Thanks to David Gray for sharing this article with is.
There’s a skirt I have that never fails to get me compliments. Dark blue ruched fabric that falls to the knee, a tailored and nipped in waist, and a line of small golden buckles along the seam, that take it from being a mere skirt, to being a statement piece. It’s gorgeous, it’s comfortable….. and it cost me a fraction of what it cost the original owner.
Half the Money, All the Fun
Welcome to the world of thrifting, where you get to have all the thrill and excitement of shopping, at less than half the cost. Thrifting gets an unwarranted bad image. The word conjures up a picture of dusty piles of clothing in a shady corner store. Or, if you’re a horror movie buff, rickety and abandoned furniture that’s been hurriedly abandoned by nervous owners. The reality couldn’t be further from this. Thrift stores and flea markets are more like department stores and open garden markets, with the advantage of being heavily marked down. You just need to know what you’re looking for, and how much you want to spend.
Looking for a Yves St. Laurent clutch? You might find one. Looking for an old fashioned armoire with a dressing stand on top? You can find that, too. Not looking for anything specific? Doesn’t matter. You can still walk away with a box full of vintage brooches and buttons, that’ll change the tone of any basic outfit.
The key word here is ‘vintage’. Most thrift stores stock clothes and supplies that are in usable, when not excellent, condition. Thrifting lets you have a little treasure hunt day. Often there are branded originals and exclusively produced accessories with big name brands, that are available at heavily reduced prices and steep discounts, making the quality and design available to people like us, who can’t or don’t want to shell out four figures for a bag or coat.
Also, thrifting is a student’s best friend. Whether you’re in college or getting started professionally, thrifting gives you the opportunity to stock up a wardrobe from an ever changing selection of clothes. It’s not on only economical, but also unique- items from thrift stores are rare finds in a lot of cases, e.g.. Styles or cuts that aren’t found everywhere, or colors and single piece jewelry. It’s one of the easiest ways of finding a way to express your own style, without having to break the bank for it. Not to mention, there’s always plenty of used furniture to be found, as well. For students and people setting up home on a tight budget, this means incredible bargains.
You’re really limited only by your creativity. Old trunks that make for charming tables or corner stools, macrame book hangers, delicate organizers, and statement pieces that help transform a bare room. Furniture shopping from thrift stores lets you decorate according to your tastes, whether you like minimalistic or antique. There’s plenty of chances for creative expression here, too. A touch of paint or polish is all that’s needed for a transformation, if you want to make a project of it.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Most of the things you buy in thrift stores have great resale value. So that corner stand you wanted to refurbish, that you’ve lost interest in now? You can sell that off easily. There’s no malls or intermediaries in the middle. Certain thrift stores are also affiliated to charities or fund local causes, like animal protection, homeless shelters or open soup kitchens, etc. If you’re socially inclined, you can set up your own thrift circle, too. With thrifting, the only real investment is time. You have to linger a little to make sure that the quality of an item is good. There’s always large racks of clothes to sort through, and stuff flies through thrift stores rather quickly, so you may not be able to come back for a particular item. On the other hand, those aren’t exactly disadvantages, either. Which is why once you get the hang of thrift store shopping, I can assure you, you’ll be hooked, too!