Be a Better Thrifter / Inspiration / Personal Story

Recent Digs #2: Thrift Finds Appleton, WI

The following items are things I found this past weekend while spending time at my parents house, as mentioned in this post.

1. These are rummage sale finds at the nearby town hall. Proceeds went to a local lady who rescues dogs from homes that can no longer take care of them.


They had four long tables filled with jewelry and there were two pieces that caught my eye. This one, and another one that had a green stone piece in it. I chose this one. I’m not particularly knowledgable about crystals at this point, but have enjoyed them as jewelry for a long time. If you know anything about this, let me know. This was $5.


These earrings don’t look like too much from the photo, but I’ve found with earrings that simplicity is really eye catching. I got these for $3.



This is my personal favorite. I’m still looking at it with a sense of awe. This is a blank notebook. The pages are brown like cardboard. It’s handmade by an artist from a native tribe of Alaska. There is fish skin on the cover and many other natural elements. I hope to write to the artist and find out more about it. I got this for $1.


2. These finds are from Bethesda, a thrift store chain. The day I went was a surprise 50% off sale which is basically the best news ever.



I bought this for $3- so $1.50. Will Schwalbe just wrote a new book, Books for Living, which has a fascinating concept behind it. I think he is the most adorable man ever. When he talks about his books, he is so happy. He wafts happiness. He has the best dimples ever. You just want to hug him for being so unguarded with his happiness but I actually found out he’s not a hugger when I recently went to a book reading of his, AFTER buying this. I will be posting about all the Schwalbe events soon. I do like audiobooks!


I’ve been noticing that the type of clothes and outfits that I’m more likely to pin on pinterest are often simplistic, including pieces of earthtone colors. One color that I often declare is my favorite color is brown, despite the fact that I have none in my closet. It’s surprisingly hard to find brown clothes while thrifting. I know this shirt doesn’t look like anything special, but a lot of pieces that I bring home and give little credit because they’re “plain” are the ones I grow to appreciate the most. Nothing special + a few more nothing specials = something spectacular. Avoid getting stuck in the mindset of looking for an outfit in one piece.

3. These are all pieces I got from Goodwill, our last stop. When my mother and I go to Goodwill together, we fill a cart. We heap a cart actually. On this particular trip, we filled two carts. Then we go to the unspeakably tiny dressing rooms, bringing one stack of clothes in at a time and quickly eliminate about 95% of the pile. The easiest methods of elimination are if the items don’t fit– painless. The hardest are the ones that fit and the look is lucrative but you’re not sure if it’s something for you. Those usually make it to the very finale of a chopping block when I’m waiting in line to pay and my mother and I are both frantically asking each other what we thought of the capri pants or the tan sweater,etc etc. It’s nice to shop with my mom because I show her my looks when I’m trying on and I tell her when she’s trying too hard to dress young or she should be taking more risks and dressing young.


This piece was tricky to capture in a photo. The material is lightly see through, gauzy almost like gauze medical tape but made more sturdy. I’m usually not attracted to lace or lace-like pieces because they seem too characteristically, cheapy feminine to me. I think the gauzy fabric of this material saves it from that, at least for me. It will look beautiful in an all-cream look if I ever figure out how pull that one off. ¬†This was $6.99.



Oh look– lace. Of course I’d contradict my statement in two ways in the same post, practically proving it false. This tank not only includes lace, but is also pink; however, I think it passes as not too girly for me because the pink is pale, an earthtone pink you could find in a spring flower. The lace is subtle. It also reflects a lot of the trends which have been repurposing women’s vintage lingerie, such as lacy, silky tanktops or night gowns. I like this look and it’s something I once tried to accomplish in middle school. ¬†Right now I’m content with just appreciating it though. This was $5.99.



I found this sweater by scanning all sizes of clothing. When you’re at a secondhand store that has things organized by size, keep in mind how you like your clothing to fit. If you like your clothes a bit looser, like myself, don’t feel strange looking in larger sizes. Vice versa. No matter you’re body shape, how you want things to fit is more important than the size on the label. All the label is fore is to make those decisions easier. This sweater attracted me because of it’s small details, like the stitching on the sleeves and collar that makes it a bit curly. A slightly feminine touch on a pretty, soft, sea foam green.


5. OTHER: I volunteer at a nursing home twice a week, and at least one of those times I help out a resident there who really enjoys secondhand shopping, evident by her room which is filled with piles of woven baskets, an overflowing pile of scarves, lots and lots books, etc. She really wants the stuff she buys to have a good home, so on occasion she’ll ask me what I think of an item. The purse below she gave to me.


She also collects purses, which she has far too many of. She has quite a few beaded purses that appear to be very very old. The one she gave is soft black leather.

More thrift store finds to come!


3 thoughts on “Recent Digs #2: Thrift Finds Appleton, WI

  1. Pingback: Finally, a Philosophy of Style Book – Secondhand Self

  2. I haven’t had the chance to visit any thrift shops in a while, so I’m really enjoying vicariously second hand shopping through your posts. What is that, secondhand secondhand shopping? Second-secondhand?

    Oh, and the larger crystal in that necklace looks like a slice from an amethyst geode. I can’t tell much about the smaller crystal from the image, though–is it dark purple, or black?


    • ahahah v meta of you. secondhand-secondhand shopping I’d go with. Also, thank you for identifying that crystal. the smaller one is black.


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