I have this favorite pair of Ralph Lauren jeans; the straight leg style in a beautiful light blue wash that are perfectly fitting on me. I paid $4.99 for them at Value Village, and I continue to wear them at least once a week because they are that amazing. Almost my entire closet has come from a thrift store. Over the past couple of years, I have decided to spend less time shopping aimlessly in malls. I like the idea that pieces in thrift stores are more unique, yet can still be on-trend, and are also better for clothing circulation and my bank account.
Many of my friends and family members ask me how I do it and to be honest, I think its simply just a gift I have of being able to pick out any piece of clothing and making it work some way in my closet. Whether it's cropping a graphic tee, or completely flipping a dress from the 90s, I can turn items I find at the thrift store into well-loved pieces in my closet. Every time I go, I find something rare.
I decided to get rid of most of the clothing in my closet and slowly build it back up with items I find at thrift stores. Through my experience, it has been more fun and exciting shopping at all the local second-hand stores downtown than it is to shop at places everyone else buys clothes from. I still shop online occasionally and I still go to the mall when I need a specific item, but thrifting my clothes has helped me expand my overall taste in clothing while also saving money and being more sustainable.
My strategy going into any thrift store begins with a list of items I want to keep my eye out for. I try to stick strictly to that list before losing myself in other, unnecessary racks of clothing. The idea of thrifting can be a little overwhelming for many people, but I've found that knowing what you want to look out for really makes the process more doable. Then, if I have time, I look through everything else. From the women's section to men's t-shirts, even to the child-size clothing racks, I make sure I look at almost all of my options. Sometimes I can spend hours looking through racks, continually keeping my eye out for high-quality items. I believe every piece of clothing has the possibility of being a new addition to my closet. I look at an item and think, "Is this me? Could I turn it into something that is more me? Is this something I even need?" I almost always try everything on as well. I finish by pairing down what I need vs. what I want, and if I find rare labels or high-end brands, I usually purchase them.
As someone who keeps up with trends and has a heart for fashion, I have developed a niche for finding on-trend items. Some of the same clothes places like Urban Outfitters sell for $65 can be found in most thrift stores for much more reasonable prices. If you are patient while looking through racks and continue to have an open mind, thrifting trendier items is not as hard as it seems.
I always look forward to going into Goodwill or Value Village and looking through all the possibilities of new things to add to my closet. It amazes me that someone else's old clothing can become some of my most loved pieces. Thrifting has become a hobby of mine that has let me express my individuality through my style and also get creative with fashion design and styling.