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Budget Career Dressing: Secondhand Boot Goldmine

Budget Career Dressing: Secondhand Boot Goldmine

You may have noticed that as a budget career style blogger, I have increasingly moved away from stalking sale racks or talking about discount retail fashion stores to emphasizing the bonanza of beautiful work clothes that can be found at secondhand stores, including thrift, consignment, eBay, and GoodWill.

Yesterday, so many peeps asked about the beaded collar I was wearing, I asked The Absent-Minded Professor to take a pic with his terrific Galaxy Samsung phone, because we were downtown at the Christmas parade. Yay, my hair is worn up for the first time in a year, and boo, why didn’t I put on some lippy?

Antique beaded collar handmade in Japan from the 50s ($5 eBay) worn backwards, and $3.50 Gap sweater from GW Boutique (yes, GoodWill)

I’ll be taking Bella’s Secondhand Pledge effective January 1, 2013, and I’ll write a post in more detail about the why and hows, but I simply couldn’t wait to show you guys what a fabulous secondhand shopping day I had yesterday. Keep in mind, my intention was to get Christmas prezzies for family and friends.

I was on a limited time frame, because I was headed to the Christmas parade the teens were marching in. I had just dropped off packages for friends, including Ally and Robin, and I had just returned yet another pair of amazing boots to Amazon. I have purchased and returned so many boots, because they don’t fit my skinny calves, that I know I’m on Amazon’s, er, boots-stepped-in-shit list.

While browsing a fave local higher end consignment store, Yours Truly, for presents, I had to look at the shoe section. Had to, because it wouldn’t be polite not to. All the shoppers in the store were becoming instant friends, and we were discussing each other’s clothes as we tried things on. I spotted two pairs of amazing boots that looked they had skinny calves like me, so put one of each on and asked everybody in the store’s opinion.

Which was essentially a tie, although the Nine West are better for work, the MIA WITH OMG FLOWER CUT OUTS are much more fun. Keep in mind the MIA still had the cardboard in them and haven’t been worn, and the Nine West are in great condition, just conveniently broken in already. So I handed them both to the owner, and said, “Just for the hell of it, what’s my damage here?” Well, the Nine West were 75% off the marked price, and the MIA were 50% off the marked price, making them $12.50 and $31.00 respectively. It would not have been polite to leave them there.

My total haul from the thrift store, which was four big bags of stuff, such as Christmas presents and a few Christmas decorations, including a seriously gorgeous wreath for the front door (I am notorious for not decorating so this is seriously noted by my family) was less than the cost of the boots I returned to Amazon.

Next week I’ll be showing you some beautiful secondhand skirts I scored for my recently one-sized-down figure, including J. Crew, H&M, Loft, and Cynthia Steffe, and emphasizing why at least looking at secondhand clothes first is not only a good idea, but seriously fun and thrifty.

Did you score any cool secondhand finds this week?

23 Responses to Budget Career Dressing: Secondhand Boot Goldmine

  1. That collar is so beautiful. I haven't really gotten into eBay, but I also just got on Facebook, so in a few years maybe I'll give it a shot. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Your boots are also beautiful. Both pairs. Just gorgeous. I also bought boots this weekend (for my birthday, which makes it okay) which only ended up costing me $14 at Nordstrom because I returned a pair of booties & had a Reward coupon. But, the best part of my weekend was the two vintage coats I found. One raincoat with an AMAZING collar and one Pendleton that I'm obssesed with. I got them both for under $25.00 total at Goodwill. I love secondhand shopping!

  2. I feel your pain on the skinny calf thing. I've just given up on boots unless they have some type of lining. :/ Yay for recycling though. I drop all kinds of stuff off at GoodWill and usually leave with something also.

  3. Lynne you are so gorgeous. Girl, you don't need no lippie, you look amazing au naturale.

    Hot damn those are some amazing boots. You just went through why I sometimes give up on buying expensive stuff. I still can't let go of my obsessive shoes, but I can't stand putting down huge amounts on clothes when thrift stores have incredible stuff for cheap! I can't wait to see your awesome new skirts.

