Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thrifting: the 411

top: thrifted, shorts: thrifted, heels: nordstrom rack, ring: f21
. . . T h r i f t i n g . . .

Tell me if I'm wrong, but non-thrifters tend to fall into one of a few categories:
a) Money's not an issue. Plenty of ching, no need to scrimp on clothes. Or, maybe these non-thrifters scrimp on other things, but choose to devote much of their income towards clothes.
b) It's intimidating. Let's face it. 75-90% of thrift store content is virtually un-stylable. Mostly, you run into Old Navy spaghetti strap tank tops from 6 years ago with pit stains. I mean, not even Alexa Chung could make this sweater look trendy.
 Plus, the stores tend to stink. The store is set up without helpful mannequins. There are miles of racks with way too many clothes packed in and strangely strict dressing room requirements, like 3 at a time, if there's a dressing room at all. This group of peeps does not believe the dig to be worth the finds.
c) New clothes means no mysterious etiology. The idea of sharing clothes with an unknown predecessor simply freaks this group out.
d) Second-hand clothes are second-rate. If it's not fresh off the runway, lookbook, or mannequin, this group is not pulling out their wallet. These are non-clearance-rack shoppers too. If it's Fall of 2011 and the look is from Spring of 2011, it's not going home with this non-thrifter.

It's kind of a hipster/vintage-seeker/money-saving trend right now. I've certainly stepped up my thrifting since starting this little fashion blog back in February, 6 months ago. Patrick and I have negotiated $100 for personal spending for each of us every month (Man are we stinkin blessed!) Obviously, not ALL of that goes toward clothes. So, if I want to make it go a long way, I've got to get creative. Thrift stores come in handy for that biznazz. I don't just go for anything, though. 

My criteria:
1. Love it. 
2. Unique. 
3. Undamaged.
4. Fresh trend.
Tips for your Thrifting Mission, should you choose to accept:
1. Get inspired. Start a Pinterest board for fashion and pin some of your favorite looks from fashion bloggers you follow. You can also pin looks from your favorite shops as inspiration (Romwe, Modcloth, Forever 21, JCrew, to name a few ideas). Scroll through the "New" & "Hot" looks on Catch up on some of your favorite fashion blogs. Jot down some of the items you could see a lot that you could see yourself in.
2. Don't go alone. Bring an honest friend whose style & thrifting category is similar to yours. It helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of. And a second set of eyes going through the racks is good in case you missed something great. Also, some people are just made for thrifting. They walk in and are immediately inspired. The hunt is invigorating. If you are lucky enough to have one of these pals, she is a goldmine. Allure her with a Starbuck's Mocha Coconut Frappucino.
3. Discounts. Check out when the thrift store has discount days. Sometimes if you bring in donations you can get a discount. Anything helps, right?
4. Hands free. Oh hohh we are getting oh-so-in-the-nitty-gritty and practical, now aren't we? Only bring in the essentials. You are going to war. You don't need a big bag weighing your shoulders down.

You never know what you will find. I mean, I had to pass up 3 adorable dresses from Savers this weekend from Zara, INC, and Anthropologie. The goods are out there! Go dig yourself up a gem from the thrift store. I believe in you.
(Cue "I believe I can fly" song to close)


Girly Muse said...

I've always loved the thrill of a good find in the middle of grossness. There's nothing like it! :)

Great post. XO

Mrs. C said...

LOVE thrifting!! There's nothing better than finding something you really love at such a great price. Plus they're full of "history" :) What are your thoughts on all things nautical?
Recipes Fashion Marriage

Rebekah said...

As a non-thrifter, I am B all the way. And a teeny bit of C, but nothing that a good run through the washing machine can't fix.

Thanks for the tips!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

You totally need to take me thrifting lady. I'm totally intimidated by it.

Cassi said...

I love red check. We should go thrifting together. I hit savers on 65 this week and scored two great dresses

Grace said...

Wow, I love your new layout!
Great shirt!

Courtney and Heather said...

Very cute!

"B" is totally me! Maybe one day I will concur my fears!


SiSi Sparkles said...

I LOOOVE finding stuff in my size at thrift stores! I always enjoy going with my sister. Great post:]

Chana said...

Thanks Linds! I needed this little tutorial; I am the apprehensive type who isn't quite sure how to but super willing and ready to try it out! I'm excited to see what I find :)

Swirls of Happy said...

Cute top and necklace!

KaNini's said...

I love the touch of country in this look! Such adorable blouse!

Leah Today said...

Here's the thing, fluttery sleeves make me overly happa. yes. happa. (:


Mandy at Life in the Fashion Lane said...

I am so not a thrifter. I just can't do it. I know that people FIND the best things. LOVE the red gingham with the sailor shorts. super cute

Sara Sophia said...

Agree :)

And thrifting is a way of life for me. The things that I've found hunting through bins and estate sales are irreplaceable. They have history and are for more unique (and less expensive: BONUS!) than if I'd bought via an antique shop or the like.

Thanks for sharing your tips~!

Anna said...

Great tips! My closet would be in a sad sad state if it weren't for thrifting!

Alyssa said...

You are so funny and animated through your words! I love it! Thanks for the thrifting advice! I have been wanting to go thrift shopping and this post definitely gives me more confidence to actually pull through with it ha! Sweet outfit and pictures! Amazing blog you have here!
-Alyssa from The BF Mashup

Van said...

Fun post! After thrifting for so long, retail shopping is boring!