Thrifted girls tweed dress & Savers / Value Village Giveaway

green blazer pastel tweed

Dress from Savers, Ferragamo Vara shoes (current version), Lefties blazer, Ann Taylor necklace

Although I’ve always liked the idea of scoring quality, unique pieces for less at thrift stores, I didn’t have much luck shopping them until recent years. The stores around Boston are usually sorted only by color, or item type, or not sorted at all…making it quite the hunt for items that fit. After seeing constant pieces on fellow blogger Kerry sourced from a “Savers” thrift store, I popped into one years ago and have been a fan ever since. The locations I’ve visited have been very organized (Nick usually makes a beeline for the homegoods & used books selection), with clothes actually sorted by size. And if you sign up for emails, they offer 30 – 50% off on select holidays. I was excited when the company reached out to me last month, with gift certificates to share (scroll down for giveaway details)!

Pic taken last year – dress worn differently w/ Nordies rack pearls, Morgan Ashleigh necklace, H&M; heels

pastel tweed dress 1 On one of these 50% off sales last year, I found this dress as part of a 2-piece for $4. At first glance, it was a terrifying explosion of pastel tweed and frill, probably worn once by a little girl for Easter and tossed quickly afterwards (funny enough, half a year later I came across an identical set at a thrift store hours away, which only confirms the fleeting life of this design). After peeling off the cumbersome jacket, however, I saw a cute, petite-friendly dress similar to items I’ve been eying from mainstream retailers.

Compared to my other thrift store finds, this dress required the least amount of re-work. My computer crashed and took with it all “before” photos, but the only alteration I did was taper in the waist darts. That may not have been the best route as the fit is still a little childish, but it did enough to breathe some new life into it.
green blazer pastel tweed1
After shopping second-hand items for a while, I do want to share that one of my biggest lessons learned is to not be influenced by low prices. After finding skirt after skirt in quality materials that fit perfectly at the waist (and require just a simple hem), I realized that it was getting excessive even at ~$5 a pop. I have also bought several pieces with grand transformation plans, but lost motivation due to all the work required. My advice is to shop just like you would at any higher-priced retailer….look for items in durable materials that’d be a valuable addition to your existing wardrobe, and are worth the time and/or tailoring costs of re-work (if any) to become a perfectly-fitting garment. The nature of thrifting is a game of patience -for me, it now results in no purchases 75% of the time, but the occasional finds that do happen tend to become favorites.
pastel tweed dress
Savers (U.S. store locator), also known as Value Village in Canada (Canadian store locator) has offered three $50 gift certificates for EP readers. To enter, simply provide your email in the form below (emails will be used only to contact winners), and get an extra entry by leaving a comment about your favorite pre-owned find – be it furniture, jewelry, or clothes, etc. Giveaway is open to readers in the U.S. and Canada, and the three winners will be selected at random on June 10th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS – The three winners of my ShoeMint giveaway have been selected, and the shoe credits should have been deposited. Please let me know if you are a winner and have not yet received your prize!

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  1. mlangerm wrote:

    Vintage DVF dress!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  2. Candice wrote:

    First time I went to a second-hand shop to actually find clothes for myself I found some really great finds. I found two pairs of summery little wedges that I love and have re-soled one pair because I just could not part with them when the heels were completely worn out. This was at Buffalo Exchange but I have never been so lucky on repeat visits or to other second-hand shops but I have never been to Savers so maybe this will the next place I make some fantastic finds.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  3. Elyssia wrote:

    Anytime I find something that is petite and a size that will fit my petite 5' frame, I wonder if I am dreaming. I found FIVE pairs of dress pants from J.Crew, The Limited, and Banana Republic one day at a hole-in-the-wall thrift shop for $10 each.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  4. Franziska wrote:

    I've only started visiting thrift stores about a year ago, and now I'm kicking myself for not going sooner. My #1 find has been my burberry jacket. I was of course worried that it was a fake, but after much online research all directions point towards real. crazy!!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  5. Janki wrote:

    I thrift almost exclusively since the labels are better than anything I can afford retail. My best purchase is still a glen plaid Burberry blazer which cost about $5.

    I am really into the capsule wardrobe so that, combined with my ban of new purchases until all others are fixed, keeps me in check.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  6. 1970's childrens 100% wool coat. I can't even explain to you how cute it is! Its red with blue buttons with a sailors collar! So cute!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    My favorite thrift store finds have been a Free People summer dress, and a 50+ year old Wagner Ware deep cast iron skillet that I cook with every week.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

    –Jen C.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  8. Joules wrote:

    Nice outfit post. I actually really like it with the yellow heels.

    I'm right there with you on the alterations–I have an amazing Goodwill near me that I'm always finding pieces in, but if I find that the item needs too many alterations to work it either doesn't look right after I've done all of them or I get too overwhelmed to do them at all (like you). So I try to buy pieces that only require minimal work.

    I didn't enter the giveaway because there are only Savers in the Chicago burbs (and without a car, I'm never there) but it's a good givewaway! I love thrifting.

