The idea of second-hand stores is daunting to some. Items that have been worn and used by other people are seen as disgusting and dirty. There will always be unwanted items in a thrift store, but among the masses of less than desirable clothes, there are plenty of interesting items just waiting to be found.
Thrift stores are becoming more popular, due to both the state of the economy and peoples’ realizations that vintage clothing is taking a turn for the trendy. Instead of going to a major retail outlet and purchasing something that everyone else on the street will be wearing because it’s ‘in’, the clothes, shoes and bags in thrift stores are now unique. They may have been popular months or years ago, but by now you’ll have the chance to flaunt them and be special.
The misconception that only ‘poor people’ shop at thrift stores couldn’t be farther from the truth. Celebrities such as Katie Holmes, Reese Witherspoon even Zac Efron (for the “perfect vintage suit”) have been seen at second-hand stores. Drew Barrymore says “I shop at thrift stores because I will always find something different,” proof that ‘recycled fashion’ is hitting it big with a lot of fashionistas. It’s not just about the money – it’s about discovering something unique and versatile.
Yet needless to say, despite other benefits, the prices can’t be beat. You can
find a Calvin Klein top for $2, a Chanel bag for $10 – I’ve even found a pair of Nine West heels for $5! To say you pay a fraction of the price would be an understatement. The thrill of buying something brand new from an expensive store is great, but it’s not always the best option for your wallet. Plus, you feel just as proud knowing what a bargain you found.
Also, remember that whatever you buy at a thrift store is helping your community. The money you spend goes to charity, helping out those who really need it. It’s a double bonus; you get new clothes, and you’re doing a good deed!
Wearing vintage is like wearing living art. You never know the story behind the shirt you just bought, how much it could have meant to someone, or the adventures they had in it. You get the change to re-use and bring it back into style.
Here are some tips for successful thrift store surfing:
- Skim through the racks. Don’t look at every single item of clothing, as this will take all day. Walk past the clothes, and only pick out materials or patterns that catch your eye.
- Look out for brand names. Believe it or not, thrift stores carry a wide variety of designer items. These will generally be in better condition, and will last you longer.
- Get rid of that fear. People wash their clothes before donating them, and those that smell or are in terrible condition are often not even displayed by the thrift store. They have an image to uphold too!
- Be open-minded. Just because something has a small tear or a missing button doesn’t mean it doesn’t have potential. If you don’t like the sleeves, cut them off. If you don’t like the embellishments, you can sew on new ones. It’s all about your imagination.