Friday, February 6, 2009

Thrift Store Style

As touched on lightly in the last article. Thrift stores are great places to find fashionable clothes and accessories. That said they can be treasure troves or they can be a big waste of time. It all depends upon the store and how you go about it. First off, it makes a difference on where you go. Thrift stores in large affluent urban/suburban areas have a better selection of goods than those in smaller rural areas. This may mean a bit of a drive, but if you plan it right it can make a big difference and a larger savings. I do my monthly grocery shopping in conjunction with these trips so as not to waste gas. It also pays to have a game plan. Have in mind what you need. New jeans, a sweater or a dress for a special occasion. This will help keep you from impulse buying. Also remember if you do see something that looks amazing and you just have to have it, does it work with your current wardrobe? It is not a bargain if you have nothing that it will work with. Now here are a few rules:

  • Look for classic styles. It may be hard to find the current trends in a thrift store so stick to the tried and true. Sheath dresses, white blouses, cashmere cardigans and designer straight leg jeans are always in style.

  • Make sure your choice is in good repair. Check for stains, rips, tears and signs of obvious wear. If you are handy with a needle or sewing machine a simple separated seam can be repaired as long as the fabric itself has not shredded. When looking at jewelry check for loose or missing stones in settings and for worn out findings. Shoes should look almost new and not have worn down heels or missing insoles. I personally, only buy shoes if they look unworn.

  • If possible, try it on! Many thrift stores do not have a return policy, so it is best to find out if it fits before you purchase it.

  • Stay away from those 80's styles! I know they are nostalgic, but you do not need those tapered, pleated pants. Trust me. They will only make your butt look fat.

  • Now that you have a your game plan and rules you can maybe grab a few friends to join you and start shopping. The most important thing to remember though, is to have fun! None of this is worth it if you can't have a laugh.


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