Going to an in-person or an online thrift store for the first time can be a deflating and overwhelming experience. But please do not let that destroy your perception of shopping second-hand. Like everything in life, the skill of shopping smartly takes practice. The more I surrounded myself with thrifting resources, the bigger my hunger for shopping vintage clothing grows; despite my misconceptions about it in the past. For those that want to improve the art of shopping second-hand, I would begin by educating yourself with motivating resources. To help jump start that for you, I have provided below my sources of thrifting inspiration.
|Checking an Online Thrift Store
My current inspiration/obsession is a local and online shop called Sifted. Experts from online thrift stores like Sifted already have a keen eye on what pieces of vintage clothing hold significant potential. So if you are not enjoying the thrifting hunt, businesses like Sifted have it covered for you. They take the time to search through the ratty pieces to find gems that you would typically pass.
The prices from these boutiques are not the same as Goodwill, but that is more than acceptable. The prices reflect the time it took to search, the costs of a possible alteration, and then marketing it. All that takes a substantial amount of time, and I am down for supporting small businesses in this growing niche.
For example, I did a fashion show for Sifted a couple of weeks back. For the show, I wore these incredible worn jeans as part of my look. The girls had found them in the men’s section at Goodwill. The jeans had paint markings; however, with a little love, the Sifted ladies found a way to make it work. By altering the waist and then rolling up the bottoms, the scrappy piece became a runway beauty! I would have never thought of doing that, but now I do!
There are many thrifting boutiques out there according to your style. Check these stores online or in-person to understand what to look for if you decided to enter the scavenger game. You will begin to understand what to look out for when you choose to go out shopping.
I do not enjoy going into any store with a specific item in mind. More often than not, I will run into a wall of disappointment. Either I can’t find the article I’m searching for, or if I do, it ends up not being in my size. This type of frustration can be found in-person and an online thrift store as well.
In a second-hand store, everything is one of a kind. This causes a scarcity of sizing options which can be utterly annoying. Alternatively, if you find a piece that fits you like a dream, it is rewarding as it feels like finding a diamond in the ruff!
With that said, I would not encourage you to pin on Pinterest to specifically go out and search for an identical item. Because everything is unique and preloved in a thrift store, your expectations should change. However, that is not to say that you can’t explore Pinterest to find outfit inspirations.
Therefore, one of my sources of thrifting inspiration does include Pinterest. I follow many types of boards to inspire me to style certain pieces I may come across in a charity shop. Additionally, pinning can inspire you to keep coming back to thrift shops.
When I walk into a store, I look at items that have potential and question how I can style them. I no longer walk into a store try to carbon-copy a look I saw on Instagram. Now, my styling depends on what I find regardless of whether it is “hot” on the runway or not.
This type of thinking is freeing as a sustainable fashion blogger. I no longer am chained to the latest and greatest. Though I do like to keep up with beautiful new looks, I find that no fashion is out of style. Because social media is an active component of our fashion culture, I see a variety of fashionistas sporting vintage clothing from as early as the 40s to the 90s. Therefore, the world is my fashion oyster!
|Following Sustainable Fashion Bloggers
Social media is a large part of my inspiration and, more specifically, speaking – Instagram and Youtube. Like Pinterest, I follow thrifting and sustainable fashion bloggers. When I see a pre-loved jean jacket on my feed, it gives me an itch to hunt for something that unique as well.
For example, I love Youtube videos of thrifters filming their experiences like Tasha Leelyn. Listening to her thought process on deciding whether or not to purchase an item is a great way to expand your perception. Additionally, seeing her walk around the store and what catches her eye is interesting.
Finding a one-of-a-kind fashion is thrilling for me. When people compliment my second-hand fashion, I feel special. Not only is my piece unique, but I saved the planet from one more piece of vintage clothing that would otherwise be considered trash to another person.
However, I understand if you don’t have the itch to take the time and effort to sift through racks of clothing. That is what online thrift stores are about. No matter where you are in your shopping journey, shopping vintage clothing is a wonderful, eco-friendly way to evolve your style and help the nature at the same time.