Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How I Thrifted over $4,000 of Designer Shoes for under $500

For me, thrifting is one of the most fun ways to shop. There's nothing quite like finding an amazing designer piece at 10% of the price, particularly new with tags. (No, I did not make a mistake - not 10% off, ten percent OF the price. Ninety percent off, baby!) In the past week, for instance, I've purchased this mint For Love & Lemons dress and this $330 Parker beaded top - they were $30 each and new with tags. People always ask me how I get so lucky, and to be honest, a lot of it is just the blessing of living in New York. I like to think I have a keen eye for spotting things, but perhaps it really is just serendipity! Even so, I've tried to sum up some of my thrifting tips below in hopes that they'll be helpful to some of you. 

The key to successful thrifting is maintaining a steady rotation and hitting up your favorite spots often.  My favorite stores include A Second Chance Resale, INA Consignment, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, Second Time Around's consignment stores, Housing Works, Tokio 7, Tokyo Joe, Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet, Crossroads, and Cauz for Pawz. They're spread out all over the city, and several have more than one location, so there's always a new place to go. New York City is littered with thrift and consignment shops, and if I walk by one and have the time, I will usually pop in to check it out, get a feel for the merchandise and price point, and see if they've got anything special that day. If you can only go once in a while, don't get too discouraged if you don't find anything some days. Most of the time, I leave empty-handed, too, deeming nothing worth wasting money on. Sometimes you just get lucky!

Of course, as anybody could've guessed, a great deal of success comes from being at the right place at the right time. It just so happens that sometimes, you come into a store right after someone has consigned something fabulous in your size. Successful thrifting also takes knowing what to look for and how to properly inspect it once it's been found. As far as I'm concerned, all bets are off in any secondhand store in terms of authenticity, because plenty of times even the sales people at consignment stores are capable of making a mistake, in my experience. Therefore, it's important to familiarize yourself with what an authentic item from each designer ought to look like. There have been plenty of times I've seen fake bags, shoes, and clothes at secondhand stores. To make yourself comfortable and get a refresher, head over to a local high end department store or boutique and get a feel for the font and tag info from various designers, as well as an idea of what quality to expect. Once you're thrifting, keep your eyes peeled for designer styles - look out for high quality materials or familiar designs. Sometimes, I'll recognize a shoe or piece of clothing from a mile away, walk over, confirm my guess, and happily try it on. 

I'm only particularly enthused about buying things if they're new, particularly new with tags. This is especially true for shoes, but luckily and surprisingly, most of the shoes I've found have actually been new. If you're buying clothing secondhand, inspect it thoroughly for pulls, stains, holes, or other general wear. Sometimes these things are hard to notice at first glance. 
I've been having incredible luck with shoes these past few months, so without further ado, here are my latest finds!

Walter Steiger Venom Triple Buckle Claw Heel Booties
Walter Steiger Venom Triple Buckle Claw Heel Booties - $65 - Retail $995 (93% off)
(similar here)

My spree began with these gorgeous Walter Steigers, though I was wary of throwing down the money for them considering the crazy heel...but ultimately, that's kind of why I wanted them to begin with. I love Walter Steiger's claw heel, and these were surprisingly walkable. I think it would be unreasonable for me to spend over $100 on these, since they're not a shoe I can wear often, but for $65, I figured, why not? These were new.

Burberry Splotched Check Rain Boots gray
Burberry Splotched Check Rain Boots - $20 (Half off from $40!) - Retail: $225 (91% off)
(similar here and here; I still want these)
I'll be honest, I can't wholeheartedly recommend Burberry rain boots, because if you ever accidentally rub your feet against each other, the boots develop hideous dark splotches. That's why I purchased these Jimmy Choos a while ago, to wear instead of my classic oversized camel check Burberry rain boots. These particular boots kind of avoid that problem by already being covered in splotches as part of their design. They also happened to be half off, making them only twenty bucks. 

Alexander Wang Mackenzie Cut Out Suede Boots
Alexander Wang Mackenzie Cut Out Suede Boots - $95 - Retail: $625 (85% off)

These are just breath-taking and unbelievably cool; I can't wait to feature them in an outfit post! They're probably not a pair of boots I would have shelled out a lot of money for, because, again, heels (I'd rather pay money for flat boots I can wear every day, let's be real), but these were too cool to pass up. I love Alexander Wang. (I have a few other new pairs to share with you!)

Wine Oxblood Vince Chase Burgundy Foldover Boots Bordeaux

Wine Oxblood Vince Chase Burgundy Foldover Boots Bordeaux
 Vince Chase Burgundy Foldover Boots - $65 - Retail: $498 (87% off)
(Similar here, here, and here)
These burgundy Vince boots are one one of my favorite colors, and the leather is so buttery and soft. They can be worn two ways, though I think I prefer the leather when it's not folded over. These also perfectly match a new Celine Trio bag I may or may not have purchased....🙈

Isabel Marant Suede Dicker Boots
Isabel Marant Suede Dicker Boots - $30 - Retail $635 (95% off)
I was initially never crazy about these, but I understand the hype - they're easy to match and very comfortable; it hardly feels like you're wearing a heel. At $30, I couldn't pass them up. Channeling my inner Rosie Huntington Whiteley in 3, 2, 1....💃

Coach Tavi Booties blacl leather silver hardware
Coach Tavi Booties - $40 - Retail $225 (82% off)
These might be the only pair I had second thoughts about, but they were brand new and I figured that it would be good to have a pair of boots with a heel that I don't have to worry about. I can easily wear these to a bar or a club and not concern myself with protecting them from any potential danger that might befall them. I'm generally really careful with all of my designer shoes (they're my babies!) and I hate wearing them to places I know they're likely to be ruined... (ahem dirty New York City bars....dirty New York city streets....dirty New York City subway....have you booked your ticket yet?)

Pour la Victoire Estel Crisscross Studded Bootie
The leather on these is so buttery and soft! They look killer on, too. These were brand new and I thought they were fun, and since I don't have any peep toe cut out booties, I totally justified this purchase to myself.  😅      

Acne Studios Brown Cypress Booties
Acne Studios Brown Cypress Booties - $130 - Retail $720 (82% off)
I've wanted these forever, either in this brown color or black (or both, really), but couldn't pull the trigger because: I have plenty of boots, the heel is a little high, and the price was never good enough. The lowest price I'd seen them for was a bit over $200 or $250...but when I saw them brand new for $130, I couldn't resist. I mean, could you? Look at these babies! They'll match my vintage LV Monceau and thrifted Monsieur Gavriel Cammello tote ($45! Retails for $585)

So, there's my little (not so little) boot haul...I'll be sharing a bunch more with you guys soon, as well as whatever other tips I think of! Let me know what you'd like to see and if you have any questions. Wishing everyone a great week!

Total Cost: $490
Total Retail Value: $4,273


  1. Lovely post! I really missed your musings on the blogosphere, I'm always fascinated by your thrift finds. Please update more regularly! Lots of love from London <3

    1. Thank you so much Irdina! Your kind feedback means a lot! <3 I'll do my best to update more regularly :))) Have a beautiful day! xx

  2. I wish Chicago had a variety of thrift stores like New York does.

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  4. Lovely post! I truly missed your thoughts on the blogosphere, I'm generally intrigued by your thrift finds. Kindly redesign all the more frequently!

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