As of late I've been hearing a lot of people refer to second-hand garments as vintage and referring to thrift shops as "vintage boutiques". While "vintage" clothing is one of fashions more recent obsessions, true fashonistas have always known that the hottest outfits aren't always comprised of this seasons latest fashions. They also know that you don't have to break the bank to look good. And that's why true fashionista's shop THRIFT.
Shopping at thrift stores or "vintage boutiques" is a great way for fashionista's to get glam looks on a budget. These stores offer amazing hidden gems that you wouldn't be able to find in Nortdstrom's or Macy's. And since the clothing, accessories and shoes at these types of shops are typically donated by middle class families who get little wear out of the merchandise, you can get great fashions in new or like new condition at great discount prices!
Here are some tips on how to buy clothes thrift-style and why you should shop thrift. (courtesy of Associated Content and GoGreenTravel.com)
How to shop THRIFT
1. Check every garment. I mean really check each piece of clothing that you are contemplating purchasing. Look at all sides, searching for stains and holes. Test the seams for strength by gently tugging at them. Make sure that the pockets do not have holes in them and that any belt loops are complete. Test the zippers, if there are any. Thrift stores are not going to intentionally try to sell you a faulty garment; however, the employees are often not as careful as they could be about checking the clothing before putting it out on the sales floor. Many of these types of stores do not allow returns, so it is especially important to inspect the clothing carefully before you buy it.
2. Know your sizes. Not just the clothing sizes that you and your kids typically wear-you also need to know inseam and waist measurements and how to eyeball a piece of clothing for fit. Many of the clothes at resale shops do not have size tags inside, or they may be faded, so if you can eyeball a shirt and tell if it will fit your child, so much the better. Knowing inseam and waist measurements will be helpful in determining if a pair of pants will fit.
3. Know your prices. Sure, the prices on clothing at the Salvation Army and Goodwill and some other thrift stores are so low that they are sure to be a bargain-but what about the prices at a consignment shop or resale store? Some of these stores sell their merchandise at nearly full price, especially if it is a piece from a clothing label in high demand. This is particularly true for some of the teen resale shops. Make sure you know what the clothing sells for regularly so that you can decide if something is a bargain or not before you purchase it.
4. Keep fashion in mind. I am not saying that everyone needs to dress like a fashion plate, but you probably do want to make sure that your kids' clothing is within the realm of what is socially acceptable. For instance, if all the teens in school are wearing straight-leg jeans, it probably isn't a good idea to buy a pair of bell-bottoms for your daughter. Or if your son really wants to wear concert t-shirts with button-down oxfords, buying him a bunch of sweaters isn't going to make him happy. Just because you find a good price on something doesn't make it a good deal if it isn't what your kids will wear.
5. Shop with a budget in mind. It is really easy to overdo it at resale shops and consignment stores-even at thrift stores. So, before you start shopping, have a plan as to how much you want to spend, and stick to it. You might be surprised at just how fast the costs can add up when you are purchasing lower priced items, so be sure to keep that in mind.
Why You Shold Shop THRIFT
1. It’s cheap. I’ve gotten 2 amazing blazers, a really nice skirt, a Dooney & Burke handbag and some really nice scarves for under $45.
2. The goods are in better condition than you might think. You can find garments, shoes, handbags and accessories that have only been used once or are even brand new in some cases. Many of the clothes come from middle-class homes where people can afford to toss aside barely-worn clothes for the newest trend - which works out well for you, as a thrift store shopper.
3. You’ll find things there that you can’t find anywhere else. When I think of great finds, I think of records (which I love, by the way), but it applies to vintage jewelry, unique t-shirts, and cool jackets, too.
4. It’s environmentally-friendly. By reusing existing items, you’re decreasing the demand - and therefore production. Fewer resources are burned creating new goods and you saved the awesome t-shirt you just bought from becoming garbage.
5. You’re supporting non-profit organizations doing good work. Within 10 miles of my home, there are thrift stores whose proceeds go to helping disadvantaged people find jobs (Goodwill), preventing blindness (Prevention of Blindness), and funding religious organizations and churches.
6. It’s fun! If you have bargain-hunting tendencies, thrift stores might be a little piece of heaven for you. I love finding a good deal and knowing that if I’d bought that sweater new, it would’ve cost five times as much.
For more info on shopping thrift and consignment shops check out these links:
So the next time you think fashion, Think THRIFT!
(Inspiration courtesy of Zacc Shah aka "The FashionSycko")