I've been shopping thrift and consignment stores for years. I don't have to anymore-I can afford brand new things; but I like thrift shopping. Today I found this stunning linen/lace shirt from Coldwater Creek for around 10 bucks. Oh yeah! Love those crisp white blouses!
The lace is exquisite.
The embroidery is sweet.
Classic, simple, a little romantic.
Shopping thrift stores is nothing like going to the mall. You have to think a little bit differently. Here are some tips for successful thrift-store shopping.
1. Be open-minded. Most thrift store merchandise is one-of-a-kind, so you may not find what you intended to buy that day. But you may just find something else that is fabulous. Today I was looking for a little white cardigan. There wasn't a single one in the shop. Instead of becoming frustrated with what I could not find, I broadened my search.
2. Because of this, look at everything in your size.
3. Don't buy anything you don't absolutely love. Just because the prices are cheap, resist the urge to load up on a bunch of stuff that you probably won't wear. If you do, you're likely to box it up and send it back to Goodwill next year.
4. Spend a little more for quality. I'd rather spend $10 on one beautiful garment than the same amount on 4 marginal pieces. You get what you pay for, even when thrifting.
5. T-shirts are tough. People wear the daylights out of t-shirts. Thrift store t-shirts are often faded, pulled out of shape, pilled, and stained. Brand new t-shirts are relatively inexpensive. Use your 'new clothes' money for nice new t-shirts to put under your thrifted cardigans, blazers, and hoodies.
6. If the shop is filthy and the merchandise smells...go elsewhere. You deserve a nice shopping experience. There are plenty of great shops that demand clean, quality clothing.
7. Go to the mall for ideas. Make a list of things you'd like. Then scout around thrift stores for similar items. It's important that you do this. For awhile I spent so much time in thrift stores that I totally lost touch with current fashions being shown in department stores!
8. When someone compliments a thrifted outfit you are wearing, if they ask where you got it...be honest. Tell them about that great consignment store you've found. It's not shameful to buy second hand things if you need and love them. In fact, there are so many reasons to thrift-ship; it's environmentally friendly, supports local businesses, and saves you money while increasing your ability to have a great wardrobe--just to name a few.
9. Of course you'll launder anything you purchase before you wear it. So think twice about buying dry-clean only items.
10. Don't forget the accessories! Oh my gosh...did you know that you can buy a beautiful designer scarf for just a few dollars at the consignment store...about one tenth the cost of department stores? The same goes for jewelry and purses.