Thrift Score Thursday: Sylvia Edition 1

Thrift Score Thursday: Sylvia Edition

A Splurge or A Steal?
Thrift Store Style: You Too Can Rock a Formal Mumsy Jacket!

This week’s Thrift Score Thursday isn’t very thrifty, but it’s still pretty nifty.

My favorite find this week was this cute little stovetop espresso maker for $2.50.

Isn't it adorable?
Isn’t it adorable?

I wasn’t excited for myself, as I already have a larger Bialetti I thrifted for $5 years ago, but instead for a good friend of mine. 🙂 In a recent brunch at The Gourmet Shop, she mentioned she really wanted one of these, but didn’t feel like paying the $60 price tag that day. I snatched this little guy up right away and was happy to see it hadn’t even been used! It still had the manual inside and everything!

I took it home, scrubbed it out (better safe than sorry), and the next morning I left it (along with a couple other treats) on her front porch.

If you haven't read this book yet, you need to. It's amazing.
If you haven’t read this book yet, you need to. It’s amazing.

The rest of my finds stayed in my possession though. 🙂

Short, less short, and long!
Short, less short, and long!

This ended up being a pricey haul (for me anyways), but it was well worth it.

The green dress was $10 and the grey one was $38, both purchased from a pop-up sale by Thrifted Sisters. I usually don’t pay that much for my clothes, but I fell completely in love with these two frocks. The middle dress was $1 at the thrift shop though. I don’t mind paying more for quality vintage, and I like supporting local folks who are helping to make sustainable fashion easy for people who don’t have the time or perhaps the inclination to thrift. 🙂

My two friends who dress like normal adult women raised their eyebrows when they saw I was going to purchase the green cheerleader dress. “I think that’s meant for a child,” said Erin suspiciously.  Whatever. I thought it would be perfect for St. Pat’s!

Then I tried it on.

Okay…it fits. But man oh MAN is it short! As in, my life is going to have to be an endless series of squats from now until next weekend if I want to wear this thing. It also had a secret lurking as well.

Huh? Why are you stitched up?
Huh? Why are you stitched up?
I shall be Sylvia for the day!
I shall be Sylvia for the day!

So…we’ll see how I manage to make this one work!

The total cost of this week’s haul is:

Green Dress Meant for a Child: $10

Multi-colored dress: $1

Grey Maxi: $38

Espresso Maker: $2.50

Total: $51.50 (Whoa!)

Yikes! I’ll have to scale things back a little next week!

The Ones That Got Away…

Of course, I could have spent even more this week had I purchased everything I found interesting.

These lockers were priced at $25 apiece. I want them. I want to repaint them and put things in them. I want to have room in my tiny apartment for them. Alas. It wasn’t meant to be.

I want these. So bad.
I want these. So bad.

I can’t figure out what this thing is supposed to be, or if it has a function other than being a weird ornamental(?) monkey coconut.

What the hell is this?
What the hell is this?

This tea kettle would be perfect for my kitchen. It’s so cute & kitschy! Sadly, I spent way too much at the Le Creuset outlet for the one I have now, so I’m afraid I’m stuck with it forever.

I wish I had found you before.
I wish I had found you before.

I also passed up on this flock of geese. Seriously…who ever needed five of these?

Why so many?
Why so many?

This fishy purse also was left behind, but it would have been a fun addition to several outfits this summer.

My mind is still in the Caribbean!
My mind is still in the Caribbean!

I could quite get over my squeamishness at purchasing a used head massager either.

I'll bet it comes to life at night...
I’ll bet it comes to life at night…

And I’m obviously immune to “As Seen on TV” products.


What were your favorite finds this week?



  • Gail Christ

    Great haul yesterday. I found 4 pair of jeans, 5 capris, 2 lacy sweaters, 3 tops, and 6 pairs of sandals (2 brand new Borns). All of this for just under $130.00. I love thrift stores!

  • Karla

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the green dress! What a great deal on the Espresso maker!

    And I have to agree on The Goldfinch. Loved that book!

  • Laura

    haha the monkey coconut thing is used to serve drinks at the beach. I got one on time, thinking it was going to have lots of booze in it, but instead they put this like 8 oz cup in it with a mixed drink–biggest let down ever; i am pretty sure I have a picture of me with the most disappointed face ever!

