Genevieve Alvarez / The Seattle Times
An Hermès tote for $5. Stuart Weitzman sandals for $12.95. A Marc Jacobs jacket that retails for $480 priced at $9 — then discounted again to $4.50.
We asked readers to share their best thrift-shop finds with us and, boy, did they ever. We received nearly 200 entries for the 2014 Thrift-shop Showdown contest.
Northwesterners are proud of their thrifty ways, and why not? Buying secondhand saves money, reduces waste and sidesteps conformity.
It wasn’t easy for us to choose winners from so many good entries, but today we bring you three favorites, along with a passel of runners-up.
A big thank-you goes to our partner blogger and style adviser Dana Landon (www.itsmydarlin.com) — and another to you, our readers. Keep shopping and keep sharing. We’ll run the contest again next year.
Elodie Piquet, grand prize winner ($150 prize)
When Elodie Piquet was growing up in France, her father regularly took her to antique markets where she developed a love for vintage things. A year ago, when she moved to Seattle with her husband and daughter Aya, she discovered many thrift shops.
“It was like paradise for me,” says Piquet, 34, in soft, French-accented English.
“All the furniture for my new house and clothes for my family are secondhand.
“I like good quality; I like to find treasures.”
For the Thrift-shop Showdown photo shoot, Piquet brought in a cashmere and cotton dress she found at Value Village. It was made by COS — a design-forward Swedish brand sold in the U.S. through H&M. She combined it with a belt she bought at a sample sale and a pair of secondhand Vans shoes from Goodwill.
Aya’s top also came from Goodwill; her pants and jacket from Value Village — as well as her shiny red shoes.
Anaïs Gurrola, youth winner ($100 prize)
Seventeen-year-old Anaïs Gurrola likens thrift-shopping to “going into Narnia — it’s about finding the perfect treasure. And when it’s vintage? It’s like you’re traveling through time.”
For her photo shoot, the Interlake High School junior layered a businesslike blue blazer over a frothy, cream-colored dress and then added sparkle with mix-n-match costume jewelry. The whole outfit (minus the shoes, which were a gift from her mom) cost about $20 at a thrift shop operated by Bellevue LifeSpring.
“I love dresses,” Gurrola says. “When I was little I loved to play dress-up, and I never outgrew it.”
At school, the effervescent Gurrola is into drama, science, reading, filmmaking, writing … just about everything. She readily admits she is looking for her niche, in life and in fashion.
“I still haven’t really found my ‘look,’” she says. “But this is my time. I’m a teenager, so I can try a lot of things and do weird stuff.
“Being weird is what I live for. It’s so boring to be normal.”
Michael Lynch, editor’s choice ($50 prize)
Ballard’s Michael Lynch works as a geographic-sourcing analyst at TomTom. “That’s kind of like a modern-day cartographer,” he says.
He also comes from a family of artists. So perhaps it’s not surprising that, when it comes to clothing, he has an eye for design, materials and workmanship.
“Quality is important to me,” says the soft-spoken Lynch, 35. “Quality fabrics, quality stitching.” Shopping at vintage and consignment stores helps him afford the high-end products he prefers.
The Club Monaco sweater he wore to his photo shoot came from the Goodwill in the University District, as did his T-shirt. He found his AllSaints jeans and shoes — a special edition of Asics Tigers that have a tooled-leather look — at Buffalo Exchange (in the University District and Ballard, respectively).
Lynch brought one of his all-time favorite thrift-store finds to the shoot: An Hermès tote that he believes would retail for more than $1,000. He bought it for five bucks at the St. Vincent de Paul in Kenmore. His outfit, including the tote, cost less than $100.
Lynn Jacobson: firstname.lastname@example.org
View all the entrants
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