it's no secret. i love finding a great deal. whether it's saving a few cents at the gas pump, a dollar or two at the grocery store or clearance sales at the mall--my heart starts to beat faster and i can feel the endorphins pumping.
at least half of my wardrobe is from thrift stores, like the salvation army or goodwill. that includes shoes, accessories and every 'genre' of clothing: work out, casual (jeans + tshirts), fun and funky, and professional/dressy attire.
i have been a 'thrifter' for quite a few years. and i would love to share some of my strategies with you!
erica's top ten thrifting tips:10. Never thrift in a rush or on an empty stomach. It's just no fun. Thrifting can be exhausting. In order to get my 'fabulous' finds, I search through basically the entire store. It can take quite a while, but it's also a stress reliever for me too. It's nice not to feel pressured to hurry, but to truly enjoy the thrifting experience!
9. If you have the time/energy, TRY IT ON. This works both ways. Sometimes a dress looks GREAT on the hanger, but when I try it on...it's most certainly a 'NO.' However, sometimes I will pick up, for example, a t-shirt in an XL (I usually wear a small/medium) and it fits great (lots of clothes at thrift stores have been washed and shrunk!)
8. Don't limit yourself to certain sizes. Like I said in #9, often clothes are labeled as a certain size but have been shrunk or stretched out by their previous owners. Sometimes (no fault of the store employees) clothes are put back in the wrong sections. I have found a few items that were my size in the completely wrong area. You never know where your 'fabulous find' is hiding!
7. Shop with an open mind. Even if you think you are looking for something in particular, you will often be surprised! You never know what treasure is hiding in the next section or row that you might have overlooked. You may just find something you never knew you needed or wanted! ;)
6. Don't just buy it because it's cheap. It's so easy to fall into this trap. Something is sorta your style, or kinda cute, and because it's 2.99, you can easily justify it to yourself. As I have matured as a 'thrifter,' I realize it's easy to grab items because they are cheap and say, I might wear this, someday. As my thrifting partner in crime, Kara, says: If you don't LOVE it, don't buy it!
5. Check the dressing room bars and 'new' item racks. I always glance to see if there are a lot of items hanging on the bar or rack right outside of the dressing rooms. Sometimes trendy shoppers have done all the hard work for me and scanned the racks for awesome pieces but they just didn't fit them. I always start there first. Also, as you become a 'frequenter,' you will notice when stores put out new items and where they go. At one of my favorite local Goodwill stores, they have two metal bars for all the new merchandise.
3. Don't forget accessories. Don't skip out on the jewelry, shoes, bags, and home decor sections. Sometimes I get so 'clothes' minded (ha) that I forget the smaller items (but they are often 'big ticket' items!) Check out the funky pattern on this Saks Fifth Avenue purse I got this weekend at Goodwill for $6.99:
2. See the potential and possible re-purposing of an item. I don't sew. So I'm totally not talking about altering an oversized shirt or hemming a pair of pants. However, Kara (thrifting partner in crime) made this adorable headband from a stretchy shirt.
And often times, I don't necessarily alter something, but just use it in another way. A prime example (which I mention in the video below) is folding a silk scarf into an adorable headband/headwrap. SO cute and SO cheap (usually no more than $1.99).
1. Set a budget. Yeah, this sounds like no fun. But sometimes, If I go in saying, I'm going to spend no more than $20.00, I won't walk out with a ton of extraneous items that I bought impulsively. Thrifting is tons of fun, but I don't let myself go crazy. :) It's actually kinda of like a game when you see how much you can get for a certain amount, like 15 or 20 bucks.
Some of my favorite thrifting finds from the last week:
my sweet chico's jeans with embellished pockets...$4.99
j c penny ruffled shirt (it's actually magenta...) $3.29
silk polka dot shirt from target (apparently i love ruffles) $3.29
i always wanted this shirt at target, but wasn't willing to pay 12 bucks.
SO i got it at Goodwill instead :) $3.29
purple gap sweater...so cozy. $3.29
Here is my television debut sharing some of my favorite finds from Goodwill...