    Style by Joules

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  9. Anna Chun wrote:

    my favorite second hand find was a pretty silk scarf!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  10. Kaitlin wrote:

    I got a ton of kitchen stuff for my first apartment from Savers! Smartest moving-out-shopping decision ever.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  11. Found an amazing tropical maxidress at Savers this winter that I've already worn five or six times! I'm a huge fan of Savers ad love to go with my sisters when I'm up in Boston. Wish there was one in NYC!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  12. Jen wrote:

    A great versatile Ann Taylor dress that I actually purchased from Savers.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  13. Annick wrote:

    I once found an Alternative Apparel t-shirt dress at Value Village I was already going to buy! I love thrift shopping. 🙂

    Bold Subtlety

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  14. Niki wrote:

    I found a pair of snakeskin print leather flats from J Crew with seashells and beading at the toes.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  15. Kerry wrote:

    Those are good tips, I was very influenced by low prices and lofty alteration dreams too but I'm beginning to learn to pull it back a bit! Also, patience is absolutely key!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  16. Found a pair of leather lace-up J.Crew boots at a Boomerangs not too long ago. Now I am just wishing for the fall to arrive!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  17. Nic wrote:

    My favorite second hand find was a pair of designer jeans with the tags still on for my hubby!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  18. kmad wrote:

    My husband and I go thrifting every week or so and over the past year we have completely replaced and updated our worn-out old wardrobes with high quality pieces. Like you, we learned not to be suckered in by low prices, or take on pieces that required too much work to be worth it. I still have a small backlog of skirts to hem and button-downs to slim, but by getting acquainted with my sewing machine I have turned out quite a few well-fitting work staples that I love.

    Your blog has really been instrumental in helping me identify flattering styles for my figure, and has definitely inspired me to up my game and dress more professionally, more fashionably, and more creatively. Thanks for all your thoughtful and detailed content, you really go above and beyond as a blogger.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  19. Lauren wrote:

    2 pairs of lululemon yoga pants for $1.99 each.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  20. Cacey wrote:

    A trench originally from H&M; with pleated back detail. Found it for $5!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  21. Christa wrote:

    A J. Crew wool, camel colored coat. It had some stains that cleaned out when treated. It is beautiful! I agree with your comments and like our Saver's.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  22. Carol Li wrote:

    I love the mint and yellow colour combination!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    I go through every aisle until something catches my attention. Usually its clothing. It really does take patience sometimes to find what you need/want.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  24. I bought a floral cardigan in perfect condition a few weeks ago for $5! That's more than I'd normally pay at a thrift store, but I just loved the sweater, so the price was worth it. 🙂

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  25. I haven't had too much luck at thrift stores, but my favorite thrift store find is a fur coat (in fantastic condition) that I got for $12 2 years ago.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  26. Ashley wrote:

    My favorite thrift shop is the Salvation Army!! I love the deals that they have every wednesday!!!

    With Love,

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  27. Bethany wrote:

    I just checked and there are stores in my area. I'm looking forward to checking them out! My favorite thrift store find is a brown leather jacket.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    I once bought a Roberto Cavalli sweater set at a Junior League thrift store for 6 bucks. I love the cardigan and wear it all the time.

    Catherine cdtipton (at)Yah00 (dot) C0m

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  29. Love the dress
    I also have good luck finding good pieces in flea markets. Around here, anyone can open a tiny booth and sell their stuff. I have the most wonderful luck when searching through old lady stuff. They are usually smaller, have better quality items and vintage pieces that can easily be incorporated into a modern look, like solid sheaths or statement belts and purses.

    If you want more thirfting tips or want a fashion question answered go to

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  30. My favorite thing from the thrift shop is a pair of beautiful shoes, flats to be exact.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  31. jru wrote:

    One of my favorite finds at a thrift store is an Alviero Martini purse. Not 100% sure about authenticity, but I absolutely adore that bag!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  32. My best thrift find was a Banana Republic Khaki Jacket in the perfect size (XS) in mint condition for $10!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  33. Jenn wrote:

    my favorite pre-owned find is a vintage cat print sweater!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  34. Hongru Ren wrote:

    For Halloween I bought a too large, Le Chateau pink skirt for about $5. After severely shortening and box pleating(it was a size 6 to my 0-2), it's both an accomplishment and beloved item. Thanks so much Jean for all your advice and encouragement! As someone really petite myself, I used to settle for less than stellar fit and clothes I didn't really love. I have only recently begun to get serious about shopping and defining my personal style 🙂

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  35. a classic black structured cross body purse by liz clariborne!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    my fave find were these gorgeous pearl stud earrings that remind me of pieces i've seen on your past blog posts!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  37. Jinsight wrote:

    My fave finds include a humidifier and lamp – I haven't had much luck with the clothes but feel inspired to try!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  38. My fave find at goodwill is a perfect condition Vintage coach Willis bag. 6.99!!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  39. hph wrote:

    My fave find is a charcoal gray pea coat that I got from Savers for just $10. 🙂

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  40. I came across a cotton military jacket from J.Crew at Savers that was originally $20 but since they had their gray tag for 50% off I got it for $10.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  41. Aerly wrote:

    My favorite find would be a black, wool j crew skirt that fit perfectly for 2 dollars. Score!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  42. Stacey wrote:

    I got my favorite black heels for $10!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  43. Jennifer wrote:

    my favorite thrift shop find is a pair of work pants that fit me perfectly. They were hemmed by the previous owner but work well for me too!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  44. JaJaa wrote:

    I found vintage leather purse for $3.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  45. Laura (l_yang3@u.pacific.ed) wrote:

    I actually have not found anything through thrifting yet! The closest I get is shopping at stores like Marshalls or TJMaxx. I came close with a gorgeous leather skirt at Crossroads, but the high price of it (at a second hand store, I don't want to spend upwards of 15 dollars, let alone 45!) deterred me.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  46. April wrote:

    I've found a brown J Crew jacket that I like and goes with a lot of things.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  47. April wrote:

    I didn't know there were any Value Village stores in the vicinity until now. I'll have to check them out.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  48. I used to be an avid thrifter and by avid I mean I had a problem, haha. Now I am picky when I thrift for clothes, too. I have too many pencil skirts that go un-altered because of laziness or lack of time.

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  49. Ann Raye wrote:

    I love searching for old books

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply
  50. Epuni wrote:

    I actually shop at value village quite often to pick up some books and a lot of times I find great brand name items too!

    Posted 6.3.13 Reply

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