My Tips for Thrifting.
For those of you that follow along a little more closely on Instagram - you’ve noticed that over the past few months I’ve been way more into thrifting and vintage finds. For many, I think venturing into a thrift store can be a bit overwhelming and the thought of having to go on an endless hunt can totally turn folks off from spending a Saturday perusing the racks of Goodwill. I wanted to share a few of my tips for thrifting in order to make the experience more positive for you, so you can enjoy finding a hidden treasure as much as I do.
Have a plan: If you have the time and the patience to scour every rack of the Salvation Army, I commend you, and you probably don’t need any of these tips because you’re already a champion. But for those new to the game, know what it is you’re looking for before entering the store. I mean this in a vague sense - maybe today is jeans and sweaters to get you through the last few months of winter. This way you only have to hit targeted areas of the store and if you don’t find what you’re looking for you can move on to the next shop. Please remember that having a plan is going in with hope - you may not find what you’re looking for right away so just remember how good it’ll feel when you do and stay positive.
Pay attention to fabric: Even with a plan of attack I don’t always want to look through every single garment; so, I walk along the racks eyeing and feeling fabric before looking at a full garment. You can quickly skip over things that already heavily pilled, are worn/washed out, or just don’t feel like higher quality fabrics which probably means they’re newer, fast fashion items. If I come across a fabric that looks good, I then pull out the garment to see the full piece. Also, remember to take a look at the care label - many vintage pieces are dry clean only, so take a look here and you can decide if you’re up for the maintenance or not.
Inspect for damage: If you’re comfortable with tailoring, this rule need not apply. But always remember to take a moment to thoroughly examine an item for damages. Looking closely for holes and evaluating if they can be mended, checking to see if there’s armpit stains. Examining the buttons to see if any are missing, and for coats and jackets I always make sure to give the lining a good once over.
Don’t pay too close attention to size: Especially when it comes to vintage. If you’re shopping a certain category I find it best to peruse options in all sizes and evaluate the fit after finding something I like. Vintage size scales are drastically different from modern American sizing; so you may wear a size 4 in denim now, but in vintage Wrangler’s are closer to a size 12. Disregard this and don’t feel bad, you know your body so you should have a pretty good idea what’ll fit, or if it’s something you fall in love with, if you could have it altered to cater to you. And for me, when it comes to bottoms I still believe in the age old trick of wrapping the waistline around my neck and seeing if it’s a perfect match to know if they’ll fit my waist. (This doesn’t always account for fitting over my booty - but once again we all know our bodies.)
Know when the sales are: Stay up to date with your local thrift stores promotions. Most of them have certain days of the week or month where certain categories are heavily discounted, usually close to half off. These are great days to go exploring.
Have fun with it: And just remember to have fun with it, once it starts to feel like a chore it’s probably time to go home for the day.
I found this vintage Express jumper at Goodwill two weeks ago and thought it would be such a fun piece for transitioning into Spring. Not to mention it gave me all kinds of nostalgic feels thinking back to my first retail job in 2009 working at Express in Ft. Myers, FL. Would love to know what great thrift finds you’re adding to your closets, tag me on Instagram so I can see! @kirby.wolf :)
Thrifted Express Jeans Jumper, Black Turtleneck c/o Cabi, Tahari Resist Boot, Brixton Wesley Fedora, Anthropologie Earrings, Name Necklace c/o Soufeel Jewelry