Thrifting Treasures

I had such a lovely Saturday! In addition to getting lunch with my grandmother, I spent the day running in and out of shops looking for the perfect costumes for the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile. As I’ve mentioned before, Picasso takes place in France in 1904, so finding the costumes isn’t as easy as running to the mall and buying something off the rack. Costuming a show like this feels like going on a treasure hunt — and today I struck gold!

My first stop was a cute thrift shop in Moorestown, NJ. The downstairs of the shop was filled with odds and ends — everything from pillows and books to jewelry and umbrellas. I could stay there for hours sifting through all the curious objects, but today I was on a mission and I didn’t let myself get distracted. When I walked in I headed straight to the back of the store, up the rickety staircase and into the room filled with clothes. I veered past the men’s clothing and went straight for the racks of women’s clothes. Today I was costuming my actresses.

A novice costumer might come to a thrift shop armed only with her wallet and an eye for style, but I’m no novice. I came prepared. Today I brought along my arsenal — my iPad mini displaying a spreadsheet filled with the measurements of each actor, character descriptions, and an itemized list of every item of clothing that they will need.

Almost immediately I found the perfect blouse for the character Germaine. It was a cream colored button down made of 100% silk. Luckily the price was right. The tag read $5.Picture 6

Next, I found a beautiful two piece outfit for Sagot. This role is normally played by a man, but in our show the director changed the role to a female. The matching skirt and top are a pretty dark purple velvet with delicate beading. Price tag? $18 for the set. Since the top has spaghetti straps I will need to pair it with some sort of jacket.Picture 4

Hanging a few racks over was a gorgeous blue strapless dress. I picked up this dress a couple times before I decided to buy it. I’ll need to alter it a bit by adding some sleeves. It cost $40, a little more than I wanted to spend on something that will need alterations, but it was too pretty to pass up. The Countess had to have this dress.

Picture 3

Finally, I dug through some bins searching for a corset for one of my actresses. The character Suzanne changes shirts onstage and she needs to reveal her sexy bra to the audience. I bought a lacy black bra/corset. (I hope it fits! I don’t have the girls’ bra sizes.) Price tag: $2.50

When I went downstairs to pay for my treasures I received quite a shock — Everything was Half-Off!

Let’s review:

Silk Blouse – $5 $2.50

Skirt and Top Combo – $18 $9

Dress – $40 $20

Corset – $2.50 $1.25

(No sales tax on clothes in NJ)

Total = $70 $35!

And how’s this for luck — today was the last day of their sale. I’m still in shock!

After I paid for the costumes and the sweet cashier gave me a handwritten receipt, I tried my luck at a local Goodwill. Nothing. I was about to call it a day when I decided to check out the Burlington Coat Factory on the way home. Jackpot! When I walked in I saw a giant display of Easter hats, which happen to look very similar to the hats worn in the early 1900s.

Picture 7

I bought three hats and went home to gaze at my treasures. With some feathers, ribbons and fake flowers, the hats will be perfect. I can’t wait until my next thrifting adventure!

What do you think of my loot? I’m afraid the photos just don’t do them justice.

2 thoughts on “Thrifting Treasures

  1. Samantha says:

    These are all actually cute outfits. I love that first collared shirt. I’ve never been much for thrift shopping, but to be fair I’ve only really looked around Good Will which doesn’t really actually have the best prices. I was surprised last time I was in there, and they were trying to charge $10 for a tshirt! I could buy a brand new one at Old Navy for $10. LOL.

    • kimberlydhorner says:

      I’m glad you like the outfits! I’ve found that Goodwill can be very hit or miss. For the last show I costumed, I found a ton of great items at the Goodwill near my school. I guess it depends on the location. As always, thanks for reading!

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