I loooove finding a hidden gem – some retail item that has been deep discounted. It is a thrill¬—my reward, my due—for suffering the mall, or worse, the disorganized big box store.
Lately, I have been getting my thrills in thrift stores. They appeal not only to my love of bargain hunting, but also to my desire to live a green lifestyle: reduce, reuse, recycle and all that good stuff.
About a year ago, a coworker discovered a thrift store about 10 minutes from our office. It benefits the Lupus Foundation, and while 85% of the stuff there is of no interest to me, every now and then I find something truly spectacular.
Like a caramel colored Ralph Lauren belted suede coat for $9. Or a black Tahari suit jacket for $12.
But in truth I am Carrie Bradshaw at heart. I loves me some fine shoes. Unlike Carrie, I don’t have the budget to stock up on Jimmy’s or Manolo’s. Once in a while I’ll stroll through Nordstrom or Neimans and fondle the fine Italian leather in the designer shoe section, wishing and hoping, but never buying.
There is a thrift store about 15 minutes from my house that I haven’t – until recently – spent much time in.
But last week, I went there looking for a pair of dress pants and I came home with two pairs of practically brand new Ann Taylor suit pants for a grand total of $7. Yesterday, I had nothing much to do after I dropped Loaf off at school, so I went back.
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular – just killing time. I browsed around the clothing, but didn’t really find anything. Then I went downstairs and picked up two paperback books—The Shack and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for 25 cents each.
I was standing in line waiting to check out, when I noticed a wall of designer shoes near the registers. And on top of that wall was a pair of black pumps.
Killer black pumps.
To some, they are just shoes. But to my inner Carrie Bradshaw, they are sex and classic elegance stacked on a three-and-a-half-inch glossy black leather heel. They are feminine and powerful and hot.
I sauntered over and lifted them from that shelf, feeling their weight in my hands – a weight that only the finest made shoes have.
They were by Dolce & Gabbana.
And they were my size.
I slipped them on and strolled slowly in front of the registers.
”Those are gorgeous,” said a woman standing by the register. “You have to get them.”
I pulled them off and turned them over, expecting to find a price tag of at least $50.
My inner Carrie is extremely pleased.