In the past I may have alluded to my love for thrift/charity store shopping. Scouring aisles for that one item that just screams out at you, AND it only gets better when you see the ridiculous price tag.
My aim: to find beautiful items with potential. A good wash, nip, chop, scrub, lick of paint, polish or repurpose can give any item a new lease of life.
Here are a few of my tips:
- Time: Go when you have lots of it. No point rushing.
- Unique: I always look for items that stand out. Does it pop, is it unusual, fun patterns, does it scream a particular era? Often when you isolate these items or style them with simpler items, they just work. Often they become the ‘talk’ – “I would never have picked that up – but OMG!”
- Inspect: Look over each item closely. Check for stains, holes, loose seams, fading, rust, scratches or any other signs of damage. Can it be fixed? Does it add character? Note: Don’t be scared off by small flaws. Skirt too long or slightly too big? Take it up, take it in. Chunky printed knit has a small fray on shoulder? Sew it up from the inside. It will be barely visible due to the print. Vintage Tshirts – Holes and faded colours make it that much cooler!
- Google: Think you’ve stumbled on a vintage brand? Or a collectable? Look it up. Found red pants in your size and a flattering shape, but are not sure if you can pull it off? Google looks.
- Try: Try before you buy. Most thrift stores will have dressing rooms, so make sure you do try each item on. Even if you think you know your size, clothes, particularly second hand clothes, stretch and change shape. Note: Just like shopping for new items; look for your flattering colours & shapes …
- Ask: Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. Think that stool is priced too high? The store staff might think so too.
- Frequency: People drop things off all the time. Ask staff if they have a busier drop off day.
- Walk Away: Don’t be afraid to walk out empty handed. There is no point in spending money (even if it is a bargain) if you can’t use the item or you don’t absolutely love it.
- Fun: Most importantly have fun! Bring a friend and make the most of it.
Below are a few of my recent thrift store finds…