All Articles Tagged "thrift shopping"
Thrift shopping is a very cool endeavor that not only allows you to find one-of-a-kind pieces, but is eco-friendly as you recycle clothing items; but taking the time to search for items that you like, in your size, that are still of good quality can be quite a daunting task. There are often racks and racks of merchandise to be sifted through for that one great find. Yet, taking just a few key preparatory actions can make your shopping simpler, helping you to navigate in a way that scores you the best stuff.
Do your research – Check in with stylish friends, read blogs, do Google searches, read reviews at the Better Business Bureau website, post questions on social media. Whatever your preferred method, find out where the reputable thrift stores are in your area—ones that have been in business for a while, and are known for quality merchandise with fair prices. If you want to dig a little deeper, you may even be able to find the ones that suit your style specifically—whether you are looking for high-end items, items of a certain style or even from a specific decade.
Get friendly with the owner/staff – Thrift shop owners and staff are your absolute best resource at finding the items you want. They take in the merchandise from donations, they are savvy about the history of the pieces they sell and they often know when or from whom pieces are coming. Half of the battle in shopping at thrift stores is getting to the merchandise before someone else can pick it up. Give yourself a leg up by being friendly so that you know when items are arriving—bonus if they offer to put items you would love aside for you to preview first. You’ll probably even learn a thing or two in the process about the designers you love, specific periods or collections, authenticating items, etc. depending on the store.
Look for unconventional ways to wear conventional items – Can that dress you spied also double as a top? Would that pair of men’s jeans have the perfect amount of ‘boyfriend’ style slouch? Can you rock that fedora with a feminine menswear inspired business look? Would that bulky sweater be great if it were belted? Keep your eyes open for opportunities to layer or transform items that make them look totally unique when you put your personal spin on them.
When your money isn’t funny, you’d be surprised how much you’ll spend on clothes, shoes and accessories just because you can. You might dole out more than $100 on something just for name on the label or for something you might only wear a few times a year. But when money is tight, you can’t shop on ShopStyle, Topshop or Urban Outfitters like you used to, or spend all day in the mall shopping like you don’t have bills to pay. Thrifting is something that many women (and men) have done; from purchasing dresses, old VHS tapes, and even rotary phones- everyone loves nostalgia. But everyone loves a good deal too! Here are some reasons why I love thrifting, and you should give it a shot too.
Clearly, it saves you money
While you get a ton of deals through Groupon and emails from your favorite stores, nothing beats the feeling of walking out of a store with six fun and flirty blouses that you didn’t pay more than $20 for altogether. According to a study in 2010 by Black Men in America, African Americans spend about 29.3 billion a year in apparel and similar products. Also, most high quality shirts run about $50-60 dollars a piece, so why not take the opportunity to save a couple of thousand a year??
The clothes can be better quality than many major retailers
When you’re looking through the racks at your favorite store, the last thing you want to see is deodorant or any other obvious wear and tear on a virtually “new” item. When items are donated to places like Goodwill, Value Village or smaller stores like Rag-O-Rama, they’re thoroughly cleaned and some are even new items that were discontinued at national stores.
Helps you build on your own style
When it comes to thrifting, I noticed that you can look at almost every era within one rack of clothes. You can also see what was popular at the time and find new ways to spin an old idea. Fashion is all about telling a story- so why not tell yours? When leaning the history of some of my favorite shirts and pleated skirts, I’m able to build my own identity and show my personality through my clothes. You can also create a new style for yourself and it can even inspire other people!
Also helps you ignore the major trends
You don’t have to wear those skin tight leggings, miniskirts and lace-graphic T-shirts to be hip or cool. Most trends are repeats of fashion’s not-so-cute past, and just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on everyone. On top of that, just because something is hot now doesn’t mean you won’t reach for it a few months down the line with a look of shame and confusion on something that quickly went out of style. Thrift stores have a variety of pieces that you can make timeless or bring back from the vintage dead, so the young’ns can hold on to the neon colored looks and bandage dresses.
When times get financially rough, as they have for the millions of unemployed and under-employed Americans out there seeking work, it’s easy for “non-essential expenses,” such as clothes shopping to fall by the wayside in many-a-budget. However, with organizations like Goodwill around, that need not be the case. During a recent trip to the Goodwill Boutique in the West Village, stylist Emme Bonilla, a frequent contributor to the A Good Look by GoodwillNyNj blog, showed us a variety of looks for budget-conscious customers looking to keep their wardrobes on point. We have organized her looks according to various careers, showing that women of all job demographics can utilize thrift stores to remain stylish. Let’s take a look!
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. Basic black and white doesn’t have to be run-of-the-mill. Consider this crisp white sleeveless button down, which is anything but ordinary with its architectural collar, paired here with classic black trousers. The look is further elevated with black patent accessories, the importance of which Bonilla couldn’t stress enough for their tremendous versatility, saying: “Belts are huge because they can change the whole look around. This one is classic because it’s in a black color, it’s understated, but it pops with the shine, as do the shoes. They’re updated classics, if you will.”
The (Jones New York) Shirt: $12.99
The trousers: $12.99
The belt: $4.99
The (Michael Kors) flats: $19.99