Dress: Kate Spade, thrifted
Blazer: Theory, thrifted
Wallet: Salvatore Ferragamo, thrifted
Headband: Goody, old
As you know I love to thrift. Its my way of staying trendy without breaking the bank and also how I fill my wardrobe with affordable basics. I use the extra money I've saved to splurge on a guilty pleasure so I'm highly motivated when I hit the racks. People have asked me "Why?" and when I go through the list of designer labels I've scored and the price I paid their mouths hit the floor. I have found Christian Dior, Rag & Bone, Paige Denim, Dooney and Bourke, JCrew, Rabbit Fur Coats, 100% Silk and the list goes on. For example, I fell in love with the above Kate Spade dress on a family trip to Hawaii in Fall 2012. Retailing for $478 I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. Nine months later I found it at my local thrift store. Barely worn and going for $10.... jaw on floor. To help you in your search for affordable fashion here are a few of my tips and trick for thrifting.
1. Location, location, location - You hear this all the time in real estate and thrifting is no different. I have different thrift stores for different things. If I'm looking for furniture I go to one place, clothes another, home improvement a third, but lets keep this about the fashion. The best advise I can give you is know where the clothes are coming from. I like to target thrift stores in posher areas. The one I frequent has multi million dollar homes about 10 mins away and gets a lot of donations from ritzy places, like Park City, on a regular basis.
2. Come with a game plan - I like to walk into any store knowing what I'm there to get. When thrifting I normally bring tear pages with me. If you are a magazines girl, get a sharpie and circle the item you love. Tear that page out and bring it with you. If you are a pinterest girl, create a new board and pin the outfit with a description of what it is you love. Either method will help you focus in on what you are there for.
3. Keep an open mind - Yes you are standing in a thrift store. Yes there are racks and racks and racks of clothes. Yes most of them have been worn by someone else. But once you get over that, the fun can begin. Seventy-five percent of my husbands work wardrobe is thrifted. Of that, half the items purchased still had the original store tags on them or clearly came from a dry cleaner. You can find brand new items and for the items that aren't, a good cleaning never hurt anyone.
4. If its damaged put it back - What do I mean by damaged? If its got a stain and you are not confident in your abilities to get it out, put it back. I don't care if the item is super cute or if you can cover it up with something. If you can't get the stain out, put it back. If its got a hole that was not put there by the manufacturer, put it back. I really hope this point is clear.
5. Fit - When I go shopping I normally shop in all the sizes for tops and stick to my size and one size up in everything else. I do this so I have more options. If I find something that is a little big, but I love it and can't find anything wrong with it, I get it and alter it at home. Basic sewing skills and a machine can help you here. Its very easy to take a vintage skirt and make it more modern by taking the hem up an inch/two or taking in the sides of a boxy blouse. If you aren't very good at sewing you can always take the piece to a tailor or search youtube and DIY. If it doesn't fit and you aren't going to alter it or take it to a tailor, put it back.
6. Things I avoid - There are certain things I just will not thrift for. Swimwear, intimates (underwear/bras/hosiery/socks), shoes, anything to do with hair (brushes/combs/hair accessories/hats) and sheets. I just can't do it.
Remember thrifting is hit or miss. Don't give up or get discouraged if you don't find anything your first few times out. Once you nail down where and when to go, things will get a lot easier.
I would love to hear how you did! Leave a comment or send me an email with pictures.