Since Glitter Girls everywhere love vintage shopping, we asked a professional to share with us her ultimate thrifting tips. Tiffany is a fashion stylist, and owner of the online vintage clothing boutique: Rock Paper Vintage. This passionate thrifter has worked in the fashion industry for the last six years and currently resides in New York City.
Tiffany’s Guide To Thrifting
Vintage is not only my profession, but it’s also my passion! I realize that thrift/vintage stores can be intimidating and overwhelming, so I’ve compiled some tips to make your next shopping trip easier and a lot more fun!
New To Thrifting?
If you’re new to thrifting and feel intimidated, consult the experts before you go by looking through online vintage stores for inspiration. Study how items are styled and clothes modernized. Then decide which specific pieces you’ll want to hunt for. I recommend grabbing a shopping cart upon arrival (if available), this way you can grab as much stuff as you want without having to lug it around the store. Find out if there are any specials. Most thrift stores offer half off certain color tags on various days, which makes the deals that much sweeter.
Have A Focus
There is a lot of stuff in thrift/vintage stores, but you don’t have to look through everything. Stay focused so you don’t overwhelmed. Have an idea of what you want before you go shopping. If you’re in the market for a floral maxi skirt then head straight to the skirt section. Want a pair of jeans for DIY cutoffs? To the jeans section you go. If you don’t have anything specific in mind, just head to the section that appeals to you the most. Also, most thrift stores are organized by color, so you can save time by skipping colors you don’t wear.
Ignore Tag Size
If you like the print and the cut, it’s worth trying on. Even if it’s a little too big, too small or too long, a great tailor can fix that. Also, try to see the potential in a piece and keep an open mind. You might be a size medium but an extra large shirt would look amazing as a slouchy mini dress.
Ignore The Season
People clean out their closets as seasons change, giving away sweaters in the beginning of summer, and sundresses as temperatures drop. Sometimes the best stuff is waiting there for you because no one else has been looking for it! You’ll have to wait a few months before you can wear it, but it’ll be worth it.
Try Everything On
By now you’ve decided what you like and what you don’t. Now it’s time to check for stains, rips, tears, holes, snags, broken zippers, foul smells, and missing buttons. Examine the clothes so that you’re not disappointed later when you go to put it on and realize there’s a tear in the seam or a stain. If there are flaws, decide if it is an easy fix. Be honest with yourself — are you really going replace the missing buttons? I don’t care if it’s only $2, put it back and keep it moving.
Only Buy Things You Love
Don’t just get it because it’s cheap. Our closets are too small to fill up with stuff that we don’t completely adore. Is it flattering? Will you really wear it? If the answer is yes, then get it. Wash everything when you get home but be sure to check the pockets before you throw things in the wash. Mostly you’ll find Kleenex and receipts, but sometimes there will be surprises like jewelry, or even money!
You’re looking for beautiful clothes to wear in your fabulous life, and now you’re going to have a fond memory of where and how you got them.
Vintage Store Shopping
You’ll feel less overwhelmed and intimated in a vintage store because it’s going to be organized and filled with tightly-edited, handpicked pieces. It’s going to cost more than a thrift store, but they’ve done a lot of the work for you. The clothes have already been washed, stain treated, and repaired. The store owners usually have relationships with vintage dealers, so you’re going to find amazing pieces there that would have never been donated to a thrift store. These are pieces that have been passed down through the family or sourced from estate sales. If you’re looking for something one-of-a-kind and really special, vintage stores are always a must!
The thing I love the most about vintage is the mystery behind it. The clothes have a story and the next chapter is yours.