I've been shopping at thrift stores since the mid 80s when it was just me and a bunch of homeless people. In those days you could still find treasures of the 50s and 60s, authentic Hawaiian shirts, vintage classics, and hippie garb that faintly smelled like pot. Today the scene is a bit different. Thrifting has become socially acceptable. And thrift stores have become big business.
Here are my rules for wardrobe slumming in high style:
All thrift stores are not alike. Digging through piles of dirty clothing is unappealing to me, even if the clothing is free. Generally, the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores have things sorted and organized neatly. It isn't all that unusual to find things with the store tags still attached, like this silk dress I scored last week. I was much happier to pay $4.99 than the original price.
|Love this exotic silk tunic!|
Try everything on. Taking home a dozen "bargains" only to find out that ten of them don't fit, is disappointing. Go prepared to use the dressing rooms.
Shop for fabrics that might be cost prohibitive if purchased new. All of the silk and cashmere in my wardrobe comes from thrift stores or antique shops. I'm defenseless against vintage silk scarves and cashmere sweaters or gloves.
Check things carefully. I am distressed by the amount of things discarded because their owners didn't know how to care for them. You won't be able to save a wool sweater with moth holes, but I've come across many garments that were worth replacing a button or stitching up a ripped seam.
A full 80 -90% of my wardrobe is from thrifting and swapping. Clothing is one of those areas where you can spend next to nothing without sacrificing quality if you do it right.
Being well dressed is a beautiful form of politeness.