Summer Thrift Shopping for Winter Coats

August 3rd, 2011
shopping thrift stores

shopping thrift stores

Hello and happy WEDNESDAY, everyone!!!

Yesterday I spoke of the sweet vintage style potential of summer … and today, I’m moving full circle to speak of an entirely different season’s style: WINTER!

I was thrifting at my local [and favorite!] Goodwill store Monday when I noticed an abundance of quality coats & jackets at extremely reasonable prices.

Considering today is August 3rd, and the first “unofficial” day of wearing a fall jacket or coat arguably isn’t until early October [and later for other areas of the country] it doesn’t seem logical to be shopping for your layering pieces now.

But remember that while the mainstream stores aren’t carrying warm weather gear yet, thrift stores always carry all-4-seasons. While the selection of fall/winter isn’t as plentiful as it will be come October, there are still great pieces to be found and even better for us thrift lovers: Better bargains to be found.

Since you’re technically shopping “off season,” you can find ahead-of-the-season pieces at lower prices than you would purchasing them during the actual season itself. So, buying a fall or winter outerwear piece on August 3rd equals extra savings. Plus, the merchandise isn’t as picked over — so you’ll get a chance to grab the good stuff, first.

So while everyone is thrifting shorts and tees, head on over to the fall/winter racks to stock up on awesome pieces for when the sun sets sooner and the days turn cool.

Keep reading after the jump to see what awesome coats & outerwear pieces I found at my local Goodwill, and for more insight on how to thrift the trends for fall!

I’m laughing as I type these words because I realize it must seem ridiculous to the other shoppers & employees of Goodwill to see a girl take repetitive pictures of herself in the mirror! Thank goodness for my iPhone — with that darling, I can snap shots of the many thrift & vintage wonders I see, and share them all with you here!

Speaking of on-the-scene wonders, I’m always looking for vintage & thrift lovers to share their finds with me! So snap those pictures and share ’em with me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube or email them to me,

Happy winter thrift shopping everyone!

xx, SD



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1 – 2 / Red is such a strong, passionate color that I’ve never felt translated well to the average lady’s wardrobe, but is better suited for a piece of outerwear instead, especially a waist long jacket like this.

I once owned a vintage Calvin Klein wool trench coat [inherited from my mom!] that was this exact same shade of cherry red. It was overwhelming on my frame, but the “power” aura of the color definitely made me feel taller, stronger and wiser than my years.

For the mainstream thrifter, however, I’d suggest purchasing red in outerwear that’s more fitted to your frame and hits somewhere along the waist. It’s a great color to wear in the fall and celebrate the changing color of the leaves!

3 / The best part about this red jacket is the HOOD! When I produce my own line of clothing someday, all pieces of outerwear will have a hood. The hoods will be detachable, so that you can remove them when you don’t need them/want something bulky weighing you down.

Hoods are so convenient because you need not worry about bringing/losing a separate hat, plus I think that hoods give women an air of sexy mystery even though the rest of their bodies are covered by material. There’s something so inherently exotic about them!

4 / Slit pockets are a formal upgrade to the usual flap pockets we see on most coats.

5 / Drumroll please … the label is Kenneth Cole Reaction! The “Reaction” line is like the B-C level of Kenneth Cole clothes, costing a bit less and sold in more accessible, mainstream stores.

6 / Another drumroll, please! This jacket only costs $19.99!



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1 / Here’s a great alternative for the thrifter & vintage lover who doesn’t want to support the fur industry. It’s a faux fur jacket [most likely produced to resemble beaver, because of the color] and designed to look like a coat from the ’60s. By the looks of the lining and the zippers, it was most likely produced in the ’80s although there is no brand label on the inside to give further insight.

Perhaps this was a sample piece from a NYC designer. You never know just “where” pieces came from when shopping in the Big Apple — sometimes I like to imagine I bought something once owned by a famous person!

2 / I love when clothing has “hidden touches.” Obviously because these touches are hidden, they are just for the enjoyment of the owner herself, like these “bow tie” inside pockets. You can stash your cell phone here, so that there’s no risk of it being grabbed from your hand or pockets on the city streets!

