The Art of Thrifting

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Remember when you were a kid and thrift stores were the last place you wanted to be found on a Saturday afternoon but your mom pulled you in anyway? Well now not much has changed except the only reason not to go on Saturday is because you’ll miss all the best deals. Thanks to the struggling economy, these once abhorred secondhand shoppes are now viewed as adventure destinations in which determined pirates can find more riches than those found in Aladdin’s underground treasure trove (I made that sound great didn’t I?).

Seriously though, many of us who have great fashion sense are trying to make fashion dollars out of less than fashionable cents. The best way to do that is to search the thrift stores during your free time for great bargains. I highly recommend going to thrift stores in more affluent neighborhoods. Most people donate near where they live and you probably don’t want to end up with some Girbaud jeans with the velcro strap unless “Nelly in 2003” is the look you’re going for. So, long story short, this is the one time it is ok to discriminate.

When you go, be sure to examine the pieces you’re planning on purchasing. Even if the blazer is only $4, you could be spending that $4 on a sandwich from Chick-fil-a so choose your items wisely. Make sure the item is cut either in contemporary style or is a classic style that will never have you looking out of place. Steer clear of major stains that cannot be removed easily. And try to come away with an item that won’t require much, if any, alteration. These things will add value to your trip and enhance the pride you feel in your ability as a great thrifter.

And, for those of you who say “I can never find anything for me at the thrift store,” I know your pain. Today was the second time I’ve found anything worth wearing since thrifting has been trendy. But, today I was able to walk away with a perfectly fitting blazer that I had been looking for for months and a weekender duffle (brand new, still in the packaging) that I had been looking for for just as long if not longer and I only spent $9, $13 if you count the dry cleaning. To me, it was worth the wait and it made the hunt even that much more worthwhile. So don’t give up. Your time will soon come young grasshopper.

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