Jun 3, 2012

Thrifting 101

Hiya! So I've been a little MIA the past two days, but I just like to think that I was busy lovin' life, mmmk? :) I left off on Friday saying how the gloomy weather had me feeling lazy as ever. Well, admitting to my slothfulness seemed to spark some motivation in me, and I decided to force my bootay off the couch. I then ventured to one of the most entertaining and exciting places that I know of....Goodwill.

Yes, I am talking about the Goodwill you're thinking of. As in, the place people take their outdated clothes when they don't want them anymore. As in, the place that carries the aroma of mothballs and staleness. As in, the place where you are sometimes afraid to touch a shirt because you aren't exactly sure what that strange stain on it is. Yes, that Goodwill. However! This is also the place where you can get 11 items of clothing for $22. Yes, friends, that is how much I spent on my recent endeavor to Goodwill. And--believe it or not--I actually found some very promising items. But since I know you're all dying to see what I bought before I show you my purchases, we shall now transition into a little segment I will call "How to Shop at a Thrift Store and Be Success" by Shelby. <<< long titles = better content of a segment, right? Let's proceed.

Tip #1: Always go in with an open mind. When entering Goodwill/Salvation Army/some other more upscale thrift store don't automatically expect to find all your dream thrift finds on one rack. Successful thrifting takes patience (see Tip #3) and willingness to think outside-the-box. An awkward shirt may work better as a skirt. A vest might be able to transform into a scarf. Catch my drift? Try to look at items with a different perspective, be positive, and you will always leave with a few treasures of your own.

Tip #2: Don't be afraid to try things on. I know all thrift stores might not have fitting rooms--everyone Goodwill I've gone to has had them--but it is important to see how a piece of clothing works on you. We are not mannequins and we do not have the body frame of a clothing hanger. Just because something is cheap doesn't mean you should buy it anyway. Try to find a mirror if there isn't a fitting room so that you can at least get an idea of how the item will fit. Also, trying a item of clothing on might give you a new idea of an unconventional way to wear it (Tip #1).

Tip #3: Be patient. As I mentioned before, everything that you might end up purchasing will not all be in one location. Finding thrift store gems requiring sorting through each and every rack with sharp eyes.The Goodwill that I shop at is quite large, with many racks divided by short sleeve shirts/long sleeve shirts/dresses/suits/pants/tank tops/t-shirts/exercise wear/etc. Trying to tackle everything at once can seem a little overwhelming at first, but I promise if you stick with it, you will find something awesome.

Tip #4: HAVE FUN! That was so cheesy, I couldn't even write it.

And now that you have endured that looooong advice sesh, let's check out my finds, shall we?

All for $22.
Let's dissect the above picture:

Men's button downs.
These are all your standard men's large button downs shirts. They were on sale for $0.50 each. I almost got six of them, but then decided to start with three. (Side note: I'm more than likely going back tomorrow and buying the other three). These are great for just throwing on over leggings or jeans. The yellow one I actually just finished making into a skirt. Wanna see it up close?

So glad you asked.

This inspiration for this skirt came from directions I found online. However, the directions kinda sucked  were very vague, so I kinda made it up as I went. This skirt is probably just a practice one since it's not very good. (And I have two more shirts!)

Continuing on:

Light blue capris.
Talbot's light blue capris. I knew I had to have these. So classic. So perfect for summer.

Navy skirt. White ruffled top.
First Issue navy skirt. Tribal white sleeveless top. I am so obsessed with this skirt I can barely contain myself. It's navy. It has belt loops. IT HAS POCKETS. Enough said. It is perfect. And the white shirt is such a great staple to have for wearing with any great skirt.

White silky shirt. Khaki skirt.
Notations white silky shirt. Casual Corner khaki skirt. This shirt is the perfect example of finding a workable item and transforming it. See those buttons down the front of the shirt? Yeah, those are actually supposed to be on the back. It also had shoulder pads--which I obviously took out. And I folded the collar down. The khaki skirt is so comfortable and a perfect staple for any closet.

Classy blazer.
Rafaella grey blazer. I've been wanting to incorporate more blazers into my wardrobe but am always discouraged by their prices tags. I love how I can add classy pieces like this for an inexpensive price. Timeless.
Women's blue button down.
Ann May short blue button down. This is great for a cover up, as well as just a button down. Love the shade of blue. I actually wore this outfit to the movies with the boyfran Friday night.

And that's my loot! Hope I didn't bore you too much! I obviously get really excited about finding great little treasures at thrift stores and am always trying to encourage my friends to get into thrifting. I love to shop, but I also love to save money, so this is the best of both worlds! 

For those who are still not convinced of the incredible powers of thrifting: If you are worried about uncleanliness of the clothing/not knowing who wore it before, just remember--employees of the thrift store have inspected each item. They don't just throw everything onto the racks without checking them for stains, dirt, or holes. The clothes must be clean and wearable to make it to the racks. If you're still unsure, just make sure to check out the clothing before you purchase it. If an item is on sale, it might have a defect. Also, always make sure to wash clothing before wearing. Even though it's clean, washing your finds will make them feel and smell good as new :)

I hope I have inspired someone out there to get into thrifting! I can assure you, with thrifting, there's always a new gem to discover :)

Til next time,                         

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