Like a lot of vintage aficionados, I love adding unique Adolfo pieces to my closet. This usually includes various boucle pieces, such as jackets or skirt suits…. until now. When I saw this silky Adolfo dress for sale on eBay, I knew I had it to my collection immediately. And I am glad I did because, it has quickly become one of my go-to pieces for when I don’t want to think about what to wear, I just want to look like I did. The hemline, pleats around the neck, blouse sleeves and gold buttons make a dress that is so loose and comfy it feels like a nightgown rather fashionable.

It is a classic navy, drop-waist dress, but the hemline has the fun, “car wash”detail (according to Pinterest, this is the correct term, but I am still skeptical). Best yet, it ticked all my other boxes when it comes to shopping. Great deal? Check (for the record, I scored this designer dress for $18). Sustainable purchase? And check. One-of-a-kind designer piece? Also check! Awesome addition to my vintage collection? Last check #thrillofthethrift

Since I really wanted to be comfortable that day, I paired this retro piece with new, but retro inspired navy lace-ups from top blogger Atlantic-Pacific’s collaboration with Halogen and Nordstrom. Two lovely young ladies told me that they never thought about wearing this style of shoe with this style of dress, but they loved the combo and wanted to copy it. That makes this #ootd a win in my book. A added the hair tie to contrast with the print of my vintage Gucci tote, also a score on eBay. As I mentioned in this post, my favorite shoe guru re-dyed the white bits white without marking up the floral fabric and the bag looks good as new.

In my first Thrift Thursday, I highlighted my top tips to navigating the universe that is eBay. ICYMI, Thrift Thursday is our weekly series where we highlight at least one of our favorite secondhand bargains and share our tips for finding the best gems, online or in stores. We will include vintage, thrift, estate sale, designer consignment and any other way to fill your closet with special items that are both better for the environment and your wallet.

My top tips for successful searching on eBay:

  1. Get Specific – the more details you know about an item the easier it is to narrow your search. One of my dream finds is a pair of nude Dior Conquest heels, but I did not know they were called Conquest until I had done a search of Dior, nude, buckle, wrap, heels (and pumps and sandals for good measure). And I sifted through quite a few Manolos until I discovered the ones I covet are called Hangisi.
  2. Keep Your Search Open – to immediately contradict my first point, do save a few open and vague searches. Like physical thrifting or consignment shopping, the thrill of finding that unexpected, #vintagedreams piece is what makes this habit so much fun. While searches like “vintage puff sleeve dress” and just “Oscar de la Renta” yield hundreds of results that I cannot possibly go through (just like I can’t possibly see every garment in every vintage store in Austin), they have netted me some of my most memorable scores.
  3. Saved Searches – whether specific or vague, saving your searches is a great time saver. I currently have 61 saved searches on eBay and I check them all almost daily. The ones I find I don’t check that often, I delete. I also add and delete saved searches as my needs and the seasons change. I have tailored my notifications for each search. For example, I get texts on the Dior Conquest search, but I don’t get any alerts for my vintage Gucci horse bit loafers search. You can also customize within each search. Popular ones I use are size, era or category. I collect DVF wrap dresses, so instead of an open search like I do for ODR, I clicked the dress option. I also know from experience that I am a solid size 10 in her wrap dresses, so I have narrowed that search too. There are other designers and categories where I keep the size open as the fit is all over the place, but that is a post for another day.
  4. Skim Your Feed – don’t have time to go through 60+ searches, you can always skim the feed that starts at the bottom of your saved searches list. With just a pic of the item and the price, that is enough info to know if you want to find out any more details as you “swipe up” on your feed.
  5. Learn About the Business – eBay is a fun way to explore certain designers and eras of fashion. The more you buy on eBay, the more you learn about the value of items on the secondary market that can help feed your habit, so to speak. I learned very quickly that St. John has a high resale value. There have been a few times now that I have scored St. John for mere dollars at thrift and estate sales and sent it to an eBay consigner for credit or cash…mainly credit.
  6. Keep an Open Mind – on everything. From designer to era to size, it never hurts to click and read a listing. Especially on size. When you deal in the vintage and designer market, you learn that you may require a larger than is good for one’s confidence size. Remember that size is nothing but a number. Vintage and designer items are sized so much different than what current designers on the high street use.

I hope this second round of tips makes your eBay hunting easier. Stay tuned as we showcase more fantastic eBay finds and recount how we found them. If you have your own Moby Dick item you are searching the seas of eBay for, we would love to know in the comments below.