Thrift LifeNovember 15, 2013

A quick shopping guide for the uninitiated thrifter
thrift-aisle
photo source
For some, entering a thrift store can be overwhelming and intimidating. So many racks! Mostly filled with pieces you don’t want! I am the type of person who revels in this search for gold, getting such satisfaction from an excellent find, earned. I am also so proud of a cheap treasure. (I believe being proud of how little you spent is a Winnipeg thing.) If it suits you well and is also cheap, it is perfect. To me.
As I fully support consuming used goods, and would like to make it easier for anyone to partake in this environmentally friendly retail habit, I thought I would share my own personal methods for weeding out the unwanted. I work in levels, to focus on what I’m looking for. But, this said, you do need to know what you’re looking for. Take a moment to contemplate:
-What classification of clothing is a priority? What do you need in your wardrobe? Tops, bottoms, outerwear, dresses, sweaters, etc…
-What styles suit you? What cuts/ necklines/ hemlines are your favourite?
-What colours do you gravitate towards? Saturated, earthy, pastel
-What types of prints, if any? Plaid, stripes, dots, animal, graphic
-What details do you want featured? Pockets, collars, buttons, embroidery, topstitching

(N.B. I think it is best to go in with an open mind (you may see something you didn’t know you wanted!), but remember that not every outing will be successful. I urge you to try a different store, or go back a couple months later to see what new things they’ve gotten!)
thrift-sign
photo source
So here we are, walking into your local goodwill or vintage shop. There are stuffed racks all the way to the back of the store, and you have no idea where to start. I am here to guide you through an efficient shopping trip. Although the racks may not be marked, a quick look will tell you how they are organized.
Men’s, women’s, children’s
then by shirts, pants, sweaters, skirts, etc
then by size (note: check the sections beside your size, I find they have bigger or smaller fitting things that might still work for you)
OR by colour.

After you have found the sections you need, you can quickly rifle through, with an eye (and hand) on the fabrics you love. When you see an attractive colour, print, or texture, check if the garment meets all your needs in terms of style, cut, and detail. If yes, put it on the try-on heap. Continue these steps until you have more than you want. A lot of the pieces may prove unsuitable in the change room.

Now try them on! Check for holes or undone stitching, and decide if you are able to fix it, or can live with the minor flaw. I feel like you will know right away if you like it or not, but I don’t know. Are people unsure about what they like to wear? This is something I’m curious about. Please feel free to leave comments, I’d love to hear your experiences!
thrift-haul
my personal haul today

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