Wednesday, August 6, 2008

thrift tutorial

i usually prefer to thrift alone. i find it is very personal and takes both patience and attention. that being said, i often have friends ask if they can go with me and i say yes though few of them ever really pursue it and follow through. 
but if anyone is seeking advice about how to make a thrifting trip successful it's your lucky day because i have some! 

this is important because many stores don't have fitting rooms and you need to be able to try on clothes in a pinch. 

i like to wear a tighter fitting tank top. white is good as it won't distract from, or show through, what you are trying on and if it's tight then it's easier to throw clothes on over and still get a decent idea of the fit of the garment you are trying on. 

i also like to wear a nice flowy, wide skirt so i can try on pants or other skirts on under it easily.if you've got on jeans or a tight skirt then there's no way you are going to try on another pair of pants in the aisle of a thrift store in front of other people. 

that being said, the MOST IMPORTANT item is worn in conjunction with the wide skirt....

bike shorts, bike shorts, bike shorts! seriously, thrifting for clothes is great but wearing them before they've been cleaned is not! bike shorts provide the same benefit as the tight tank - a very close layer that doesn't interfere with judging a garment's fit- but also provides protection from well... the crotch areas of strangers' clothes. 

it takes a long time to pick through the racks at a thrift store properly so i suggest you wear flats - cute flats! they're also ideal for being able to quickly try on other shoes... but as with the skirt and bike shorts, this one is a combo too!

take or wear some nylon footies or socks. they'll provide the same layer of protection for your tootsies that the bike shorts do for your lady parts. then when you get home you can deodorize and alcohol wipe the insides of the shoes - or even replace the insoles if you need! 


cash. yes, most stores take debit or credit cards but having cash on hand makes checking out faster and it helps you to make smart puchases. thrifting is tricky because things are priced lower than in a "regular" store and thus you can talk yourself into purchases you don't really want/need. many a time i've come home with big dreams of  "fixing" a garment to make it work when in all truth it just didn't work and should've been left on the rack. with a certain amount of cash in hand you can really decide what needs to spent and create and stick to a thrifting budget - afterall, isn't some of the allure that we are saving some money here?!

reusable bags. this is just responsible shopping - no matter where you shop. all the thrift stores i go to love to use an unreasonable number of plastic bags. bringing your own bag means helping the environment but also keeps you from looking like a "bag lady" leaving the thrift. i mean, you are a fashionable woman aren't you? and really, what is less fashionable than an armful of plastic grocery bags?

one thrift store i go to has great clothes but quite honestly it smells funny and most of the home-goods have a slightly "sticky" feel. i know i sound like a complete germ-a-phobe here but purell is a nice way to wrap up a thrift run. period.

and finally, an open mind. part of what makes thrifting fun is seeing the possibilities in clothes that other people would likely pass up! 
remember: one woman's "trash" is another's treasure! 



The Clothes Horse said...

I love thrifting. My trick is the "neck test." Your neck is half the width of your natural waist (it's true for everyone, no matter their size). So for skirts or pants, a quick judge of whether it will fit is does it fit your neck. It has never failed me and saves a lot of time on things that are impossibly big or small.

Arielle said...

Thrifting is the best! I like your points. And that's an interesting point by clothes horse. I'll have to try that too sometime

S said...

Great, informative post. I always forget to bring my Purell but I know what you mean about everything being kind of sticky and gross. I wash my hands a billion times once I get home from thrifting usually :)

Wendy said...

I like to thrift alone also because I feel like that gives me more time to try things on and stuff.


can you lend me 1500 dollars please ?

cheers from Paris


lalaliu said...

great thrifting tips!! I really feel like thrifting tomorrow :D

buoy said...

i LOVE this post!
and i totally agree with the "thrifting alone" thing. i'm all friendly and fun until i walk through those doors, and then it's "serious business time."
i've never really been known for my ability to multi-task though...

also, the hand sanitizer thing? brilliant.

Fashion jewelry said...

Like you blog very muck!

Eyeliah @ said...

Great info, the wide skirt usually doesn't come into my thought. Grossly enough, once I was at the thrift store without socks, it will never happen again!!