The Thrill of Thrift Shopping
I always do my best to either hold my tongue or to be as gentle and kind as possible when people confuse a vintage store with a thrift store. Sorry, but vintage shopping and thrifting aren't actually the same. Yes, you can find vintage pieces in a thrift store but thrift stores are typically donation based or are stocked with items that have been traded in or sold to them. Vintage stores carry vintage pieces that are twenty years or older. And sorry if the thought of 90s Steve madden boots you wore in 1997 freak you out when you see them at a vintage shop.
The truth is I love vintage shopping over thrifting because like most folks, I'm a bit on the lazy side when it comes to shopping. Thrifting in my experience incorporates too much digging. I'm always on the hunt for vintage pieces when I'm thrift shopping and don't always find them. But I've come a long way with the help of a few very patient friends who took me thrifting and have shown me all their tricks to finding real treasures in a thrift store. Thrift shopping is now my second favorite to vintage shopping. I've become such a pro at thrift shopping that I've managed to score a few really awesome pieces from thrifting. In fact, some of the pieces in this outfit were scored from thrift shopping. Check out my outfit details at the end of this post!
Are you a thrifter? Or are you just getting into thrifting or not sure how to get into it? Thrift shopping can be so fun! Here are my tips for having a very successful thrifting adventure:
Know Where to GoNot all thrift stores are the same. Some are a bit on the messy side while some are well curated and super organized. Some people like the thrill of digging through piles of clothes or handbags while some people, like me prefer the more modern and fancy thrift shops. I recommend doing a Google search to find out where your closest thrift shops are located. I'd go one step further and search for images of the shops to determine which ones fit your ideal type of thrift shopping. Here's a list of thrift shops in NYC. Some of these are my favorites!
Have A Shopping ListI'm a firm believer that you should always shop with a shopping list. I sometimes have a list going in my phone or in my head of what I'm looking for on my next thrifting trip. It helps me stay focused and makes the thrill of finding exactly what you're looking for more magical.
Take Your TimeThis is the hardest part! Most shoppers want to quickly breeze through thrift stores, not taking the time to really look through everything. I totally know that feeling of being completely overwhelmed by tons of racks or messy bins. But as I've learned over the years, it's best to have in mind what you're looking for and stick to that section. If you're looking for dresses, maybe start with the dress section and take the time to look through each rack and touch and feel each piece. It forces you to really see what's hanging on the rack and ensures that you don't miss any treasures. More experienced thrifters love the thrill of looking through every single rack, shelf and bin. So, take a deep breath, take your time and dig in. You never know what you'll find!
If you're thrifting for clothing or shoes, you have to try them on. Most all thrift stores are final sale. So make sure to try on everything you find no matter what. A few years ago I fell in love with a 70's dress while thrifting that in my mind was the perfect score for an event I was going to. But if I hadn't tried it on in the shop I would have taken home a dress that was too small and that had a rather large rip in it.
Try, Try Again & Become A Regular
Don't be discouraged if you don't find anything. There's no shame in walking out empty handed. Thrift stores typically get new merchandise all the time. I recommend checking out a thrift store every week. As a former Housing Works Thrift Shop volunteer, I can't tell you how many regulars came into my shop location. They always enjoyed the thrill of the perfect find and became my close friend mainly to get the inside scoop on when new merchandise was hitting the floor. Also, because it's not guaranteed that you'll find anything at all in one shop, I tend to check out several thrift shops in one area. I'll do a Pink Vintage Heart Shopping crawl that focuses on thrift shopping very soon!
Happy thrift shopping!!
Outfit Details: Sunglasses - Beacon's Closet | Dress - Philly AIDS Thrift | Denim Trench - Rebel Closet | Purse - Housing Works Thrift Shops | Shoes - Steve Madden