I’ve always been a thrifter. My mom taught me at a young age how to thrift, and I have found great success doing it. Thrifting is great for many reasons: you can find high-quality items for less than half the price and it’s actually a fun activity because you can find “treasures” in the racks and racks of clothing. You can even find one-of-a-kind vintage items that are unique to give your look more of an edge. By mixing some of these more affordable items with more expensive items, you can find achieve a very chic look, ALA Thrifts and Threads. Some of my most favorite fashion bloggers are avid thrifters, including Noelle Downing, Song of Style, and Pretty Little Fawn.
Some of my favorite thrifting stores in California and beyond include: Crossroads Trading, Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and various underground vintage shops that are so underground I can’t tell you about them here… No but really my main fav’s are Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange. The best part about these places is that you can sell your clothes for cash money or trade them in for credit at the store. I always go in for the cash, but end up finding something great like this ruffled dress I got for less than $20 (originally from Anthropologie) and these western mules which go for $140 on Nordstrom.com. If you are worried about wear and tear, don’t be… Most of these items are new or like new, and if not, you don’t have to buy them!
Speaking of my mom teaching me how to thrift, she put together this awesome list of thrifting tips that hit the nail on the head. Thanks Mom, I love you! Keep reading to see the full list of tips.
Helpful Thrifting Tips:
1. Set aside time to shop and go through all the racks, not just your size. Many times things are in the wrong area.
2. Consider the men’s department– ever put pearls with a men’s T-shirt or button down? Too cute! (My mom’s words and tone of voice haha).
3. Go in with an open mind, you never know what you will find.
4. Check out sale dates either by calling the store or online. Many stores offer bi-weekly sales or holiday sales.
5. Become a rewards member for benefits.
6. The demographics of a store are important, check out stores in an upscale neighborhood as those stores are likely to have the best items donated.
7. Don’t be afraid to alter the item. These deals are usually such a good deal that even a slight alteration will be cheaper than retail.
8. Don’t like the buttons? Or the belt? Change them! This is an easy way to totally change the look.
9. Jeans to capris- especially with the frayed denim trend these days, this is an easy change with scissors.
10. Frequent the store, items are usually constantly coming in so what is there today might be gone tomorrow!
11. Go with friends, they offer the best advice and critique.
12. Be open to different sizes. What size fits in one brand may not fit in another brand. Remember that the fit is more important than the number on the tag (my personal favorite tip)! Also note that vintage items were sized differently. A comparison of a size 2 today would have been an 8-10 back then.
13. Check the washability of the item and check for any stains, rips, or tears.
14. Most of all, enjoy the treasure hunt! You never know what you will find!
I told you my mom was the master! I’m sure she would be happy to answer any questions any of you may have. Until then, happy thrifting!
Photos: Laci Havens