longchamp tips fake vs real

In our latest thrift haul, we discovered seven Longchamp bags . . .  yes seven!  This is a first!

(Oh, and BTW, they were only $2.00 each at a Family Thrift OUTLET store!)

Now, we are not claiming to be experts, but with seven different Longchamp bags we knew that we had an opportunity to compare the bags and train ourselves to find the fakes.

First off, all of the bags had leather trim, properly stamped Longchamp hardware, and the frosted plastic tags inside.  At first glance, there were no obvious fakes.  None of the bags had the typical calling card of replicas, such as poor stitching, cheap fabric, misspellings, etc.

Here are some of the ways that you can determine whether your Longchamp bag is authentic:

  • Authentic bags have defined diamond patterns on the leather, the fakes often have a fish-scale pattern.
  • Authentic bags have no plastic tubes or cording in the handles, they are perfectly flat folded leather.  The high quality leather gives the handles their stiff shape while the replicas require a stiff cording in order to get their inferior quality materials to stand up and take form.
  • Authentic bags have a snap that is reinforced with a clear plastic disc.  Foldable Pliages have snaps near the bottom also.  Many of the fakes will be missing this detail.
  • Authentic bags are made of a matte finish fabric that barely reflects light.

Since the authentic bags were not all the same, this really was a fantastic hands on teaching session!   Also, we found that just because your Longchamp’s tag says Made in China, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fake.  Longchamp bags are made in France, China and Tunisia.

Enjoy this video as Jen explains the difference between the real and fake Longchamp bags!

 

Too Cheap Tuesdays in Pasadena … Longchamp, ZARA, Brooks Brothers & Black Label Ralph

A question that we hear all the time is “which outlet do you prefer to shop at?”  Honestly, we decide which store to shop at depending on where we are in Houston on a Thursday.   The stores are spread all throughout town (and all over Texas) so some of them are “geographically challenging” for us but we ALWAYS find a treasure, no matter what store we shop at.  Remember, it usually just takes time to look through everything.    Today we are showing you what we found at the Pasadena outlet store last year … and it was awesome so we will definitely stop by again when we are in the area!

Also, Houston is getting unusually cold weather the past few weeks and there are racks of coats for only $2!

Family Thrift Center Outlet
2157 Red Bluff Rd, Pasadena, TX 77506

Family Thrift Center Outlet locations are where savvy shoppers come to save.  Each Thursday, new inventory comes in and every item is priced at just $2.00.  On Fridays, prices drop a quarter to $1.75 an item.  Then, each day after that, the price drops another 25 cents until Tuesdays, when prices drop to just 50 cents an item.  Prices drop another 25 cents on Wednesdays, when every item in the Outlet store costs only 25 cents!  With shopping this guilt free, you can’t lose!  Family Thrift Center Outlets sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, along with shoes, purses and accessories.  Store hours differ per location (all of the outlets close early on Wednesdays).

 

Longchamp tote bag

Longchamp tote bag

Ralph Lauren "black label" pants

Ralph Lauren “black label” pants

Brooks Brothers tweed jacket

Brooks Brothers tweed jacket

ZARA tweed dress and gold clutch purse

ZARA tweed dress and gold clutch purse

 

ST JOHN COLLECTION sweater

ST JOHN COLLECTION sweater

Real fur cuffs

Real fur cuffs

A red cape

A red cape

A cheap winter wrap coat for $2

A cheap winter wrap coat for $2

Winter coats are CHEAP at the outlet store!

Winter coats are CHEAP at the outlet store!

Vintage purse

Vintage purse

Silk cocktail dress!

Silk cocktail dress!

 

When we share our “11 BEST Tips for Thrift Store Shopping”, you will see why we think the tweed jacket and dress are perfect staples for building a wardrobe.

  1. Don’t try to put together an outfit or you will get frustrated.  Look for individual pieces and then try to build an outfit.
  2. Focus on dresses, jackets and skirts…this is where you normally get the most value for your money.

 

Outlet Price Per Item
Thursdays $2.00 per item
Fridays $1.75 per item
Saturdays $1.50 per item
Sundays $1.25 per item
Mondays $1.00 per item
Tuesdays 50¢ per item
Wednesdays 25¢ per item

 

Here are some of our favorite tips for shopping the Family Thrift Center Outlet stores.

  • “You don’t need to get there when they open on Thursdays.”  We usually arrive around 11 a.m., after the store has been open a few hours.  The store is really crowded until around noon, after that, it seems to calm down.   In our opinion, we prefer to go after the “morning rush.”  The employees are continually putting out new merchandise on Thursday and Friday, so you can find the “good stuff” for a couple of days before the stock starts running thin.
  • Some people say, “I never find anything!”  We go through hundreds, if not thousands, of items every time we go shopping in order to find one or two designer pieces of clothing.  Do not get frustrated when you walk into a thrift store and don’t find that “amazing deal” within a few minutes.  Jen and I spend hours going through every single hanger.  Sometimes we will come across a gorgeous piece of clothing within minutes, but it usually takes a good amount of time to find that treasure!   Never give up!  If you’re patient and dedicated, I promise that you will find a treasure!
  • There are no dressing rooms or mirrors.  Wear something comfortable so you can try a jacket or blouse over what you are wearing.
  • Finally, be prepared to shop with some highly competitive shoppers.  There are regulars who treat thrift shopping like a sport.

 

Ralph Lauren Black Label pants for $1.75 (regular prices start at $325)

Ralph Lauren Black Label pants for $1.75
(regular prices for their pants start at $325)

 

 

Longchamp Tote for $1.75, retails for $145

Longchamp Tote for $1.75, retails for $145

 

Brooks Brothers Jacket $1.75, retails $498

Brooks Brothers Jacket $1.75, retails $498

 

Houston Family Thrift Outlet Store

Houston Family Thrift Outlet Store

St John knits Sweater for $1.75

St John knits Sweater for $1.75

 

Jen and I decided to brave the crowds and shop a Family Thrift OUTLET store on a Thursday.  We found a pair of Black Label Ralph Lauren pants, Longchamp Tote, Brooks Brothers Jacket and a St John sweater all priced at only $1.75 each!

 

We are being honest when we tell you that this is not easy thrift store shopping.  The aisles are jammed, the lines are long and its not that organized once all the shoppers start going down the rows.

 

#1  This is the OUTLET store, this is not a regular Family Thrift Store.    This is the clearance store for items that did not sell in the Family Thrift Store(s).

#2 Another tip is that if you go to the OUTLET store, disregard the prices on the items. Regardless of what the price tag says, everything in the store is the price of the day ($1.75, $1.50, etc.).   The price tags may be confusing your first time there…just ignore them!

#3 NO Dressing rooms or mirrors.

(HERE is a link for a list of both the regular and the outlet store locations: HERE)

Family Thrift Outlet Stores:

  • Thursday $1.75
  • Friday $1.50
  • Saturday $1.25
  • Sunday $1.00
  • Monday $ .75
  • Tuesday $ .50
  • Wednesday $ .25