You’ve probably noticed that nearly all of my outfits include at least one thrifted item. I’ve written a whole bunch of posts about various aspects of thrifting, but thought it might be helpful to cull some highlights. Especially since spring and autumn are high shopping times for most of us, and present fabulous opportunities to hit the charity shops and score some fabulous, affordable, environmentally-friendly new duds!
Make time to thrift: Very few people can duck in and out of a thrift store in 15 minutes. Since you’ll be sifting through rack upon rack of poorly organized goods, allot yourself a chunk of time so that you can truly explore the bounty.
Try stuff on: Eyeballing it can be incredibly risky at a thrift store, so try everything on. My method is to wear leggings and a tunic or dress whenever I thrift. That way, even if the store doesn’t offer fitting rooms, I can throw things on in the aisles and make sure they aren’t horrifying on me. Try it all on, friends, including belts and scarves.
Keep an open mind: Take a wish list of items to keep yourself on track, but always allow the Thrift Muses to throw a surprise your way.
Experiment: Does something grab your eye because of color or texture, but scare you off because of how it’s cut? Try it on anyway. Are you drawn to that zebra print skirt, but have no idea if it’ll work in your wardrobe? Try it on anyway. Don’t buy stuff that makes you feel uncomfortable or is wildly impractical, of course, but thrifting is the best possible place to encourage your style to expand. Clothing is affordable, relatively sustainable, and the variety of offerings is VAST. Branch out a little. I mean, why not?
Don’t buy it just because it’s designer and a bargain: Oh man, have I ever been tempted to snap up undervalued duds simply because I knew their true worth. But here’s the thing: Unless you’re going to resell on eBay, you should only thrift items that you love and that work for your figure. A $5 Max Mara dress is a waste of $5 if it makes you feel like 15 hot dogs shoved into a tube sock. Use your common sense, and don’t be tempted by something just because it’s designer.
Originally posted 2010-05-21 05:56:00.
I found that neon yellow cardigan thrifting in 2008. It was Theory brand, in great condition, and only $9.99. And I hung onto it and wore it for years – through 2012 if memory serves – even though it was always a bit too snug and washed out my complexion. Such is the perilous allure of thrifting designer items. I’ve definitely succumbed to it myself quite a few times, but I’m trying to be more mindful now.
Most of what you’ll find at your local secondhand stores will be clothing and accessories from bargain and mall brands, since those are the most commonly worn and purchased families of brands. But occasionally you’ll turn up a pair of Joe’s Jeans or a vintage Armani blazer, and they’ll generally be incredibly affordable. Well within your budget. And you’ll be tempted to snap them up just because of that fancy label, which is only natural. But here are some questions you should ask yourself first:
Originally posted 2015-01-05 06:16:47.
I’ve been thrifting since high school. Buying used clothing has never bothered me one whit, and I encourage all stylish women to consider hitting the thrift stores virtually any time they need new duds. But I know there are many longstanding biases against thrifting, and I’m curious if any of you are loathe to thrift for these reasons:
The stigma of buying used
I’ve never experienced this one directly, but I’ve heard from many people who have. I feel like used clothing doesn’t carry the stigma it did years ago, but that could vary from region to region. I also get the impression that young people who are only just learning about money, clothing, and associated statuses might disdain used clothing. But it could be more prevalent than I realize.
Originally posted 2012-01-23 06:12:42.