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Burlesque on a Budget: Lulu's Finds

School started this week, and after 18 months of being isolated at home with my Little La Femme, I suddenly found myself with my daytime freedom back. And of course I celebrated this independence by heading to my local thrift shops. What a luxury! While I have always been appreciative of having freedom during my days, this first trip back to my favorite stores was oh so sweet! It was my reward for not completely falling apart at drop-off time (albeit I sobbed on the drive home! One day at a time).


My spirituality extends well beyond my writing, meditating, and burlesque journey - I believe that my shopping excursions are often blessed! I've always said I have "thrifting angels" - I picture this energy as little Tinkerbell-esque fairies who place wonderful treasures along my path. Sometimes I'll have a plan or goal in mind when I head out to scour second-hand stores; sometimes I'm open to whatever I may stumble across. Yesterday, those thrifting angels were busy and prepared the most amazing haul, including what I would say is the "holy grail of thrifting" - an extra special find that in my 30+ years of thrift shopping, I have never before come across!

So what did I get?

After a breakfast treat from Panera drive-thru, I made my way over to the Thrifty Shopper. Unfortunately, "special hours" were posted and I had about 35 minutes to burn, so I zipped across the street to the Salvation Army Family Store. And I'm so glad I did! Green and blue tags were 50% off, and all pink tags were 99 cents! As is typically the case, I assumed I would likely pick items in yellow and white. I proceeded to the dresses aisle, planning my trek around the outside aisles first: dresses, coats, accessories, shoes, and a quick look in the furniture section and artwork (I'm in the market for a living room chair and new bar stools - and always on the hunt for art!). Right off the bat, I found a beautiful black lace dress with pink tag - WOO HOO! While it is a lovely, tailored BEBE number, I plan to salvage the lace peplum skirt to use on a Roccoco-esque costume's sleeves I'm currently creating. I may also use additional black lace from the body of the dress to further modify my base dress so the bodice resembles a corset. We'll see! 99 cents, too!

My next little treasure was picked out of the scarves' section. While I don't have a particular plan for this item,* I've been working hard on my Cruella creation, and I just couldn't pass up the SPOTS! It was $1.99.

*Lulu's Tips: Use your intuition when thrift shopping. I was really drawn to this item, and while I'm not sure if/when I will ever use it, if something is less than $5, I will usually grab it. Often, down the road I'll pull out random pieces like this and find they are perfect for a project!

Hey, you never know!

I'm saving my last "Salvo" find for the end... so at this point I hopped over to Thrifty Shopper where I found a great quality, what I call "base gown," for a potential future project. It's David's Bridal and it has no visible stains or damage, it's my size, and it was 50% off - so only $3.50.

Again, I don't have a particular costume project in mind for this. But it's solid color (such a pretty shade of light purple, am I right?) and classic A-line shape, make it an ideal base for a potential piece. And at $3.50, I couldn't pass it up! Also note, GOWNS are on my Stock Up List! (see previous post: Burlesque on a Budget: Second-Hand Staples to Stock Up On (

So, back to Salvo, and that 99 cent Pink Tag Sale...

I wandered through the shoe section "just in case" I might find something, and low and behold, crumpled up on a bottom shelf...


... the most perfect, brand-new condition, Zara black patent leather thigh-high stiletto boots IN MY SIZE!!! These babies go all. the. way. up. to my butt!

Originally priced for $49.99 (a smokin deal!), but they had a pink tag, so yup:

99 CENTS!!!!

*mic drop*

I'm still riding Cloud 9 after this find. And if I can practice enough, I will definitely be wearing these for my next on-stage appearance.

I hope you enjoyed this first post of "Lulu's Finds." Here's to more treasures along all our paths in the near future. And special thanks to my Thrifting Angels! P.S. I will happily send them in your direction any time!

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