My Best Thrift Store Find. Ever.

History was made today on my lunch break.

Ok, so maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic, but I’ve wanted Dr. Martens since they first were cool in 7th grade (that’d be about 1995).  My parents refused to spend over $100 on a pair of boots that were “a fad” and that I might outgrow, and I got knock-off ones instead (which I did end up outgrowing).  Mine were the standard black with yellow laces, but a friend of mine in junior high had a pair of floral Dr. Martens that I envied like crazy.  They were just like these.  In fact, I’ve spent years keeping an eye out for floral Docs in thrift stores, and even in regular stores, crossing my fingers that they’d come back in style (and then go on sale).  They’ve come back in style, but I’ve never found a pair on sale… and I have never seen Docs in thrift stores (especially not in my size).  I certainly couldn’t justify the cost of those vintage ones I’ve found on eBay and etsy… they are usually at least $200 if not more.

I considered treating myself to Docs for my birthday, but still couldn’t really justify spending the money.  Especially because Practical Rach was saying “get black ones, they’re more versatile and will go with everything”, but Fun Rach was saying “get those fold-down floral ones you love… it’s your birthday!”  So I ended up in the circle I’ve been in… just going back and forth while not owning a pair of Docs, and not quite ready to replace my destroyed combat boots, because I didn’t want to spend $30 or so on something if I was going to be dropping $100+ on boots down the road.

But then there was today… I went to Salvation Army today on lunch thinking I’d maybe find a set of outdoor chairs for our front porch and maybe a truffle dish.  On a whim, I walked through the shoe section there to see if there was anything interesting.  And lo-and-behold, there was a pair of floral Dr. Martens, with a shimmery beam of light shining down on them from the heavens and a chorus of angels singing.  Ok, not really those last 2 things, but they were there!

I wasn’t 100% sure if they were real, but they had all the makings of being real during my rather quick once-over, and at the very least were real leather.  Plus, they have a side zipper, which I’m a huge fan of (especially in boots that lace high–and these are 14-eye boots).  I looked them over and there wasn’t much wear on them… just some slight scuffing on the toes, but other than that, they aren’t even creased or worn so much that the shafts flop over.  The soles show very little wear as well, and the insides are totally in tact.

ZOMG they fit! And they were comfortable to walk around in.  I couldn’t believe it!  I didn’t even look at the price, I just decided I had to get them.  I didn’t even want to take them off, but don’t like to wear thrifted stores without Lysoling them first.  I just couldn’t pass them up, even if they weren’t real Docs.  They were leather and floral combat boots.  Clearly, it was meant to be.  Imagine my delight when they rang up for $3.32 after tax!  I was anticipating maybe $15-20, but $3.32?!  Deal of the century… especially if they were real.

When I got into work, I immediately hopped online to see if I could figure out if they were real. A quick search for “floral Dr. Martens 14-eye” and sure enough, they’re not only real, but a current style (from the 2011 line actually)!  That likely explains the great condition these are in.  They’re the Dr. Martens 1B99 14-Eye Boot in Sand Botanic, and it appears I got one helluva a deal.  The cheapest I was able to find them online was on sale on the Dr. Martens website for $102.  I also found them for $118.95 at ShoeBuy, followed by $129.95 at DSW, and then a whopping $170 at Shoes.com!

And I paid $3.32! That’s less than what tax would have been if I found them at my local DSW.  Heck, it’s less than shipping would be if I bought them online at DSW right now!  Not too shabby of a deal, that’s for sure.  I suppose it goes to show that sometimes, holding out for that deal really can pay off!

What was your best thrift store find? Have you held off on purchasing something full-price only to find a killer deal on it later?  Are you the type to hold off on getting something until you find exactly what you’re looking for, or do you buy what you want when you want it?