Wednesday, February 27, 2013
10 Tips for Thrift Shopping
With all that said, I can state with enough confidence that I've got some thrifting skillzzzz, and I would like to share them with you, lover.
1. Scan aisles for color and texture: This is skill I acquired only in the past year or so. Thrift stores can be a bit over whelming. Instead of thumbing through every item on a 20 foot rack (particularly if you plan on hitting more than one shop in a day especially if you plan on hitting more than one shop a day) scan slowly with your eyes. Look for colors and patterns you love or good texture in the clothing. You know when something is well made by the feel of it. When an item catches your eye take a better look. No need to put your eyes on the entirely of every piece of clothing in a thrift store.
2. Inspect like mofackin' inspector gadget: For realzz. Look for loose or missing buttons, tears and/or doo doo stains. (Sorry I'm not sorry I went there). If it has any of these, move on. Which leads me to #3...
3. If it needs too much work or doesn't fit, don't buy it: Unless you are a DIY ninja or the piece is AMAZING OUT OF THIS WORLD DYNO-MITE, don't bring home things you'll need to alter/fix. You will most likely NOT get that stain out. You will most likely NOT take that dress in. You will however end up with bags full of clothes at Buffalo Exchange/Beacons Closet/Your neighborhood consignment shop hoping they will throw you some bones for the items that you never got around to altering.
4. Take your time (it's supposed to be fun and fascinating): Secondhand stores are like museums. For full thrifting satisfaction don't just look for a specific thing. Have a good laugh at some of items. Marvel in the weirdness of it all. It's fun to treasure hunt! I like to take my time and look in every section. If you're in a hurry or with someone who doesn't necessarily dig on digging in thrift stores all the fun will be RUINED!!! RUUUUU-EEEEEEEEND!!! (I yelled that at the sky with my fist in the air for added drama)
5. Wear your thriftin' clothes! Many thrift stores don't have dressing rooms. It's good to wear something comfortable and easy to try things on over (tights, t-shirts, flats, sandals or skirts for example). Don't be too prideful to pull a dress over your head in the aisles. Really, no one there gives a care. Also, bring a pair of socks incase you want to try shoes on. And for the love of all things holy, wear underwear.
6. Venture outside the women's section: You can find some great plaid button ups in the youth section, or cute little jackets and coats. The men's section has a plethora of oversized dress shirts and chunky Cosby sweaters. (I've found some great shoes in the men's section too!)
7. Home Goods is a DIY haven: I've always found home good DIY's to be easier than anything that has to do with sewing. The home goods sections in a thrift store is a wooden/metal/plastic junk pile of inspiration! Pretty much any item in this section can be painted and spruced up. (Candle holders, frames, vases, etc).
8. Ask when they restock: Typically thrift stores have certain days when they haul new items out (specifically furniture). Ask a friendly clerk! Show up early too for first dibs!
9. Go off the beaten path: Take the time to drive 15 more minutes to a more obscure part of town. Everyone LOVES the "novelty" of thrift stores, but many people aren't going to drive to the "less economically affluent" parts of town to really treasure hunt. My favorite thrift stores are in places I don't otherwise normally go. The Goodwill in Santa Monica? Not fabulous. Sun Thrift in Sun Valley? Booya.
10. Don't forget the jewelry: I use my phone to tell time. Watches? Fashion statement. I love buying those little gold and silver watches and wearing 2 or 3 at once. Retro men's watches are cute to stack too (see here). Also, you can find tons of far out broaches and maybe even a bolo tie in the jewelry case at a thrift store.
BONUS*** Do yourself a favor and if you're going thrift shopping go to more than one place in a trip. If you strike out at one place, chances are you'll do better at the next.