Thrift shopping used to be a novel activity for me. I would get my girlfriends together for brunch, we would stuff our overfed bodies into our crappy cars and drive from thrift shop to thrift shop to immerse ourselves in the hilarity of 70's tracksuits, fanny packs and shoulder pads.
The last time I did this, my $20 budget allowed me to purchase an ‘I kind of want it’ item and sure enough it travelled unworn to the salvation army two years later.
The years have passed and It’s been a while since my last secondhand stint, so I wrangled Ash to help me stretch out our thrifting skills at the local Dove Shop. We wondered through the well organised racks finding only a handful of disaster items (ladies and gentlemen... I give you the muumuu).
Anyway! It was clear to me that the secondhand game is changing, as I looked around I was surrounded by designer labels and last season cuts (Ok don’t get me started on fast fashion, but for the sake of this blog we are going to overlook the fact that these items have basically gone from the store to thrift shop via a short stop over in someone's wardrobe.... rant over, back on track).
After perusing the racks for some time and trying on a few winning pieces my old perception of the big cold second-hand warehouse slowly faded and transformed into one of warm and cosy boutiques. It’s been a long time coming but I'm finally able to say that I’m sold on the idea of thrifting - it has a bright future in the fashion industry, with no friends and no 'thrift days' necessary.
So in keeping with the thrifting buzz, I’d love to share with you a few tips for your next second-hand jaunt so that you can be sure what you are buying is a long term wardrobe investment and not a temporary closet camper.
Tip number one: Buy classic and long lasting pieces.
Vintage and Retro styles are taking the fashion world by storm and lucky for us this means that we can buy stunning second-hand pieces similar to those that are selling for ten times the price in your local designer boutique! This is our opportunity to buy luxurious coats and classic dresses that are virtually ‘one offs’. Pieces with a simple yet elegant colour and shape and that fit perfectly are bound to have a long and prosperous life in your wardrobe!
Tip number two: Look for signs that the item will wear well.
Are there any loose seams? Is the fabric worn in any areas? Are there any stains? From what I can see most vintage boutiques are fairly picky about what goes on their racks but that doesn't mean that item wont fail under the pressures of everyday wear. So make sure to carefully inspect the seams and fabric and size-up the likelihood of future trouble.
Tip number three: Apply a strong shopping mantra and stick to it.
Mine goes something like this;
1. If you don’t LOVE it, leave it.
2. Quality is worth every cent.
3. Does it compliment your current wardrobe? In other words, can you create outfits with it, using what you already have?
Tuck these tips into your handbag and you are armed and ready for thrifting success.
So to conclude, the days of op-shopping trips are gone and the age of the Vintage boutique is upon us! They’re in a shopping village near you and they are well worth a look! Don’t let the price tag scare you, boutiques have spent a great deal of time finding treasures for you to peruse. A quality, classic item, that will compliment your wardrobe is always going to go down well especially if you cant leave the store with out it!