Woman Stunned to Discover Her $15 Thrift Store Dress Might Be Worth Millions

2 weeks ago

What one person throws away, another person might cherish. And sometimes, that cherished item is a beautiful gown crafted by a dressmaker from the Golden age of Hollywood. Kansas Michalke, a content creator and mother of two from Austin, Texas, has always had a talent for uncovering hidden treasures during her thrift store adventures.

The unexpected find in the thrift store.

The woman confessed that this passion for thrift shops stems from her childhood when her family didn’t have enough money to buy new branded items. “We were just simple little country people who go straight to the clearance section or thrift shops,” she said in the interview. However, she also mentioned that she was not ashamed of it.

This time, Michalke was doing her usual shopping routine. She was almost done with her shopping when she spotted a bright, shiny evening gown. Michalke remembered, “I saw the twinkle of the dress and I thought, ’Oh my gosh, this will be so fun to play dress up with,’ and I just tossed it in the cart.” She continued, “I didn’t look at the label. I didn’t look at anything. I was like, ’My daughters will love this.’”

It wasn’t until Michalke got home that she realized she had found something extraordinary. “When I typed in the designer’s name and I thought, ’NO WAY, THIS IS CRAZY!’” she recalled the moment she discovered she had just bought a gown crafted by a dressmaker from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The fortunate woman continued, “And then that’s when I started doing full research on Oleg Cassini and discovered just how iconic he was.” Michalke bought a vintage dress designed by Oleg Cassini for just $15. At first, it was the sparkle and elegance of the dress that grabbed Michalke’s eye. But as she inspected it further, she admired the meticulous sequin work and the delicate pearl detailing.

Oleg Cassini was deeply loved by Hollywood’s elite.

Oleg Cassini was a legendary fashion designer known for his elegant and innovative creations, as well as his close relationships with Hollywood’s elite. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Cassini became synonymous with American fashion, dressing some of the most iconic figures of the era, both on and off the screen. His clientele included Hollywood royalty such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Gina Lollobrigida and many others.

Cassini’s designs were celebrated for their timeless elegance and attention to detail. He was particularly renowned for his mastery of the sheath dress, which became a staple of women’s fashion during the mid-20th century. His creations embodied the epitome of sophistication and grace, reflecting the glamour of the silver screen and the allure of high society.

Michalke’s find is unique.

Michalke and Marilyn Monroe, both in gowns made by Oleg Cassini.

What made the $15 discovery even more thrilling was how perfectly the dress fit Michalke. She excitedly shared her discovery on social media, where many users chimed in with their own Cassini-branded pieces. However, Michalke’s find was unique among them. The detail of the dress suggests it wasn’t a mass-produced item. Upon researching the tag, Michalke learned that the dress might belong to Cassini’s “Black Tie Collection.”

She explained, “It’s definitely ’80s or earlier because of how the tag is hand-sewn in, and they didn’t use machine sewing until the ’90s, so I know that it’s either ’80s or before, but there’s nothing else I can find on it.”

Despite her efforts, Michalke couldn’t find anything quite like her shimmering gown. “I can’t find anything like it, and so I’m thinking that’s what makes it even more special. Is it potentially like a one-off piece? Maybe a runway piece. I just don’t know,” she mused.

Though Michalke hopes to uncover more about the dress’s history and value, her main joy lies in sharing it with her daughters during dress-up time. “My four-year-old Memphis is obsessed with fashion, and her exact words were, ’Mom, this is iconic,’” Michalke shared with a laugh.

Michalke lives by the motto, “Boycott being boring,” and this find certainly embodies that sentiment. Her passion for thrift shopping and uncovering hidden treasures at Goodwill has motivated her to create a thrifting guide for others, packed with helpful tips on navigating the clearance rack to find exactly what you’re looking for. “There’s not a bad thrift store. I’ve never met one, and I go thrift shopping at second-hand estate sales, at least four times a week,” she shared.

Another fortunate woman found a $6,000 designer dress at a thrift store for $25, and she’s not even engaged. To take a close look at the dress, click here.

Preview photo credit kansasmichalke / Instagram, AF Archive/Mary Evans Picture Library/East News


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Talk about a click bait title. An actual dress worn by Marilyn Monroe sold at auction recently for $325,000 yet the title of this article implies a dress not worn by the actress could be worth much more just because of some VERY loose association. I guess the more accurate title of "Woman finds inexpensive 80s prom/bridesmaid dress at thrift store" just wouldn't get the same results. I found a current season Herve Leger dress at the thrift store the other day. I guarantee that is worth a lot more than that tacky Oleg Cassini thing & I'm not writing an article about it.


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