Thrifty Schmifty

I tweeted the other day that I was spending my lunch hour doing some shopping…thrifting to be exact.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I LOVE THRIFTING!  What can I say, it’s exhilarating!   There are a couple of shops around my job that I frequent now and then and I was lucky enough to find the Chanel inspired bag I’m wearing today.  It was practically brand new.  The gold hardware was mint and the heavy black leather was untouched.  Jackpot!  I’ve received a few questions about thrifting, so I thought I’d share three easy tips with you.

PATIENCE:  One of the most important tips is to be patient.  Some of the best items I’ve found were shoved under piles of randomness, stashed in the menswear or hidden in the kids racks.  If you’re visiting a store for the first time, you want to take your time and go to each rack, especially if you’re not looking for anything in particular.  As you frequent the store, you’ll become more familiar with how they distribute their items.  You’ll be surprised that not everything is where you’d think it would be.   Still, patience is key here.

SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS:  Remember that the items you’re rifling through are used, so chances are they’ll need a little TLC when you get them home.  Make sure you try the items on before you purchase.  Factor in the cost to launder (professionally if needed) into the sticker price and determine if it the item is really worth it.  Be sure to check and double-check the items so that you don’t purchase them only to find that when you get home there’s a dirty little surprise.  And always find out the store’s return/exchange policy.  You’ll be surprised to know that many stores honor do.

AVOID:  I typically avoid all white clothing.  My experience has been that the white garments in thrift stores are dingy or just not the crisp white that I love, so I skip them.  If I don’t LOVE it, I don’t buy it…simple as that.  I don’t buy any undergarments (that might go without saying).  Avoid pleather.  Thrift stores usually shine pleather up to make it presentable for sale, but after you get it home many times you’ll see the material is cracked and damaged.

My friend, Kimberly, at Fab Finds Under $50, shared some of her awesome thrifting tips she learned.  Kimberly expressed her initial hesitations and of course her thoughts of the stereotypical “Thrift Store”, which I’m sure most of us share.  She suggests, striking up conversations with fellow shoppers and employees.  You never know who you’ll find at these stores to help you in your treasure hunting.  Just mention what you’re looking for and chances are you’ll have four sets of eyes searching instead of just your own two.  She also revealed that most Goodwill stores offer brand new Target brands, like Mossimo, typically in the shoe racks.  Check out her blog to see what other tips she has to offer. 

WhatImWearing:

  • top: Old Navy
  • leggings:  Hanes
  • shoes: Me Too
  • purse:  Emilio Bernini

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13 thoughts on “Thrifty Schmifty

  1. AWESOME post!!! Thank you so much for directing me to it!!! And I am so with you on the white clothing tip, I don’t think I’ve ever purchased white clothing at a thrift store because I like my white crisp & eye-blinding lol! I really love your blog, I actually found it on fashion bomb daily! This is definitely one of the blogs that I will be checking often!

  2. Love, love, love this look on you. Casual but chic and the sandals are wonderful. I just bought a pair similar to those at Off Broadway Shoes on clearance. Great time to buy sandals and put them away for next year. Good tips on Thrifting and that bag was a definite SCORE!

  3. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this insight. I’ve VERY new to thrifting and actually bougt the first items for myself during a lunch break trip.

    http://earstothefeet.blogspot.com/2010/08/blog-babble.html

    I’ll be sure to keep your tips in mind during my future stops (yes, plural) because I’ve also had a stigma when it comes to thrifting, that I’m working to get over.

    http://earstothefeet.blogspot.com/2010/08/change-gon-come.html

  4. I love instant gratification, so thrifting can sometimes be hard for me because like you both said above you don’t always find great things. But then other days I wake up just looking for a challenge! And it can really pay off (I am a proud owner of a YSL scarf that cost less than a quarter!!).

    This is a great post and thanks so much for including links back to my blog!

  5. I definitely love the outfit you’re wearing–very cute and casual.

    I’ve actually just started taking up thrifting. It’s been quite challenging; there are times when I may find something and, of course, times when I don’t (can become frustrating).

    My daughter seems to find everything, for herself, when we thrift shop. It amazes me.

    1. You’re definitely right about that. Some days I walk out of the thrift stores bummed out, but those days that I find those really awesome items…TOTALLY makes up for it. I dont know if you browse fashion magazines often, but what I normally do is after I’ve “studied” I take a trip to the thrift store and see if there’s anything there that I can refashion, cut up, bleach out, etc. to accomplish one of the magazine trends. I almost always find something when I thrift with a purpose! Happy Thrifting! I’d love to hear how your next thrifting adventure goes!

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