Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thrifting the perfect blazer

Yesterday, I showed you one of my recent thrift store finds - a blazer that I bought for a whopping $1.

So now there's some good news and some bad news.  Bad news first...

Today's outfit wasn't nearly as exciting.  I had an entire outfit planned, including a gorgeous green CK trench that has yet to make an appearance on my wee little blog, but I got a migraine and ended up spending the entire day in pajamas.

Now to the good news...

My migraine finally subsided, and since I didn't get to take outfit photos, I've decided to show you my $1 blazer finds.  (Please forgive the poor color quality of the photos.  It was dark outside by the time I started to feel better, so I was limited to lighting a la bathroom.)  

In case you missed yesterday's story, here's a recap: a local thrift store was liquidating all of their women's blazers for $1 in an effort to rid themselves of their hoard.  I happened to be at the right time at the right place and scored several finds.

Luckily for me, blazers are one of my favorite things to thrift.  If they are made well, they'll last a long time and be loyal to your closet for years.  I especially love blazers with a vintage flair, and what better place to score a unique blazer than a thrift store?

So here's the loot:

A - vintage blazer with subtle plaid pattern
B - vintage Benetton maroon blazer
C - vintage tan blazer
D - black velvet blazer
E - vintage Jones New York berry blazer
F - equestrian-inspired vintage blazer

Not only do I love that I found so many genuine vintage pieces, but I especially love the uniqueness of jacket F.  The cut is really interesting, and those darker colored panels aren't only super cool, but they also accentuate a thin waist perfectly.

My thrifted blazer collection is quite extensive, but here are some other finds from this year:

G - vintage Dillard's navy blue boys' blazer (thrifted same day as $1 purchases, put priced $3, after 40% off sale, in kids' section)
H - vintage tweed blazer, $2.50 after 50% off
I - Banana Republic blazer, $2.50 after 50% off
J - Michael Kors blazer, purchased yesterday for $5

Although these didn't quite match the $1 steals I found, they were all incredibly inexpensive.  I also love them!  Buying something just because it's cheap is not my idea of a good buy, but if you can find something you love for a fantastic price, that's what I call a sweet deal!  I wore blazer I here, and I just love the elbow patches - so fun!

All of the blazers I've found are in excellent condition, and many have very desirable labels:

I am buy no means a label junkie, but, obviously, thrifting these brands for pennies to the dollar of the original cost is quite exciting.  The Banana Republic and Michael Kors blazers appear to be nearly brand new!

So, how do you score a great blazer on a thrifting trip?  Here are some of my tips:

1) Be prepared to dig.

I rarely go into a thrift store for a casual peak.  If you're serious about finding something amazing, you have to be serious about your search - diligence pays off.  Scour those racks!

2) Have patience.

In may take several visits and hours of scouring before you've finally found you're piece, but the pay off will be well worth it.

3) Have fun with the process.

I never think of thrifting as work.  Dig through those racks with a smile on your face!  Bring a friend along so you can share your finds with one another if you'd like.  If you think of digging through racks of used clothes as a hassle and don't enjoy yourself, chances are you won't go back, and you might never find that perfect blazer.

4) Ignore the size on the tag.

You might have noticed on the photos of the tags above that not all of the pieces I purchase are the same size.  If you're the average female, you probably know by now that modern sizing isn't all that reliable.  Fit will always be more important than size.  My blazer collection consists of all sorts of sizes - a little boy's 14, a woman's size 2, a petite medium, an x-small, a size 6, you name it.  Sizing has changed over the years, so this is especially important if you're looking for a vintage piece.  I always "eyeball" the blazer I'm looking at.  If it looks like it has the potential to fit, then I try it on.  Some of my blazers are a little baggier on me, but I purposely bought them that way.  I don't like being restricted to a pea coat all winter, so having a little extra space in a blazer allows me to layer under it in colder weather.

So...there you have it.

Blazers are an easy way to add a little extra flavor to an outfit.  Whether you want that ultra chic vibe or a vintage piece that will add a little quirk, a little persistence with thrifting will surely help you find that perfect blazer...or 5.

You've had a glimpse at my thrifted blazer collection, and I've given you some insights into my tips.  Now go forth and thrift!  (And be sure to let me know if you score your newest (to you) blazer.)  Happy thrifting!

13 inclinations:

Blythe and Charlotte said...[Reply to comment]

I am in love with that fourth blazer! Those panels are sheer genius! Nice find!


Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@Blythe and CharlotteAren't they fabulous! I seriously hope the cooler weather here lasts a little longer so I can wear it soon!

Brittany-Trends250 said...[Reply to comment]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brittany-Trends250 said...[Reply to comment]

i think blazers are the hardest thing to shop for! great post!

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@Brittany-Trends250It definitely takes some patience!

kileen said...[Reply to comment]

i absolutely LOVE blazers but never have any luck finding them at thrift stores. i think i just need to go thrifting more. thanks for all the tips. i love seeing your thrifting finds!

cute & little

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@kileen Sometimes it takes several trips before you find a keeper, but the pay off is worth it!

lalaG said...[Reply to comment]

blazers are so hard for me to find since i am plus sized girl... so for some reason when i started reading your blog, i figured i should start looking in the mens department for blazers and just get them tailored to help fit me.... thanks for the idea! lol

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@lalaGI'm glad I could indirectly spawn a brilliant idea! :)

Nnenna said...[Reply to comment]

You have an incredible collection of blazers! I usually gravitate toward the sweater or dress section when I go thrifting but I think next time I'm headed straight for the blazers! :)

star-crossed smile

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

Thanks, Nnenna! You can really find some treasures in thrift stores!

herCatwalk said...[Reply to comment]

I love thrifting but I usually look for dresses/skirts and haven't really broken into the blazer territory. I think it's a great idea though. It seems like you can find a lot of great brands (even though I'm no brand junkie either) and different shapes/colors. For example, I'd love a bright blue blazer, but I can't really justify paying $100 for something that I can't really wear everyday.. But I'd gladly pay $5. :)

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@herCatwalkWell good luck with your future hunts! I usually see a lot of bright colored blazers, especially vintage 80s onces, so I'm sure you'll find something that meets your needs.

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