3 / Another positive plus to this faux fur coat: The accent lining of the hood itself! I LOVE this feminine touch that you can only see when wearing the hood. I think I’d wear the hood all the time because of this applique!


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1  – 2 / Thrift lovers, you may go gaga over this one: a classic chocolate brown suede waist coat with a faux fur collar and jacket/sleeve trim! And the best part? It fit like a gem, because it was a size small!

I estimate this piece was produced sometime in the ’90s — definitely a jacket that took some cues from ’70s styles. I’d buy this and keep it for my daughter to wear someday! I can’t wait for the ’90s to be considered “true vintage.”

3 / The brand is “Marcelle Renee.” I did a quick Google search and while Marcelle appears in results on Amazon and Overstock, the pieces are no longer available. Poor Marcelle! It looks like her glory days as an outerwear brand have passed ;-(

4 – 5 / So it makes sense that I’d find a DEADSTOCK coat by Marcelle. You can identify deadstock when you see the original tags on the piece. This means that a store selling the piece either went under and the remaining merchandise was simply donated to a secondhand store chain like Goodwill or Salvation Army; or the brand itself disintegrated and the remaining inventory not sold to stores was donated directly.



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1 – 2 – 3 /OK … my FAVORITE! I’m a sucker for fun, novel prints like this mix of dalmatian meets rabbit. It’s faux fur [phew!] so it’s definitely not Cruella De Ville. Although admittedly, I love her style! Just not her personality, LOL.

4 / The hood envelopes my face like an Eskimo hood. A definite necessity for those cold snowy days of winter in the city!

5 / Another bonus to this cropped darling jacket: Bonus inside pockets! More space to keep a girls’ necessities safe. Note the light lining on the coat’s inside: This shows that the piece is probably best for the late fall months, or to use as a layering piece over a bulky sweater. The jacket is fitted enough for a cute cropped look, but has some space below to add extra clothing when needed on colder days.



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1 / Fur vests were ALL the rage last fall. I saw them on so many fashionistas at Fashion Week — it’s like everyone called one another to declare the trend, and then ran to their local furrier for to snatch one up!

For most of America, trends don’t move as quickly as NYC. My guess is that fur vest will still be sold in department stores this fall. You may even be seeing cropped bolero shrug versions, or more sporty versions like the one I’m wearing above. I love this faux fur vest because of it’s deep pockets, comfy hood and the fact that it’s a waist coat. I can see myself rocking this with a pair of black jeans and a rock n’ roll tee for fall. Oh — and we can’t forget the cowboy boots!

2 / The cost is a bit pricey for the piece, but note the date this faux fur vest was stocked. Nearly four months ago! While I can’t speak on Goodwill’s behalf, I *have* successfully bargained down thrift store pieces based on how long the item has been on the floor. So if your thrift store labels prices by dates, make a note so that you can negotiate an extra 10-15% off at the cash register.


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1 -2 /Another oh-so-oversize outerwear piece … and this time, it’s even more obvious thanks to the actual size on the label: A small! I’m 5′ 9″ and a size 4 average, so while the jacket fits better for my frame, it’d be MEGA huge on any smaller girl!

I think it’d be fun to wear this as a belted dress jacket over leggings for fall. You an add a frilly top below, and throw on black leggings. Brogue shoes would probably look best with the blazer.

3 / The Limited America is one of my all time FAVORITE brands. Growing up, this was “my store” at the mall. I remember being 14 years old and shopping the sale racks obsessively. I think I was a “weekly trip to the mall” kind of girl back then.

I love finding early ’90s Limited pieces — the era easily identifiable thanks to the design of the tag — because 15-20 years ago, The Limited was known as a higher-quality brand for fashion-forward working women. While the brand still carries that aesthetic today, I have to say that the “originality” of the brand has taken a decline. The Limited used to be like an H&M: the trends from the runway produced for less, but with “the finest quality” in mind.

So if you ever see a Limited tag like the one above, don’t pass it over too soon! It might just be your next favorite thrifted vintage piece.

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  1. Megan says:

    Loving the faux fur coats!

  2. I love that rabbit dog jacket. I would sport that with my boombox on my shoulder. I’m IN LOVE with the Limited blazer!!!!

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