2011-04-08

Thrift Day. Brooch the Subject

(I'm going to admit it's hard to write this post because I keep getting distracted by the crazy beautiful wallpaper that Matt just hung in the living room... logic would dictate that I move to the dining room and ignore the brand new prettiness but I have settled into a butt groove on the couch by now... I shall just forge ahead.)

I can't believe that I haven't done a thrift post on jewelry yet! I always make sure I check the display case and the jewelry racks at the thrift store for treasures. I like garage sales even more for jewelry because it's the cheapest way to find things that sparkle but I admit, by Saturday, I am not always keen on getting up early to hunt for garage sales. That is one of my goals for the summer though, go to garage sales more often and to learn how to build a house.

I am by no means an expert on vintage jewelry, I am much better at finding quality in clothing. I do use a few little rules to determine what jewelry I would take home from a thrift store. I need to do more research because perhaps I have let the jewelry equivalent of a vintage DVF dress pass me by... and that thought keeps me up at night (though it might be the Diet Coke too...). If you are perhaps an expert on vintage jewels or have chanced upon a Raymond Templier piece (just googled for a name...) at a flea market, send me an email. I think I want to explore thrifting quality jewelry a bit more deeply...

And though I may have a lack of expertise, I have no lack of enthusiasm for thrifting jewelry. Brooches especially are a good thrift find. Brooches can be pinned everywhere, can be used as a solitary piece or thrown together for added flare (yes, that is an Office Space reference) and unless, you are buying some very expensive brooches new, the quality of a vintage brooch is far better than that of a $10 brooch at Zellers.

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1. Like my sequin obsession for clothing, I also have a rhinestone obsession for jewelry. If it sparkles, I am going to take a second look. Anything that is too blinding white or has that irredescent sheen, I put back. Those things are usually a sign that the piece is new and of lesser quality. Weight is also a good indicator of quality; the heavier the better...

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(the butterfly is a cheap piece I bought new... it's super cute but the rhinestones look perilously close to popping out vs. the claws around the vintage pin on the right)

While I won't reject pieces that don't have claws around the stones, the claws are a good thing. It may be harsh but if there is a missing stone, don't get it. No, despite what you tell yourself, you probably won't find a stone that matches it exactly. Leave the brooch behind. It's a cruel truth. Also, Santa doesn't exist...

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2. It's hard to describe what attracts me to brooches that aren't sparkly. I like what I like, I guess... If there is something that catches my eye, I mostly look for metal mark or a name brand. There is not a particular name brand I am looking for or a name brand that I reject, but the presence of a name brand is a good sign.

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I don't usually go for Avon jewelry (admittedly, my parents thrifted this and gave it to me as a kid) but I still would have bought it for myself because the fact that is ceramic, is unusual and the fact that it is a cat, is awesome! I also look at the general condition of the brooch; no chips or worn down paint or metal colours. And like with rhinestones, a solid weight on any brooch is a good thing.

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And because I am so excited about this... a little sneak peaker at our new wallpaper. I actually just stopped to clap my hands after I finished writing that sentence. Seriously. I'm also clapping because it's Matt's birthday party tonight and I am really excited to clean the bathroom and vacuum before company comes over. More excited or the party and the wall paper though! Have a fabulous thrifty weekend!

18 comments :

amanda said...

what?????? santa doesn't exist??????? wtf?
i too need to look into thrifting old jewelry. i don't wear a ton, but it's kinda fun. plus, i always have customers looking for some. you know, if there's a demand i guess i just have to supply!

kileen said...

you've found some real gems while thrifting!! i've only recently gotten into brooches and need to check out the trift store for some. great tips!

cute & little

The Suburb Experiment said...

This is going to sound really weird but I sniff the metal jewelry. If it smells, uh, metally chances are really really good it's going to make me itch/turn me green.

Otherwise, I was staring at a large wall of thrift store jewelry the other day wishing I knew more about sorting out the treasures. I'm going to keep the claw thing in mind for sure!

Jenn

Babes in Thriftland said...

Thanks for the tips! I am no jewelry expert myself but I want to start collecting some things. I love all of your brooches so maybe I'll start there! I will have to learn how to accessorize though...

xo
Erin

Loren said...

I'm always drawn to colorful jewelry, and usually vintage things tend to be duller or less vibrant from age. But I've been trying to branch out my jewelry collection so I'm going to keep your suggestions in mind.
Have you ever done a 'broach wearing' post? I've got a couple, but every time I put them on I just feel... gaudy. Maybe I'm not a rhinestone person.

kelsey said...

Yea for pretty wallpaper! It looks awesome!

blogbytina.com said...

I have a terrible germ phobia so jewelry is one of the few things I can actually buy @ a thrift store. One time I did buy a shirt for a halloween costume. I had to wash it twice tho, then gave it away... anyway yay jewelry!

CessOviedo said...

Those are real treassures! Brooches are so pretty, specially that butterfly one! I'm curious how you'll wear them!

Cess O. <3
The Outfit Diaries

Natalya's Closet said...

WOW, cool post and lovely items!! I always enjoy reading your blog :) XOXO, www.NatalyasCloset.com

Mother May I Borrow (Lauren) said...

Great tips for the vintage jewelry seeker! I usually bee-line right to the jewelry case to see what I can find. Thanks for sharing your treasures with us and keep up the great blogging.

SoulstoneLife said...

Wow, what an amazing collection. I am indeed envious. I also loved the Office Space reference lol.You are my idol...just sayin' xox

CC said...

Oddly enough I have never looked for jewelry at thrift stores. I will definitely try it now though. Thank you for the great post.

Hey There Carole! said...

I'm with Amanda, "What??? No Santa!" You had better be lying.

I keep thinking that I need to figure out the accessory thing and jewelry is great in the warmer weather. I have no problems with scarves but the jewelry thing... Need to work on it and thrifting would be a geat way to build up a jewelry wardrobe.

One question... What about the Easter Bunny? He's real... Right???

Cindy said...

No Signposts in the Sea did a post on vintage costume jewelry back in January.

http://nosignposts.blogspot.com/2011/01/small-guide-to-vintage-costume-jewelry.html

basiccravings said...

I love brooches! You have quite the collection here! Vintage rhinestone brooches are my favorite, and that is what I am lacking. Time to beef up my brooch collection!

wardrobeexperience said...

fun post. thanks for sharing. i'm a lover for your thrift posts...

http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

Pink said...

I went to Talize this morning for the 50% off tag sale and was totally thinking of you!
I have the same issue, no problem thrift shopping for clothes but I'm totally lost when it comes to jewelry. I must have spent 1/2 an hour reviewing pieces today and bought nothing.
Oh well, there's always next Sunday and a new tag day!

zeldahopper said...

Just browsed thru some of the previous comments... Seems like a few ppl were asking about how to wear them. Here are a few " non traditional" ideas: on a shoe , hat, cloth purse, on a multi- chain necklace(very Anthro), in your hair fastened with Bobbi pins, or fastened to a hair tie, on a belt or a scarf used as a belt. Hope this helps some sparkle-challenged readers out there. He he:-)