Have you ever visited a blog and your mouth dropped in surprise at a blogger’s thrifting find? “$5?! How did she do that?!” You were convinced that you, too, could visit your local second hand store and find some super cute items only to leave the store clothing-less and smelly like, well, a thrift store.
Thrifting has become super popular and for good reason (check out this blazer I just got last week!). You can definitely get more bang for your buck(s) by shopping at second hand stores. Sadly, for newbies it might be disheartening to thrift because walking into a massive thrift store can be a daunting task, but you can do it!
I’m guest blogging on Typhanie’s blog today, so
jump click on over to My Garments of Praise to read the rest of my tips!
I never set out to be a blogger that thrived on telling tales of thrifted treasures. After I started blogging and taking outfit pictures for my blog I realized that many of the things I wore were from Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local thrift stores. Thrifting is a fairly new term, but the act of buying gently used clothing is an old one.
This is a follow up to a previous post (FAQs About Thrifting) and the start of a feature here on the blog. After some quick research I found that Jentine over at My Edit has already started Thrift Thursday on her blog; while I won’t post thrifted items every Thursday (*cough*budget*cough*) I’ll attempt to showcase a few goodies I’ve found so that you’ll have a point of reference when I wear them and how I modify the items to make them “mine”. Read on to view my finds and see how I thrift.
Pictured from L-R starting from the first box:
1. White vintage blouse I bought at Salvation Army. I planned to add some life to the collar.
2. White vintage blouse I bought at another thrift store. I plan to wear this one under another sweater with the collar poking out.
3. Liz Claiborne dress circa 1995; the Marshall’s tags were still in the pocket.
4. Long sleeved vintage sweater. I plan to wear it over a long black skirt to give it the look of a dress.
Two long skirts that I plan to take to my tailor and have shortened (below the knee). I can already see myself wearing one of these skirts with a nice blouse and belt.
I found this dress for $6.70 at Salvation Army and I had to get it. It will be the perfect layering dress for fall and winter. I’ve already worn it once and I have mighty big plans to wear this dress until I can’t wear it no mo’!
Question: What plan should I have when thrifting?
Establishing a Plan
1. I subscribe to Lucky Magazine. My budget won’t allow me to pay $500 for a skirt, so I browse the magazine, tear out clothing ideas I like, and set them aside.
2. Prior to shopping I take a look at those photos. Depending on my mood I might set a goal: Today I am looking for a cropped blazer.
3. I used to thrift for the thrill of the hunt, and while I still love hunting I am beginning to be more consciencie about what I am buying and why. Don’t shop/thrift/purchase without a plan. You only need so many black skirts, denim skirts, and ruffled blouses.
4. Know your spending limit.I don’t like to spend more than $10 per item and I don’t like to spend more than $20 during one trip. I’m not a cash carrying kind of girl, but I am considering carrying $20 in cash and when that cash is gone the thrifting day is done. Don’t get too caught up in the price. Just because it’s $5 doesn’t mean you need it.
5. My general rule of thumb is quality first. I don’t purchase Forever 21 and H&M branded products too often at thrift stores. Second hand stores mark these brands up because they know people coming in will see Forever 21 and purchase the item for the name. There are exceptions to every rule, but only break the rules if you really must.
6. Know your thrift store. Saturday mornings and afternoons are the busiest days of the week to thrift. I found that Saturday pm is an excellent time to browse. Normal people with lives are busy doing exciting things and thrift stores are empty. I stumbled into a Goodwill at 5pm on a Saturday and pretty much had the store to myself. Most people donate their clothing on the weekend and second hand stores tend to have their racks updated with those goods by Tuesday. Check with your local store and find out with Senior Citizens Appreciation Day is—and then avoid the store.
7. Shop during the “off season”. People donate after a season has passed because they are preparing for the upcoming season; I found all of my fur coats in May-July.
My Plan of Attack
If you’re a thrifting newbie second hand stores can be a tad bit scary. There are tons of items to sift through and you might not know where to start. Listed below is my plan of action:
1. I enter the store and glance around for specials (50% off, Sales on certain tags, Specials). If a board doesn’t show a special I ask a store associate if they have a certain special for the day.