  • Norma

    How about a like new Gucci “Jackie” small black leather handbag? Found that at the Goodwill clearance store, aka ” the bins” for $2.25!

  • Linda Romine

    I have only just discovered your blog, on pintrest, and am a little obsessed with it. I’m so impressed with your ability to see the after within the before. I’m sorry if I have missed your answer to this common question. What do you do with all of your refashions? Do you wear them until they down cycle to dish rags? Do you have an archive? Donate? Do accept donations from “fans”/supporters? Thank you

  • Cindi

    Nice haul! Can’t wait to see what you do with the green uniform. Out of curiosity what made the long dress worth the price? Will we find out later?

  • Elsa

    Love the fishy purse, I also have a monkey head, I got it in the Bahamas, with a drink of course, love the green dress also.

    • Nancy

      Thank you for that link, Mea. That is the best two minutes of my day so far. Sophia Loren is fun to watch in any language.
      Question: does anyone here know if those espresso pots are made from aluminum or stainless steel, or what?

      • Mea

        Hi Nancy, you’re more than welcome :)! Those very old pot are made in aluminium and they are very hard to find now, also here in Italy :/.
        I love Sofia Loren and Vittorio Gassman too!! Italian cinema misses giant like them 😉

  • Agatha L.

    Hi!!! Love to read your blog!!! So funny and witty! My comments on this post:
    1. I would have NEVER spent $10 bucks on that green dress….bring it down to $1 buck and it would make for a shirt.
    2. The printed dress is adorable.
    3. That monkey monster looks like it came out of an old Indiana Jones movie !!! LOL

  • Sharon young

    Hi Jillian! Sharon from Thrifted sisters here! I told ya that little green dress was a tiny one! But I had no doubt in my mind you would rock it. Can’t tell you how excited I was to be on your blog after reading it all these years! Can’t wait to see you in both dresses and love your other finds! Xo

  • Kate Smart

    I’m so jealous of the wonderful things you keep finding in thrift shops! Over here in the UK all our charity shops are full of modern rubbish and its so hard to find awesome pieces like you seem to find. Plus, anything remotely ‘vintage’ is priced so high it’s not really affordable or it’s removed and sent to a special ‘vintage’ branch, none of which we have in my town. Sad face! I guess I’ll just have to keep upcycling newish tat instead. Not that I don’t occasionally find a nice modern piece, but it’s so frustrating to constantly see the same stuff. Keep writing – I love reading!

  • Adventures of Making

    Cute cute cute haul Jillian!!

    Although the green dress has a bit of a girls’ scout feel to it, I can imagine why you fell for it, so vintage-y! I’m looking forward to see how you will style it. Personally I would go for a narrow skirt in the same color underneath it. It might look like a peplum-dress then!

    Since I’m tall in the “oh could you grab that for me from the highest shelf”-category, I encounter the short-dress problem a lot. And since I don’t always feel like showing my butt to the world (the majority of people is already at butt-height for me, they’ve seen enough of it as is) I use the “short dress –> peplum dress” trick a lot.

    Whenever I run out of simple skirts in the right color, I usually just grab a tanktop, wear it as a skirt and fiddle with the straps so they won’t show 😉

  • Louise

    I don’t know what the monkey thing is, but the “carnival” inscribed on it is a South American festival. I saw one in Ecuador in February once.

  • Reade Adams

    I found a crocheted open-weave miniskirt with six-inch fringe that features a pattern of little brightly-colored leather circles embellished with sequins. The tag says Wilsons Leather. I paid too much for it, but I’ll mark the price up and sell it on Poshmark. Not something I can wear because the look is for a young person, but it is unique and adorable.

  • Karen Petitt

    I was going to say that the odd looking monkey thing was a drinks holder. Someone got there before me. I wouldn’t like to be hunting for something in a kitchen cupboard and then come across that because I would squeal with fright! I would love the lockers – what a fabulous price. I don’t think I could have let them go. The head massager is yuck, a very big yuck too! The little pot is very cute and I can’t wait to see how that gorgeous grey dress looks too Karen x

  • Kathleen

    Nice haul! I found a virtual pilot trainer that hooks up to an old PC, a couple of cool sweaters, and some pillowcases for $.50 each.

