Adventures in ThriftingAdventures in Thrifting: From Our Readers: Weird Thrift Store Finds, Special EditionLaura Owen

More weird thrift store finds from readers! Alert reader @TaraMarieFlynn says of this find “I don’t know if this should be classified as ‘Weird’ or ‘UTTERLY HORRIFYING’ .” I say, both!

This is a picture. To hang on your wall. Enjoy your nightmares, children.

The reason this is a “special edition” of Weird Thrift Store Finds is because…well, my expert services as thrifter were called in when my friend @theKFoss needed to buy some kooky ’80s prom dresses for a bachelorette party.

Well, actually it was a bachelorette party that was taking place at an ’80s prom. And it was a surprise. Not the prom, which was already planned, but the bachelorette party. The prom wasn’t for the bachelorette party, but the bachelorette party was taking place at the prom. I know, it’s confusing. I asked @theKFoss to explain it, like, eight times before I got it.

“So we need to buy a dress that’s suitable for a bachelorette at an ’80s prom and that we know in advance will fit this person that knows she’s going to an bachelorette party but not an ’80s prom? Okay, got it. Wait…what?”

Rinse and repeat, like, eight times.

So, obviously my expert thrifting advice was needed! After striking out at Savers, which had an unexpectedly scantly formalwear section, we went to Valu Village and I also served as model, as I was closest to the bachelorette’s size.

Here’s one of the options:

It looks beautiful on me, no? I look like the rejected prototype for a Disney Princess

Though we ultimately decided against this one for the bachelorette, another one of our companions did wear it on that magical ’80s prom evening, as evidenced here. She beats me, as she had eyeshadow to match the dress!:


My friend @theKFoss (pictured on the right) originally wore her dress for an ’80s prom in high school! And it still fits her!

Katie looks like an ACTUAL Disney Princess, not a rejected prototype

But we were still striking out at finding a dress for the bachelorette. Katie had her heart set on finding something “wedding-y” and finally found The One: an enormous (seriously, it weighted like 25 pounds) wedding dress, with sleeves and a train and lots of beadwork.

But it was $40.

Which is A LOT for a thrift store. That’s like the equivalent of spending $500 dollars at a regular store. And for a one-time, joke wear? Hmmmmm.

But you could tell Katie’s heart was taken. You just know when you’ve found the one.

Here, I entirely failed as a thrift store expert, because I forgot that Valu Village puts “dots” on each item of a clothing, corresponding to a certain percentage off. And unlike some thrift stores, the special doesn’t change depending on the day: the dots apply every day! Anyway, Katie remembered the dot policy, and we checked the wedding dress’ price tag: black dot. 75% off!

So our modern-day fairy tale has a happy ending. Katie bought the wedding dress for $9. And it was worn!


Seriously, this dress was enormous.

No, seriously.

And a good time was had by all!

So, what did we learn, girls?

1) Always check the discounts available at thrift stores. When in doubt, check twice! Is there a dot on the price tag? Check the store’s policy!

2) There is a fine line between horrifying and fabulous.

Got an ’80s dress? Kooky prom or wedding dresses you found at thrift stores? Weird thrift store finds in general? Hit me up at @LauraCJOwen, email me here, or leave pics in the comments!

In conclusion:

  • Anonymous

    This is such a cute idea, I love it! The pictures trnued out great. I wish i would of done something like this for my senior year in my prom dress. Thank you for the idea!

  • Lexi Bright

    $40? my mom saw a pair of striped pants (very ugly might i add) for… hold on… $300. crazy right?

  • Laura Owen

    Also, a friend pointed out that my dress is basically the same one Lindsay Lohan wears in “The Real Housewives of Disney.”

  • Katie Foss

    In sad/awesome news, I am responsible for both the matching aqua and matching lavender eyeshadows.

    • Laura Owen


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