Sunday, July 19, 2009

Thrift cinderella

Like a magpie attracted to shiny things, I'm a thrifter with a shoe obsession. Shoes are one of the best things to thrift and here is why:
  • Thrifted shoes often mean that someone else has taken the trouble of breaking in the shoes for you. This means you get a gently worn pair of shoes, all soft and lovely, and you are ready to get all the gain with no pain.

  • I love shoes and I live in NYC where you walk - a lot - so my shoes get treated pretty roughly. If you're like me, into shoes and into wearing them, thrifting is the only way of sustaining a large shoe collection so that you can rotate your shoes often and have them last longer. Which brings me onto the next point...
  • Thrifted shoes mean you can feed a shoe addiction without breaking the piggy bank.

  • Like with all thrifting, you can look fabulous and with your own individual style. And if you're into vintage, there's nothing better than thrift.

Here are some summer beauties I've thrifted in NYC:

These lovelies are quite special. They are the most perfect 50s pink shoes and were my very first NYC thrift buy. I bought them on the Upper East Side Council Thrift Shop for $7 . I love that thrift store! These marked the beginning of my penchant for thrifted shoes...

These cuties are super stylish and were found in the Housing Works Soho, for $10 - I love the ankle strap. And another pair, these are cute chocolate brown colour and a nice heel, and a lovely pink bottom. $5. This place is a treasure trove for shoes.
The ones below were from the Goodwill on the UWS, they go with everything. $5.
Some tips for shoe thrifting:
  • It's not rocket science. Check they are of good quality - made of leather - and in good nick - check the heels and soles.

  • Try them on, give a twirl, see how they feel. Even in places without changing rooms, never ever buy a pair of thrifted shoes without trying them on.

  • Be open minded. I'm a 6 and a half, but I'll try on 5 and a half, 6 and 7 - you just never know.

  • I discovered summer soles a couple of years ago. This amazing invention is basically a trim-to-fit sole that comes in different types of materials and in stylish colours. I have them in all my shoes (thrifted and otherwise). It protects the shoes from my feet - sweaty summer tootsies - helping them last longer. And for all of you out there who may be freaked out about wearing secondhand shoes, a pretty new sole between your feet and your thrifted shoes may help you get over it.

  • Like the saying goes: Men are like buses, you don't see one for ages and then suddenly there are two or three at the same time. With thrift shoes it is the same. After a particularly long time with no luck thrifting shoes, when you finally spot a perfect pair, you often also spot about three pairs more. Point in case: Housing Works Soho last week had about three pairs of the most beautiful heeled sandals, all sized 5 and a half. They were all a similar style and I'm sure they were donated by the same woman. Unfortunately they were all too small for me but nevermind, I'll cash in my thrift karma another day.

Like all thrifting your efforts will be rewarded over time - don't expect success every time, that's the fun part. Go forth and thrift my friends! Good luck and thrift karma!


  1. great post! you have some awesome shoes. i agree that shoes are the best item to thrift!

  2. Fabulous! Imelda Marcos is a deeply misunderstood woman.

  3. wow, great shoes! thanks for stopping by my blog. i am totally subscribing to you on reader! i lived in NYC for 3 years back before i met my now husband, and i miss it every day! thanks for a peek into your world. =)

  4. Forgot to mention--I really liked Watermelon! That's only the 2nd thing I've read by her, the 1st being Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, which I also enjoyed! I'll have to get more of her novels now. K bye!