    This past week I found the DH a really awesome pleather jacket, I found myself a pair of naturalizer pumps (omg so comfy) and two purses. I also got you some more goodies for Christmas, that will be coming – sometime! Can't tell you what they are because it's a surprise!

  4. Wow! What scores! It's almost as good as winning the lottery…well the boot lottery anyhow.

    Sounds like you hit the Motherload when it comes to consignment/thrift stores. I can't wait to see all that you found.

    I went to my first ever estate sale. It was a real eye opener…in so many ways.


  5. OMG the boots are amazing! Put them on and let's seeeeee!!!

    And remember, don't do the pigeon toe thing, like I always do.

    Your hair looks very pretty pulled up, I like it!

  6. Aaaahhh!!! Perfect! Now you too are preaching the Goodwill Gospel!!! I love it when I can embrace a new convert. You look utterly gorgeous in your sweater and collar. I know what you mean about skinny calves. Those boots are fabulous finds. XXOO

  7. OMG, gorgeous boots! For almost No Damage at all! Shopping award to you today : > Come over and post your fab self on Visible Monday if you have a chance!

  8. The collar is so pretty.

    But the boots…..I am more than just a little envious of the MIA boots. I don't recall if you saw or commented on my recent consignment "boot goldmine" (love your terminology) but I think you have outdone mine by far!!!! Swooning.

  9. The little beaded collar is perfect, it looks beautiful with that soft pink sweater.
    You know I'm with you on the secondhand shopping, I just never go "proper"retail shopping, apart from for the occasional gift. There are so many treasures to be found in charity/thrift shops, as my wardrobe, and those of many blogging friends, can testify. You did well with the boots, I especially like the tan cut out ones! Looking forward to seeing you wearing both pairs soon! xxxxx

  10. The boots and the collar are gorgeous and I love your hair up like that! Even as a high-earning professional I always wore second-hand clothes to work, couldn't see the sense in spending my hard-earned cash on boring conservative clobber! x

  11. Wow!! Those are some kick-behind boots lady!! I'm quite jealous!! You are the queen of secondhand finds, I swear! I also love the collar and your hair is beautiful pulled up like that! Lovely!

  12. the collar is gorgeous with the sweater!!
    You were brilliant to buy BOTH of those fabulous boots!!!

    I shop almost exclusively at thrifts anymore. I can't recall the last time I was at the mall.

    I had a FABULOUS thrifty weekend-it's my Visible Monday post!! and not all of the goodies are shown!!

  13. Oh I really want to hear/read more about this challenge sister! Sounds awesome! You know I love some thrifting and I am so excited now to check my mail!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks Lynne!!!!

  14. Those are some gorgeous boots,and I like the vintage collar. I like consignment stores, since you can find such great deals on quality pieces.

  15. I love the pearl collar on the pink sweater too. I have a few of them from my Mom. I've never been to a consignment store, in fact I don't think I know what one is or where one is around here. Are they thrift stores where you donate select stuff but don't get paid for it unless it sells? Congrats on your new boots.

  16. Ah well done on a fabulous thrifted outfit. I am keen on using secondhand to make my wardrobe more interesting, and to score brands I just couldn't afford full price. I have had great results in consignments shops in the UK, and on a recent trip to Amsterdam, I don't think we went in any full price shops!

  17. Oh my God those boots are stunning! I'll be making a thrift trip down into the more richer parts of the state soon and I am hoping that I will be able to find as much treasures as I see you ladies post on your various blogs.

  18. I agree with everyone who mentioned the beaded collar, and the boots – wow, are you lucky! I just got some black boots at Goodwill, more like leather high tops really. I think they are brand new, maybe a display pair. They're nothin' like yours, but they were just what I wanted ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. The collar with that sweater is amazing. We just don't have those kinds of thrift/goodwill stores here – at least, not in my area and not that I know of ๐Ÿ™

    The boots totally rock!

  20. You are incredibly beautiful in your up-do and beaded collar! And FLOWER CUT-OUTS. Whoa!

    Besides the generally much better quality / price ratio, I find thrifted / second-hand stuff so much more interesting and appealing than budget retail. I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the matter!

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workersโ€™ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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