Shopping at thrift stores can be overwhelming, and seem like a bit of a hassle.
Packing your patience helps, but with a lot of stores becoming more organized & upgraded with dressing rooms, you may not need to pack as much as you think.
It was suggested to me to share my tips on finding quality items at the thrift store, so…here go’s!
I like to keep the following 4 factors in mind while shopping:
Silk, Cashmere, Cotton, Leather, & Wool. Check labels & tags. The ones that read 100% are the absolute best.
While checking the labels, take a peek at the brand name. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the brand before, but, if you have & the company has a history of producing quality goods, hold on to that item. What I love about thrift stores is finding old stuff from stores I love (i.e., J.Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc.), and also discovering brands that I’ve never even heard of before. Even though majority of the items are “old & used”, the quality is (often times) better than what’s being offered in the stores now. Of course, this depends on the condition that the item is in.
There are tons of items in the thrift store that look new; some are, as I’ve found some that still have the original store tags attached. If you find something that catches your eye, but it doesn’t look so “new”, can it be resolved by a spin in the washer machine…a trip to the dry cleaners? If it’s missing buttons, can you sew a couple on? Is the zipper broken…missing? Original store tags are great, but don’t be fooled by them. Checking the condition of each piece to see that it’s functional is a very good idea. If it’s not in “tip-top” shape, consider how much you’re willing to go through to restore it to good condition.
Make sure you’ve come prepared to try a lot of stuff on. I don’t know of any thrift stores that allow refunds, so you have to be pretty certain of the cut.
Say you’ve found a brand name item, great fabric, in mint condition, with the original store tags still on it…Hey, it happens!
You try it on but, it’s too small…BUMMER!
You try it on but, it’s too big/long…you have options! You can hem it yourself, or take it to the tailor. Either way, as aforementioned, consider how much additional time & money you’d spend on having the piece cut for your wear, before you buy it.
This last point is a bit of a struggle for me, as I have bought 2 pairs of nice pants that I intended to have tailored, but they are still sitting in my closet.
Note to Marie: Don’t be tempted to buy all the “good stuff” that you find, just because it’s cheap. Leave it, especially if the cut isn’t already spot-on.
Are you tempted to buy all the “good stuff” that you find at the thrift store?
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