Everyone is trying to save money, so "Thrifting" is becoming more and more popular. I have been shopping at Thrift Stores, Goodwills and Salvation Armys for a long time. I am almost always complemented on stuff I bought at the Thrift store. I wanted to give you a few tips on how to shop at a second hand store.
FYI THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE THRIFTING
- Know the cost of getting a hem for Jeans, Slack, Slacks w/lining, Skirts, Skirts w/lining and Dresses
- Know the cost of Dry Cleaning a Blazer, Pants, Jeans, Suit, Dress and Shirts.
- Know your brands. If you know your name brands you will know the difference between deal and a ripped off.Knowing name brands is key to knowing the quality of an item. I have listed a few just to give you an idea, I know these stores carry more than I am mentioning so do your research.
Walmart - George, White Sage, Faded Glory, No Boundaries, Just My Size
KHOLS - APT 9 , Sonoma, ELLE, Croft and Barrow
Target - Mossimo, Merona, Xhilaration
Express - Express
The Limited - The Limited
CATO - CATO
Lucky Brand - Lucky
Talbots - Talbots
Old Navy - Old Navy
JcPenny - a.n.a, worthington, st.john bay,mixit,mng by mago
Justice - Justice
Gymboree - Gymboree
Know everything about the stores specials and deals before you start shopping. Know the tags of the day, discounts, coupons, know the days when everything is 50% off, get a punch card, get signed up for any mailing list or programs they may have.
The key in finding the best deals is to shop often, as much as you can. They are constantly getting new items in. Shopping often allows you to be one of the first to see new items.
GET A BASKET
Always get a shopping cart if they are available. Put everything you like a little or a lot in the cart. Everyone is on the hunt in a thrift store, never rely on finding it again or going back, if you think you like it take.
HAVE A OPEN MIND
Look at everything, and think of how it can be used.
Dresses can be changed into tops or skirts
Dress hems can be shortened
Jeans can be shorts or Capri
Long skirts can be short skirts
Hair bows and flowers can be added to clutches
Blazers are always a good find
Slacks can be tailored/ hemmed or turned into Capri's
White tops can be dyed (please note, you cant dye stains)
The possibilities are endless with thrift store items.
TRY IT ON
Try on everything. My advice is to wear tights and T shirts things you can get on and off easily, the floors are always dirty, so an extra pair of sock or ballet flats to keep your feet covered. You have a 50/50 chance of the size being correct. Some of the items may have been tailored or hemmed, shrunk due to washing, and sometimes it just does not have a label.
CONDITION OF THE ITEM
Please make sure that there are no holes, stains in under arm, stains in the crouch, check the hem, check the pockets do they have holes, check the collar, button the item from top to bottom, is the color faded. Examine it carefully, you want it perfect.
REMOVE TAGS SLOWLY
Some of the tags have staples and can rip the clothing so be careful when removing.
Never buy clothing that need a lot of work, have stains (you have no idea how to clean), missing buttons. The problem with repairing an item is actually doing it; if you don't have the time or not willing to pay someone to do it leave it alone.
CHECK THE LABEL
Check the care label and see if the item is dry clean only or can it be washed. I personally have washed dry cleaned only items. Look up the fabric and does it have a lot of embellishments. Some items are truly dry clean only.
LOOK AT EVERYTHING
Go through each rack and move each item. Small items like tanks and silk blouse tend to slip off hangers and get crammed between items.
KEEP WIPES IN THE CAR OR WEAR DISPOSIBLE GLOVES
This may sound a little bit over the top washing your hands afterwarsd is always a good idea. Depending on where you are shopping wearing gloves may be a good alterative.
DONT TAKE CHILDREN
Thrifting takes patience and most children dont have any so aviod taking them if you can.
USE COMMON SENSE
Never put anything in your mouth
Wash clothing or dry clean before wearing.
If you are purchasing shoes and jewlry always disinfect the item throughly.
Always wear undergarments when trying on items
Just because it has a tag -- still wash it first (hats, gloves, and scraves too)
If you are rebuilding your wardrobe take your list. Ask questions, the people are usually friendly and willing to help.
