How we decide

I love thrifting. You may have gathered that. I experience flow while thrifting – it is the perfect combination of stimulation, decision-making, analysis, and excitement for my kind of brain.

According to some books I’ve read, expertise is a function of experience. Applying that to thrifting, my ability to quickly pass through racks of clothes and pull out a few gems (or at least nice looking costume jewels) is less a gift than a practice. And goodness know, I have practiced enough.

Take these tops I recently thrifted for example:

left to right: Rina Zin top, Anne Fontaine top, Marina Rinaldi top

These were surprise finds at a thrift shop where I don’t enter with high expectations. So finding anything interesting is an unexpected surprise. Perhaps a dopamine rush?

The first top I found is the silver-grey one on the left. I love anything a bit asymmetrical, as you might have guessed from my choice of hair styles. Rina Zin is a well-regarded, high-end Israeli designer. I have found a few of her pieces through the years, but it is not an every day find. In terms of re-sale, known Israeli designers tend to sell well. I decided to take it.

The white top is by Anne Fontaine. Anne Fontaine, a French design house, makes beautiful white shirts and other clothing. Anne Fontaine has stores in several upscale Israeli locations. When I see an Anne Fontaine label at a thrift store I grab whatever is attached for further examination.

The first thing I noticed was the size is marked 3. The 1,2,3,4,5 sizing indicates an older shirt – her newer shirts have European sizing 38,40,42,44,46. (I believe a lot of designers are missing out by not offering bigger and smaller sizes, but, for now, that is what there is.)

Some items date quickly but a classic white top by Anne Fontaine has longevity. With older clothes (and all white items) I check carefully for yellowing or stains. This top appeared excellent condition with no stains. Size 3 supposedly corresponds with a European 44 or 46, but I could eyeball the shoulders and see it might work on me. Regardless, good potential re-sale value. So I took it!

Thrifting has taught me that label size is just one clue when it comes to finding clothes that fit.

The pink top in Marina Rinaldi. Marina Rinaldi is an Italian label. According to Wikipedia she is a plus size designer. Thrifting has taught me that label size is just one clue when it comes to finding clothes that fit. I think this top fits me just fine. Re-sale for a top like this is not a sure thing, and if I was a very strict thrifter I would have left this one in the store. But right now I am having a weakness for pink. If I had not been thrifting at a charity shop I might not have taken it, but for under $3, and given my current pink phase, I decided to take that one too.

Now the real decision-making must come in. Which to keep and which to sell? What would you do?




  1. Deborah

    #1 and #2 are keepers. #1 is such a gorgeous top. It’s the kind of garment that transcends trend. #3 is a cute casual top…is probably keep that too. I enjoyed reading your reasoning on resale value. I sell clothing online too and designer pieces in good condition go like crazy.

  2. ladywone

    Wow, what great finds. I would keep the Rina Zin top, Anne Fontaine top and sell the other. but all are are beautiful. Congratulations on the site.

  3. Jaime

    Deborah thanks! I have not tried very hard to sell on-line because of the shipping problem but it is good to know it works out well for you.Hmm, I should probably try harder.
    Ladywone, thank you! And thanks for the advice. Given how much great stuff I am lucky enough to find I have to be brutal, but these two are especially nice.

  4. Serene

    Oh my gosh! You are my thrifting soulmate!! I know EXACTLY what you mean about the flow! i find that I NEED to thrift every few days (first of all because I sell and that’s how i get my inventory), but also because it clears my head. I’m in my zone when I’m thrifting….and as crazy at it sounds, I almost feel that I’m at my best.

    Regarding the keep…usually when I’m thrifting, I only buy things for myself that I know I can sell should I tire of it. That really keeps me from “potential shopping” which I used to tend to do. i’d see potential in everything and ended up with a closet full of so-so, not FABULOUS. Of all three, I really like #1 and #3 on you best. Which kind of surprises me because I love Anne Fontaine blouses and that’s one of the few brands that I’ve never found while thrifting. I just love the way the first and third hang on you. But the great thing is that the Anne Fontaine would sell on eBay in a heartbeat whenever you tire of it.

    Makes me wish you lived closer and we could do a thrifting excursion!! 🙂

    1. Jaime

      You made my day Serene! I also try to stick to things I am 100% sure I will use or I can re-sell. We have lots to talk about. Thank you for stopping by!

  5. LYNDA

    Hello Dearhearts! ~ I stumbled upon this post whilst happily drifting The Land of Gog (google) on the wings of a Rina Zin search.
    The answer to the question posed seems to me clear as a bell . . the heavenly Rina Zin blouse belongs with/on You!
    Of This blouse on lovely You, I find the Color perfection | figure-enhancing Fit | Workmanship appears flawless | the light, slightly sheer cotton/silk? woven Fabrication carries the design beautifully which – in my humble view – toes the line of ‘busy’.
    Overall, I see a feminizing, pretty & above all, well-fitting garment . . a bit delicate in nature; well-chosen for lunch or a day of horror-of-horrors, Retail shopping!
    This was fun ~ Thanks much for letting me chime in today!
    ~ Xo ~ Kansas

    1. Jaime

      It is my pleasure Lynda. Your comment is poetry – and I agree with you completely about the blouse toeing the line of busy. But I am curious – why were you searching for Rina Zin and what did you find (apart from me, for which I am delighted)?

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