Thrifting for vintage treasures: My recent thrift finds

I’ve been an avid secondhand shopper since, well, forever. I grew up piggyback riding my dad at the West Wind Capitol Flea Market every weekend and later discovered the magic of thrift stores and consignment shops in college. On my first day of college, I wandered downtown Berkeley on a breezy June afternoon and discovered the beautifully curated collection at Crossroads Trading – I’ve been hooked on secondhand shopping ever since.

When I came home from college, I spent my weekends hitting up multiple Goodwills in San Jose with my parents. Now that I live in a small Central Valley town, my love for thrifting has only grown. Although we only have one Goodwill, there are quite a few vintage stores strewn around our downtown area. Along with giving me the opportunity to hoard tchotchkes, these shops have become third spaces for me. The employees probably know me, and I can make idle chit-chat after hours (days, even) of locking myself in a room and click-clacking away on my keyboard. 

I’ve been keen on rebranding this page for a minute now. While I still have enough plants to operate a mini nursery, my love for all things green ebbs and flows. My love for thrifting (and maybe, to my embarrassment, shopping) has been fairly consistent. Anyway, this is a very long-winded way to say that I am going to blog more about thrifting! I love the ethos of thrifting. It’s a fantastic way to hone in on your personal style and find unique pieces while remembering that you’re part of a bigger community and sharing this beautiful world with other people. 

So, without further ado, here are the treasures I’ve managed to pick up these past few weeks. 

Thrifted clothes

I started getting into tarot cards and Fleetwood Mac lately, so I’ve really wanted my personal style to convey “thunder only happens when it’s raining.” I’ve always loved the ‘70s look, so the aesthetic really works with the bell-sleeved blouses, flared jeans, chunky belts, and flowy skirts I already own. 

My recently acquired jewelry pieces include a gold leopard bangle bracelet and a silver shell pendant necklace, both 50% off from a vintage store downtown. I’ve really been into costume jewelry these past few years – the only fine jewelry I own comes from my mom wanting to pawn off her pieces during birthdays and holidays. 

From the same store, I also picked up two shawls and a gold silk Chico’s blazer. If you’re going to be a Stevie Nicks copycat, you need some drapey statement pieces. These more lightweight pieces are perfect for the autumn weather ahead, since it’s still kind of warm, even in October. The silk blazer has a gorgeous embroidered texture on it, and I think it’ll pair well with all the black I have going on in my closet. I also like the floral motifs on the scarves. The black scarf features a see-through material with velvet, jewel-toned flowers and fringed ends on it. The larger scarf, on the other hand, is made from a super-soft material and has a reversible gold and burgundy paisley pattern. 

I’m excited to flex these with the inadvertent shag that I gave myself while attempting the butterfly cut! 

Thrifted media 

I’m banning myself from buying used books…for now. This past summer, I discovered that I could pick up store credit at my local used bookstore by donating books — this meant that I could get 50% off of all used books! Without hesitation, I blew through store credit on a ton of $2 cozy mysteries — most of which I’ve read, thank you very much. But I’ve still got a bunch of used books I haven’t even cracked open yet, including a very thick copy of Stephen King’s The Stand. So I’m only reading books on my shelf and downloading books from Libby now. 

While I haven’t picked up many books lately, I have started delving back into other forms of entertainment, namely music and movies. My latest hyperfixation is the audiocassette player — I’ve always seen cassettes lying around my local thrift stores for 25 to 50 cents a pop and thought it’d be fun to pick up a player and start listening to some old albums. 

The nostalgia element is nice, but what I love most is the distraction-free listening. I don’t pause to watch a reel or have to endure a random telehealth ad. I bought the $15 ByronStatics player from Amazon, but my dad also promised me some of his old Walkman players! My local hospice charity shop sells them for 50 cents a pop, and I’ve been able to amass a modest collection. 

Of course, there are only so many Vince Gills and country Christmas albums a girl can sift through, so I bid on a few Fleetwood Mac tapes on eBay. My latest haul includes Tango in the Night (a new personal favorite), Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits, and Bella Donna. I’m excited to hit up Mad Monk the next time I’m in Modesto! 

Speaking of my local hospice thrift shop, they recently had a DVD blowout sale, selling 10 DVDs for $1. I’ve really been curious about classic films lately and like having physical copies around since older movies never seem to be evergreen on streaming services. Secondhand DVDs are usually super cheap (25 cents at Goodwill or a buck at Mad Monk) but I’ve never seen 10 for $1! And there was such a good selection — if you’re willing to sift through 100193 copies of Pitch Perfect and Frozen, you’re bound to find some gems. 

Appreciated but did not buy at the thrift store

I think I’d like to start a section for things that I appreciate but do not buy. I do this a lot because I want to share cool stuff I come across but haven’t thought through how they’d fit into my space. 

Thrifted goodies I’m on the lookout for

Thrifting is sometimes all about kismet – the piece finds you, and somehow it’s the thing you never knew that you needed. But sometimes, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt, and I find that being intentional about what you want keeps you from hoarding too much junk. (The wait can be agonizing, though; I’ve been searching far and wide for a red cotton-wool cable knit cardigan with pockets and buttons for the past three years now.) 

Here’s what’s on my to-find list:

  • A black leather purse because my cute Prada knockoff purse from Goodwill is beyond repair at this point.
  • Lamp – I need a new bedside lamp. My mom’s really into the ornate Victorian vibe, but I’m more into an industrial brass-finish body, or a style with a pleated shade.
  • Cassettes and a vessel to hold my cassette collection – I’m looking for Whitney Houston, Madonna, Carole King, and Mariah Carey, specifically.
  • Old records by MUNA. I’ve been searching at Mad Monk, but no dice.  
  • DVDs of Sleepless in Seattle and Marie Antoniette. I actually see these a lot at Goodwill and Mad Monk, but the DVDs are always scratched up. 
  • Aforementioned red cotton-wool cable knit cardigan with pockets and buttons.  

Anyway, look forward to more thrifty blog posts from me! I’ll also be reworking this site to make it a more beautiful experience for you, dear reader. 

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