When I talk to people about thrifting and secondhand shopping they can’t believe the things I find. I do have a particular eye for things and I don’t mind searching through racks of clothing for unique finds that make bold statements. However, the main reason I thrift is I love vintage clothing and that’s the best place to find them. Not to mention the price but I’d say second to vintage is the quality of older clothing.
While Zara is my vice when it comes to fast fashion, I find their quality is better than most. How things are made today isn’t that great in terms of quality. I’ve had things I’ve thrifted for years as opposed to when I buy retail, things start unraveling after a year. If I’m going to spend my money no matter how much things cost, it’s all about quality. As my daughter gets older I want to preserve what I buy just in case she wants to pull from my wardrobe. Expensive does NOT always mean quality, which was one of my main drivers for offering personal shopping as a service.
A lot of people say they don’t have the patience to look for things, which is why they have a hard time thrifting. Being that I actually love the hunt, spending my time saving people time and money is like a dream. I’m not the type of personal shopper who’s going to retail first, my goal is to find unique quality pieces that are beautiful. So my first stop unless a client is really looking for a specific brand, is vintage and thrift. There are so many treasures waiting to find a new home and be given a new life. The feels I get when I find “THAT” piece really can’t be explained, yes it’s that serious!!
I could literally spend my days doing just that and be content. I’ve been asked so many times where I thrift but It’s not really where that matters. For me it comes so naturally, I usually suggest starting at thrift shops close to home, and advise going all the time even if you’re not having much luck, they get new things daily. I sat down and thought if I had to make a checklist of how I prepare for thrifting what would it say? So for the many of you who have asked here are my tips to thrift.
- Give yourself at least 2 hours to search. I would break things down into categories if you’re new to thrifting. For example, spend 1 trip on tops and outerwear only. Some of the stores are large and can be overwhelming
- Look through all departments. I’ve found some amazing stuff in the men’s section so make sure you hit every department
- Haggle, I do this all the time and it sounds crazy because it’s already cheap but I’ll haggle prices lower for minor defects I know I can easily fix. If you’re shopping furniture this is a major key, I purchased both of my sofas for $60 each
- Too big? No problem. Don’t leave good finds on the rack just because they don’t fit! Most dry cleaners have someone who can handle alterations
- Be creative. Sometimes I see an ugly piece in a beautiful fabric. Be open to adding to or creating something totally new with your thrift find
- Shop for the whole family! I buy all of my kids play clothing from the thrift. No reason you should spend a lot of money on clothing they’re going to destroy. Save their nicer clothes for family and social outings
- Houseware for the win! The thrift is where I find a lot of my statement houseware and décor. Nearly every wine glass in my home has been hunted and they are all so unique and beautiful (the ones that ain’t broke, that was for you, and you know who you are *fist clinch & eye roll* don’t touch my glasses!!)
- Get over the smell of dust and animal dander LOL. A few trips to the cleaners OR a hack is to let it hang outside for a day, then let it sit in a bag with a fabric softener sheet, and let hang for another day outside. That is how I’ve gotten the smells out. But honestly as you wear/wash them it will go away eventually. I’m use to the smell, it doesn’t bother me anymore the deal is > the smell HA
I really could go on and on but I think this is a good start! The last thing I’d say is develop a relationship with the people who work at the thrift! My shop guys are so amazing and so sweet every time I come in. They literally know me and that I shop all the time so I get the BEST deals on stuff. I actually love that connection with them, we talk about furniture and a million other random things which makes my shopping trips the best for real!
So, I chose to shoot this look to show you guys some of my tips in action! I’m wearing a vintage Gap 100% leather blazer (thrifted) that is in perfect condition. I paired it with a leather double wrap belt which is constructed by repurposing old men’s belts, from Shareen. I purchased this leather skirt from the thrift because it fit like a glove, the only problem was I don’t really wear miniskirts. So I got creative, I had my mom add this camel wool open panel to the bottom of the skirt to add flair and resolve my issue with it being a miniskirt. Now people, really, get into these heels that were literally free. I thrifted these heels and when I tell you they have the most comfortable cushion I’ve ever placed my feet into, I ain’t never lied. Better than any pair of designer shoes I own, it literally feels like I’m walking on air, I don’t really do the skinny heel thing anymore but I was desperately searching online to find the maker of these shoes. My bag is vintage gifted to me by my aunt Fran.
I’m not being cocky but I look pretty damn good and spent nearly nothing achieving this look. Whether you decide to spend a lot or a little just know all the matters is the composition, how you carry it, and how it makes you feel. How I view shopping for just about anything is be financially responsible!!! That’s the accountant in me but it makes no sense to excessively spend when you don’t have to. It’s possible to be polished and well put together right inside your budget. Key word, budget, we all have different lifestyles, what you choose to spend money on will vary from someone else. But there are options for everyone to look and feel their best! I hope this was helpful to those of you looking to try out thrifting!