Look for the Label
I find thrifting very contemplative, almost meditative. First, I try to have a list of things I am searching for so I can be focussed. This week I had a short list: a little black crossbody purse with a chain strap (inspired by all the ladies I saw sporting the classic, quilted Chanel 2.55 bag in Basel). On day one of me deep, all day shopping search I did find Chanel — in the form of a pair of slightly bent-out-of-shape 4117B sunglasses. And I found a fun little Fendi crossbody. So close!
I also bought a pair of Halloween costume quality Elvis sunglasses and a big wool Laura Ashley shawl. I bought the scarf to sell in the Gracious Good Etsy shop, but I forgot to inspect the scarf more carefully before I bought it and discovered a small tear when I brought it home. I guess I can darn it and wear the scarf for personal use.
Day two: Got distracted looking at scarves and jewelry. Again, my designer dowsing rod was able to divine a bunch of lovely scarves from Louis Vuitton, Paloma Picasso and Liberty of London. I also picked up some baubles, including a drippy necklace by Vendôme and a big blue Buch and Deichmann bangle.
One last thought. The odds of finding an authentic Chanel purse in a thrift shop are very much against you. In fact, the Value Villages of the world are flooded with fakes. Still, I thought finding a Rolex or an Hermès scarf would be impossible. But I’ve done it. You have to put in the time to really dig and I also have the advantage of decades of experience in the luxury lifestyle world (and of prowling around second hand shops, educating myself about brand histories, production methods and materials).