2. I head toward the skirts or dresses first. Why? Well, I don’t wear pants or shorts! That’s a pretty simple answer. I’m always on the lookout for knee length and longer skirts because finding them in department stores can be a difficult task. After the skirts and dresses I browse blazers and blouses.
3. Things I typically skip: shoes and purses. I’m not a purse fiend. I LOVE shoes, but I tend to buy my shoes brand new. I have this thing about used shoes, but I am not against buying them. I avoid shoes with toe prints, bad scuff marks, ruined heels, and loose insoles. I tend to scan the shoes at Goodwill closely because Target donates their shoes and I can find my flat teacher shoes for about $5. I don’t like to spend too much money on the clothes I wear to school because I am an active teacher (read: marked up, running with my students, chasing kiddos at recess, and so on).
4. After browsing the skirts/dresses/blazers/blouses, I will quickly scan the belts and then head to the front of the store and take a look in the class cases.
6. By the way: I grab first and decide later. I place everything in a cart or over my arm and make my decision at the end. I don’t have time to put something back and then go back and get it if I decide I want it.
There is no right or wrong way to thrift. Find the method of attack that works best for you and follow it.
Thrifty Bloggers I love
If you have tips to add leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you thrift. Or maybe you don’t thrift. I’d like to know about that, too.
This year I’ve decided to explore modesty outside the realm of outward appearance and fashion. We can all agree that modesty is more than the outward appearance; I’ll be the first to alert you of upcoming sales, I can scale and scan a thrift store from top to bottom in no time flat, and I do enjoy a good shopping spree every once in a while.
However, there is more to life than shoes, clothes, thrifting, bragging about a good deal, and *gasp* shopping. This year I’ve decided to become more modest in two specific areas: my money and my eating habits.
I have zero kids and no husband (woe is me…NOT!). After I pay my tithes and offerings, dump hundreds of dollars into my classroom, and pay my bills my money is pretty much mine to keep.
It can be easy to proclaim good deals and bargains, but let’s be honest: you’re not reallllllly saving any money. You’re spending money! So, while it feels good to by something on sale or get a good deal, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re spending money on, when you’re spending it, and why you’re spending it.
I’ve decided to scale back on what I buy and put myself on a budget. I have yet to decide on an exact number, or price point, for my beauty/clothing budget. I was thinking $50, but I’ve gone back and forth with the number for several days. I’ve given myself a deadline and I’ve decided to make my final decision by the end of the week and start my budget February 1.
I’ve also decided to steer clear of the word diet because I tend to fail at dieting before I even start. I have a pretty good workout regiment that consists of cardio/strength training Monday-Friday, but my eating habits are pret.ty.ba.d. I tend to not eat breakfast, skip lunch, workout, eat dinner, and go to sleep (again NOT GOOD). Somehow I got my mind trained to think that weekends are consume-as-much-food-as-you-can-by-Sunday-evening extravanganzas and I just cannot continue to eat and live this way (DOUBLE, TRIPLE NOT GOOD).
I’ve been reading a few health and fitness books, my friend Brenda sent me some samples of Shakeology to try, the trainer at the indoor bootcamp I go to has been giving me pointers, and I’ve become a fan of Misha’s blog. I don’t want to beat myself over the head for not following a restricted diet, but I want to feel healthy and content.
It all boils down to modesty; if your skirts and blouses are the right length and cover the right areas, and yet you’re still stuffing your face…um, well? That’s not exactly modest living, now is it?
Why Are You Blogging About This, Chandra?
I’ve been asking myself the same question. I’ve had this blog post scheduled for several days and have yet to click publish. I’ve finally realized why I feel the need to make my decisions public: accountability. The good ol’ blogosphere has its negative aspects, but I’ve found that readers can be supportive, helpful, and all around wonderful
I’ve decided to get over the whole judgmental reader thing. I have a blog. It’s public. People judge. *shrug* I’ve decided to adopt Rachel Wilkerson’s mantra and own my decisions and actions. Per Rachel: “Don’t waste your breath explaining yourself — that’s valuable time you could be spending on a million other things! Your explanation can always be that you’re just feeling and doing what you know is right for you in that moment. Plain and simple.”
Let me know if you have a budget; talk to me about your health/fitness regimen. Have you made any changes to your budget or healthy eating lifestyle recently? I’ll keep you posted as I make my final decisions.