  • zazazu

    Cool finds! I’ve had one of those espresso makers but never knew really how to use it! I always ended up blowing it all out the top. Hmmm…

    My finds this week… Huge blue geode bookend, rattan floor plant stand, rattan and macrame fringe two tier hanging plant basket, brass pineapple container (I snap them up whenever I can to sell in my Etsy store), and an inlaid wood cutting board (I collect those). Yay!

  • Lesley Goldberg

    The green dress may actually be a uniform for a school gym. We had to wear little green dresses in gym and we had to embroider our names on them.

  • Nicole

    I am STILL mourning the loss of ‘Potter’, Hobie, Popchyk and Boris, in my life.
    Working my way through the Pulitzer Prize winners. Haven’t been disappointed yet, but this one was especially enjoyable.
    I gotta find ME some friends who gift such great reads/coffee!!

  • Rosie Lea

    I saw one of those wooden head things yesterday too! I wondered what the heck it was supposed to be. I came home with a 99 cent silk dress and a 50 cent pyrex coffee cup.

  • Monica

    Those lockers are awesome! and I love that gray dress!!
    I actually had a cool thrifty find of my own this week!! I thought of you when I saw this little black suitcase sitting on the shelf, and thought man I bet she would open that and find something super cool inside. So I opened it up and super cool it was!! It’s a vintage travel bar that I got for $6! Still had the bottle opener, serving tray, cups, and even the key for the lock! The only things missing are the beverages lol! But I know my husband will get a kick out of it when he gets back so I couldn’t pass it up!

  • lizcarey2014

    I’m seriously going to have nightmares about that thing that comes alive tonight… Reminds me of the space ship in Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds… only creepier and small enough to hide under your bed at night…

  • JoAnn

    I bought the same espresso maker for $1 at a garage sale about five years ago. However, at the time I didn’t know how to prepare nor drink espresso. So I bought the grounds and made a pot, then another, then another. I got SO MUCH done that day!!!!!! Turns out…. My maker makes 3 shots of espresso at a time but I drank the pot as if it were one cup of coffee. (For a grand total of 9 shots of espresso!!!) Mmmmmmmmm

  • Amy B.

    Back in the day, my MIL and her crowd wore those dresses like the green one and they were called, Sizzlers. They were always ridiculously short and had matching, or coordinating hot shorts that went underneath to cover your naughty bits. One of the Aunts wore one that absolutely scandalized the patriarch of their clan.

    I would were it with yellow leggings all day long, and sing that song from ‘Dirty Dancing’ “Oh, Sylvia?! How do you call your Lover Boy?”

  • Amy

    I found a really cute little necklace for my daughter for $2.99 at our St. Vinnies. Also scored in two big Rubbermaid tubs but that’s not very glamorous. Exciting for me though!

    I love your blog! It’s one of my favorite things to follow. Thank you!

  • Molly

    What a nice friend to leave all those things on someone’s porch! I have to admit that I hated that book – it was just too depressing and trashy to me, but I do know plenty of people who loved it so apparently I am just missing the point!

  • Elaine

    Thrift stores should take a page from the playbook of Target and Bed Bath & Beyond in which they bunch together all of their “As Seen on TV” items. Not only have I purchased a few, I have also subsequently donated a few!

  • Kim B

    I found a pair of brand new never been used Chacos Sandals yesterday at my local GW. Not my size but they may fit my sister. Spent 3.49 and they are worth about $60! And I found a couple of cute Boyd’s Bears Christmas ornaments for .75 for both, and they are two I didn’t have that are retired, so big score for me there!

  • Nancy

    1. Wouldn’t the short green dress be the perfect outfit for delivering Girl Scout cookies to your friends?

    2. Can anyone identify the “As Seen on TV” item? (I’m almost afraid to ask.)

    Loved this post, btw. Made me laugh.

  • Anne

    You can add something to the green dress to make it longer or wear it with leggings. Hate to think of you having to remember to squat all night .

    • ReFashionista

      That’s what I’m thinking. 🙂

      Oh…and when I was talking about squatting, I meant the butt-toning exercise, although you’re correct as well!

  • Catherine

    That Espresso maker what a deal, love the long dress, so cool, of course i like the three but the long one wow.
    It si so sweet of you to think of your friend you are a sweetheart.

What do you think?

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