This article, "I Want a Vintage Engagement Ring, But I'll Settle for $12 Vintage Jewelry," originally appeared on xoJane. For more stories like this, visit xojane.com.
Anyone who goes thrifting regularly knows that some weeks are better than others. It's all about luck and good timing. Sometimes you find a one of a kind treasure for mere dollars, and other times you come up empty-handed. In the past, I was fine with stopping by the thrift store and leaving with nothing if I simply didn't see anything that I truly loved. Now that I'm doing this weekly column, however, there is an added pressure to always walk out with at least one thing. I need material!
I knew that would happen going into this, and I decided to try not to allow myself to buy things for the sole purpose of needing something to write about. Otherwise I'll end up with a closet full of clothes I don't want.
All that to say, I didn't have great luck thrifting this past week. Plus my camera isn't working, so outfit pictures would be difficult to get this week anyway. Don't worry though — we still have plenty to discuss!
I've been holding onto a recent thrift store find for a few weeks for this very purpose. I usually skip the handbag section because I'm happy sticking with the same black purse every day, but I happened to see this backpack and had to get it. I don't usually wear backpacks but I had a trip to New York planned for the very next day so I knew it would come in handy (and it did!).
Plus, when I was in college I was obsessed with an expensive Urban Outfitters backpack that I saw another girl carrying. Checking their website just now, I'm not surprised to find that they no longer carry it since it was awhile ago. You'll have to take my word for it that it looked just like my thrifted backpack. The only difference is that the Urban Outfitters backpack was $75 whereas mine was only $5. I only had to wait, oh, five years for that $70 discount. Worth it!
As you can probably tell, my taste in backpacks is pretty basic and minimal; I feel like if the style get too cutesy then the overall effect comes off as too immature. That's just my opinion, though.
Secondly, I want to talk about a great alternative for those of you who don't have great thrifting options nearby: Etsy. I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of Etsy by this point so I know it's a total no-brainer, but it's still worth mentioning. eBay has great vintage finds to offer as well but for some reason I just personally prefer Etsy. I loved browsing it in college, although I don't find the time as often anymore. Once I found a pair of black oxford heels from the '60s, and another time I bought a camel coat with leopard print trim from the '80s. My Etsy finds are usually more expensive than my thrift store finds, so that's another reason why I don't shop there too frequently.
My most recent Etsy purchase was a $12 necklace from the '70s with my name on it. I've never thought of myself as a name necklace kind of girl but apparently I am!
Anyway, if you feel like wearing your name around your neck I highly recommend searching for a secondhand or vintage necklace first. There's a lot of fun ones to be found on Etsy; here are a few examples:
If your name was included above, now you basically HAVE to buy it.
Of course, you can find much fancier jewelry than that on Etsy. I love browsing the vintage engagement rings even though I have no plans to get engaged. Here are some of my current favorites, simply because I think it's pretty darn thrifty to find a beautiful and unique engagement ring for under $1,000:
OK, I have to admit things took a pretty random turn. I'm not sure how I went from backpacks to vintage engagement rings. Um, I'm gonna turn it over to you now.