So you want to be a thrifter. Not sure where to start or where to go? Well, Tales from the Thrift is where we share our best tips and tricks to scoring great deals.Recently, House of Rehab had the pleasure of picking the brain of the Thrift Queen. She's an avid thrifter who let us in on the story behind some of her greatest finds, favorite thrift spots and her 5 thrift tips!
Q: When did you start thrifting?
A: I started thrifting inadvertently through my mother when I was younger. She would go thrifting for our clothes for school during my elementary and middle school years. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, around 19, [when] I started thrifting independently with more intensity. It was the first [time] I started wearing thrifted pieces to parties, class, and just about everywhere I went. I made it a mission to wear at least one thrifted piece a day.
Q: What do you look for?
A: Sometimes, I go with a goal to find a certain piece. But usually, I just thrift in the pursuit to find cute and different pieces I can wear out and about. Though when I thrift, I do try to find the most vintage looking pieces possible. I love the nostalgia of thrifting. Anytime I spot something amazing from a different generation, I buy it.
Q: What is your favorite item that you've thrifted?
A: Oh my, so many things. I would have to say three pieces:
The first is an antique wooden jewelry box I got from the Salvation Army. It's beautiful and like new.
The second was the most amazing blessing from the Thrift Gawds. There's a small thrift store down the street that I had been telling myself to stop in for the longest. It was at the St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store, where I thrifted a brand new, two piece, vintage, camel Giorgio Armani suit never been worn. It was originally $600 and I only paid $12.00 for it!
My most recent find is the third. The thrift store in my childhood neighborhood, where my mom first introduced me to thrifting, recently reopened. I was so amazed to find out it had reopened because it's been closed for over a decade! I thrifted not one, not two, but three vintage wool Ralph Lauren blazers. Two of which have the most beautiful embroidery on the pocket. I can't wait until the winter!
Q: Favorite thrift stores?
A: I love all thrift stores! My most favorite are Regeneration, Salvation Army, Value World, Volunteers of America, The Goodwill, and Plato’s Closet! I also love going to estate sales!!!
Q: Do you think thrifting is a trend or here to stay?
A: I believe thrifting is a trend that's here to stay. I think it’ll become more popular and mainstream in the future, especially with the use of social media and blogs as a promotional vehicle. The art of thrift is here to stay.I have been thrifting for the past 5 years and I absolutely love it. The majority of my clothes are thrifted. Everything in Macy’s, Forever 21, Somerset, etc can be found in the thrift store in some capacity.
Q: If you could raid anyone's closet, who's would it be?
A: I would love to raid Solange and Rihanna's closets!! Solange for all the afrocentricity, soulfulness, and vibrance. Rihanna for the edge, stilettos, and jewelry.
5 Thrift Tips:
- Be patient! Most thrift stores aren’t organized by size or style. One must be patient to search for items they want to find. It’s like a big treasure hunt! Which shouldn’t be rushed.
- Look at the labels inside the garment. Every item purchased at the thrift store must be washed before being worn. Its best to purchase items that can be washed instead of dry cleaned. Before you know it, you’ll have a 50.00 dry cleaning bill because all the clothes you bought had to be cleaned instead of washed at home.
- Learn the art of alterations. Thrifted clothing can always turn into a do it yourself project.
- Explore. Thrift stores are far and wide. I have thrifted in Chicago, LA, East Lansing, and more. Don’t limit yourself to just one region.
- Be Open. Step outside the box. If it looks old and out of date, buy it and pair it with something that isn’t. Oversized pants and shirts! Mix and Match vintage prints. Mens wear on women! Do it! Anything that is out of style is in style. Just make it your own and the rest will follow!