March 12, 2012
March 8, 2012
Whether you have gained a little weight, lost a lot of weight, or a new graduate you maybe looking in your closet and thinking "I have nothing too wear". Before you break the bank here are a few of my suggestions to rebuilding a wardrobe.
1. WHAT CAN YOU WEAR
Assess what you can wear. Try everything on and be real with yourself. Solicit someone that will give you honest feedback. It is extemely important that you try EVERYTHING on and see if it can be worn alone..no rips, bulging or stains!
2. BACK TO THE BASICS
Make sure you have all the basics for your style. Find your style for your lifestyle, are you a professional, casual, stay at home Mom, what ever your style write down a list of basic items or things you must have. Here is an example of my personal basic list
Pant Suit - Black, Navy and Grey
Tops - White, Black
Tanks - Black, White, and a Fun Color
Dress - Black, Neutral Color
Jeans - Dark Wash (fit is most important, find some that will flatter your shape)
Skirts - Black Pencil Skirt
Slacks - Black, Navy, and Grey or Brown
Shoes = Black Pumps, Long Black Boots, Flesh Tone Pump (Bronze or Redish Brown)
Handbag - Nuetral Color - (it is better to have one nice quality real leather purse than 10 cheap knock-offs)
Bodyshapers (top and bottoms) , Proper Size Bra, Thongs and Bra Clips.
3. WRITE IT DOWN
Make a list of items you need to complete your wardrobe. This list will be your end all, if its not only the list keep it moving. Your goal should be to rebuild your wardrobe with your most needed items. A list will keep you on track and focus. Keep your list in your car or your purse so you will have it with you at all times.
4. SET A SHOPPING BUDGET
I know clothing can be expensive but it doesnt have to be. Planning is key. Never impulse buy, purchasing your items will be intentional that way you wont have to cut corners. Set aside a weekely or bi-weekly budget. This takes time but in the long run you will have key quality pieces you need. Also look into stores that offer layway.
5. GIFT IT
If you have a Birthday, Anniversary, Valentines Day, or Christmas coming up ask for gift cards to stores you frequent.
6. STOP LOOKING AT THE NUMBER
Knowing your size is important, but obsessing with your size will keep you from looking your best. Try on EVERYTHING you buy. Let me say it again TRY ON EVERYTHING YOU BUY! Sometims one size up is the key to a perfect fit. Sizes are not standard a size 12 may be a size 14 or 16 in a different brand. Unless you remove your clothing no one is going to know what size you have on unless you tell them. Know your measurements and write them down. If you are short try on petites if your are tall try on the long. When you go shopping dress for the occasion, I love wearing tights, wedges and a t shirt. Some experst suggest wearing your spanks to see how something is truely going to fit, but I have been doing this for so long I know my limitation and soon you will know yours.
7. THRIFT IT
The Thrift Store is a wonderful affordable option. Thirft Stores carry a variety of clothing, shoes and handbags. Buyer beware you can get a lot of stuff you dont need if you dont stick to your list! (Check out my post on how to Thrift Shop).
8. QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
When shopping to rebuild your wordrobe never think having endless amounts of clothing is a good thing, having clothing that is versital and of good quality is more important. For instance a black pencil skirt you can wear it to work, wear it to happy hour, or wear it to church all you have to do is change your top. These are the type are key to rebuilding your wardrobe. That is why making a list is so important. Also employ a tailor that can hem your pants or shorten a dress so you can get that perfect fit.
9. READ AND COPY
One of my favorite things to do is read fashion magazines and duplicate the looks. There are numerous of fashion blogs that have look for less article that can show you how looks can be accomplished with cheaper options.
10. OUTFITS AND TRENDS
If you are one of those people that buy outfits, STOP!. Please buy things that match more that one item in your closet. Avoid trends if you are in the rebuilding stage. Stay focused and stay away from pieces that you dont see yourself wearing again in the next 2 to 3 years.
11. ASK QUESTIONS
The most important thing is to ask questions. No one is off limits. The woman in the supermarket that has on shoes or a dress you like, ask her where she shops. If you have a friend that dresses the way you want to dress ask here to go shopping with you or give you some tips.
Rebuilding a wardrobe will not happen over night, even with a big budget it takes time. When you focus on the fit and the versitility of a garment a one day shopping trip will not do the trick. Be patient because it will pay off in the end.