Dressy on a Dime

I take a lot of pride in looking like a million bucks on a shoe string budget. Just because I don’t make exuberant amounts of money doesn’t mean that I have to sacrifice the glitz and the glam. My mission is to spill all of my frugal thrifting secrets and prove to people that high end designer pieces are  hiding at your local thrift, consignment, and vintage stores.  IMG_0213 Someone’s throw away become my treasures at these wonderful second hand stores I frequent. This Ralph Lauren gown is the perfect example of looking dressy on a dime and definitely a treasure in my book. I mean, look at the details on top of the sleeves! It’s the perfect 20’s style dress.IMG_0203IMG_0212 A dress like this will blend well in any fancy pants parties and no one would ever know that you got it second hand for $25 bucks! Unless you tell on yourself like I do ;)  I threw on my sparkly vintage earrings (SPCA thrift) and my second hand Jimmy Choo’s ($40 at Crossroad’s Trading Co) and I was ready for a fabulous night on the town. Now, if only I had somewhere to wear this beautiful dress to…IMG_0209

For something a little more vintage I found this stunning 50’s lace and velvet dress at the Alameda Antique Faire for $10! I’m normally one to bargain for everything at antique faires, but when the dealer said $10 I took it. It’s just exquisite and look at the delicate  floral lace. IMG_0162

The sweet heart neck line is just darling and flattering on so many different body types. The construction of the dress is just incredible, too. The top has boning and molds to the body perfectly – they just don’t make them like they used to! Going along with the floral lace, I opted for a vintage floral necklace from Thrift Town ($5.99) and floral vintage earrings from the Alameda Antique Faire. ($5)


Next time you have a nice event to attend don’t forget that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars. Your next glamorous outfit is right around the corner at your local thrift, vintage, or antique faire for pennies on the dollar.

Please let me know if  you have any thrift or styling questions! Would love to help. Love, The Dress Fiend


Goodwill 1/2 off sale goodies part 1

Ok, I went a little crazy at the Goodwill 1/2 off sale on the 4th of July. (I stayed with in my budget though!) For those of you who don’t know, Goodwill typically has a 1/2 off sale on every major holiday. The sale is a big deal, people line up around the block, and sometimes there’s even a little pushing involved. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but there’s definitely some massive crowds that peruse the aisles in search of the next hidden gem. It’s so much fun!

Here’s the low down on the sale: 1.) They advertise well in advance on their email list, FB page, and get this…they even have an app now that you can download from your smart phone. It gives you all the pertinent info on stores, locations, etc. 2.) Before you even get to the sale, set yourself a budget, go to the ATM to get cash, THEN go home and leave your ATM card there. When you are on a thrifting high you forget about the budget. This way if you leave your ATM card at home and only bring your allocated amount of money you wont go too crazy. (Side note: the cash line during check out is way faster – another reason I bring cash) 3.) They open really early for these sales. On the 4th of July they opened their doors at 8 am! My suggestion is to arrive at 8 am and get your booty in line. I’m not kidding, these sales bring out all the thriftoholics in town and no joke there’s a line around the block. 4.) Before entering the sale make a mental note of what you are wanting to find. For example, I love dresses and always start there, then head to shoes, tops, and jewelry. This way you can make sure that you are the first one to all the good stuff. Things fly out of the store! 5.) The dressing rooms can get out of hand and the lines too monstrous to wait in. What I do is wear comfy clothes that are easy to slip things on and off of. I basically find a mirror and make my own little dressing room. Why would I want to spend all my time in line when I could be shopping? Just say’n. 5.) Ok, after you’ve searched high and low through out all the aisles, tried on your amazing new 1/2 off pieces, then you are ready for check out! Again, I can’t emphasize bringing cash enough! The time difference between the credit card line and cash line is substantial. With cash you will be out in no time ready to go home and try on all your amazing new thrifted finds! 

For my Goodwill 1/2 off sale goodies part 1 I wanted to concentrate on what I started with first. They don’t call me The Dress Fiend for nothing and yes, I immediately headed to my beloved dresses when I got into the store. I was pretty good this time and only got 3 dresses. I’m all over the place with my decades with these 3 dresses, but lets face it, I’m all over the place with my style and I think that’s what makes me unique :) The looks I have range from 20’s, 40’s, and contemporary. Let’s start with the 20’s style dress. If I were guessing I’d say it was made in the 80’s as a 20’s knock off. It was a label I didn’t recognize, but was made in the US. That’s always an indication to me that it was made earlier. Clothes seem to all come from China now :( I absolutely adore the dress, especially with the 20’s style necklace I got at another Goodwill 1/2 off sale and the Salvatore Ferragamo tassel heals I got at Thrift Town. (yep, $400 shoes for $24.99!) Such a fun look that is right in style with the new Great Gatsby movie that came out a couple of months ago. Did you see Prada’s 20’s inspired line for the movie? Holy cow amazing!Image

For my 2nd look I skipped up two decades to the 40’s. Again, dress was probably made sometime in the 80’s or 90’s as a 40’s inspired knock off. (This I know is from the 80’s or 90’s because of the shoulder pads!) I don’t know what drew me to the dress, (besides it being $4) but my clairvoyant fashion mind must have known I was going to find this amazing vintage hat at the Antique Faire this past Sunday to go with it. ($4 as well) I fancy myself somewhat of a chameleon and love dressing up into different personalities, eras, and what ever my heart desires. Clothes are our greatest form of creative expression – have FUN with it! For my 3rd look, I went a little sexy. Sometimes you gotta bring sexy back right? I was really excited about this find. It’s an Express dress that I own in 2 different colors and love it! To find it with the new Express tags still on ($69.99) for $5 made me squeal with glee in Goodwill. Two of my favorite color combinations are turquoise and plum. How wonderful that I recently found a pair of turquoise Ninewest heels for 1/2 off at Freestyle ($8) and I already had a real turquoise necklace that my Mommacita made me. 

Please stay tuned for Goodwill 1/2 off sale goodies part 2 tomorrow! I got a whole lot of amazing finds I can’t wait to show you. 

Note: Go to your apps on your iphone and search Goodwill Locations. Download the app for all the up to date info. I would also suggest searching for your local Goodwill on Facebook and friend them. That way you’ll be in the know of all the upcoming sales. 

Look #1:



Look #2:



Look #3: