Easier Said Than Done: The Art Of Thrifting

by JESSICA SCHROEDER · October 29, 2008

Today, Jessica Schroeder teaches us the ways of Thrifting.

Going thrifting is easier said than done. If you’re lucky, you live in a town with a clean, well priced store. Maybe you’re really lucky (like me!) and have a store that carefully picks the merchandise. Either way, here’s some tips to help you break into the thrifting world with as little discouragement as possible.

1. Start Small - literally. Most thrift stores have bins of old poly and silk scarves. Chances are good you’ll find something here and give yourself the confidence to move onward. EXAMPLE: Dior Scarf ($0.95)

2. Shoes - Some of my favorite pairs have come from the thrift store, but I’ve also just gotten too excited and bought some pairs that didn’t end up so comfortable. Buy your day in, day out shoes at a store you equate with comfort and style and leave your thrifted shoes for fun. If they end up being a pain, at least you didn’t spend much on them. EXAMPLE: Black Boots ($60)

3. Coats - Look for classic trenches and pea coats. EXAMPLE: faux Burberry Trench ($23)

4. Dresses and Skirts - This area has a lot of potential. I love those old poly disco dresses from the 70s and secretary dresses from the 80s. Especially if there’s an elastic waist (fits more sizes). Also a great opportunity to modernize something by altering the hem or sleeves. EXAMPLE: Altered Dress ($13)

5. Blouses/Tops - Last year I was nutzo over those scarf necked blouses from the 80s and they were everywhere!! I have great luck with tops. EXAMPLE: Dior Blouse ($11)

and for the daring…

6. Pants - If you’re going to buy pants second hand, you need to be patient and full of energy to hit the fitting room. The cut of jeans and slacks has REALLY changed a lot over the past few decades and you might find yourself with tons of full thighed tapered bright blue washed jeans (elastic waist anyone). EXAMPLE: Acne Jeans ($27)

And for all items— make sure to inspect the garment for stains or tears. Don’t bet on anything coming out in the wash and buy those pieces with caution.

Since you’re not investing, be a little more experimental. The best part of thrifting is that its CHEAP! Have fun!!

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