang around just to wait till food was ready to sell. Hotdogs, donuts, bake sale goods, and even egg breakfasts are sold at the larger church sales. (I almost always avoid any such temptations, reminding myself the treats aren’t healthy and I’ve got food at home. Not to mention, I shop these events to save money.)

The upside of living in a country/area awash with consumer goods, is how much stuff now turns up at such sales. It’s not unusual even, to see somebody loading up bags or boxes, especially of clothes, to send back to family in their home country. There’s just so much. And it’s usually priced to move.

This weekend featured two big annual sales at a church and a synagogue. (I don’t mind going to houses of worship to buy junk, so long as that’s it.) I thought I’d share my finds.

$1 Dough blender. My last one broke. Used instead of two knives to blend pastry dough, like a pie crust. Very handy.

$1 Dough blender. My last one broke. Used instead of two knives to blend pastry dough, like a pie crust. Very handy.


$1 6-outlet plug. Where I live doesn't have nearly enough outlets for "modern life." These are terrific.

$1 6-outlet plug. Where I live doesn’t have nearly enough outlets for “modern life.” These are terrific.


$1 skinny belt. I have to belt almost all my jeans, no matter the brand. If the ass fits, the waist is too big. Buckles on wide belts make a weird, misshapen lump under shirts. I'm trying for a "lower profile" belt.

$1 skinny belt. I have to belt almost all my jeans, no matter the brand. If the ass fits, the waist is too big. Buckles on wide belts make a weird, misshapen lump under shirts. I’m trying for a “lower profile” belt.


$3 Don't-know-what-it-is lovely houseplant in ceramic pot.

$3 Don’t-know-what-it-is lovely houseplant in ceramic pot.


$3 Pretty, flattering sweater, longer than most.

$3 Pretty, flattering sweater, longer than most.


$2.50 Working 6" 2-speed Lakewood fan with 7ā€˜ cord. Once home I googled the model. This fan is vintage! From the 1980's. There's even a couple (dull) YouTube videos dedicated to it. Sure, I needed to clean two dozen years of *dust* off the blades but it's a champ! So excited!! It may be perfect with an extension cord in my seasonal screen tent next year. THE find.

$2.50 Working 6″ 2-speed Lakewood fan with 7ā€˜ cord. Once home I googled the model. This fan is vintage! From the 1980’s. There’s even a couple (dull) YouTube videos dedicated to it. Sure, I needed to clean two dozen years of *dust* off the blades but it’s a champ! So excited!! It may be perfect with an extension cord in my seasonal screen tent next year. THE find.