3.18.2010

Tips

 Blouse: Thrift (Joshua Tree) Skirt: Thrift (Joshua Tree) Shoes: Jeffery Cambell

About 80% or more of my wardrobe is thrift, and I have had a ton of people asking how I find such great pieces at thrift shops. Over years of thrift shopping I have acquired a couple pointers that I have decided to share with you all. I have been meaning to do this for awhile, but work has been insane lately, and today I finally have a couple of minutes to compile a couple of tips I am planning on doing a longer list but this is just a sample:


#1 Seedy Neighborhoods always have the best selection. I figure it’s because they don’t know what they have or the people shopping at these locations aren’t looking for fashion forward clothing. Also many people think new is better so they will pick up the j.Crew sweater before the vintage Dior.

#2: Shop off of the beaten path. I have always found great pieces at thrift shops in obscure towns. It’s less picked over, and a lot of times the clothing is legitimately from a previous era (I.E. 60’s 70’s).

#3 When overwhelmed look for prints/fabrics that catch your eye. This makes it easier to sort through all of the clothing.

#4. If you find a great piece that isn’t your size, there a million things you can do to make it work. For instance, throw a cardigan over an over sized blouse. Belts are you best friend for clothing that doesn’t fit. You can use a belt for cinching in the waist. Or for creating a dress out of a blouse. Or simpye wrap one around a sweater to create a modern silhouette. Also, layering is your best friends in this situation.

#5.Hit the thrift shops like Goodwill or Salvation Army before you go to legitimate vintage stores. A lot of times vintage clothing shops are too overpriced and from my experience, many times the dresses aren’t actually vintage, they just buy a vintage fabric, and put on elastic wasteland and mark it vintage.

#6. Hit up swap meets. This is where many vintage shops get there inventory, and if you get it at the source it’s that much cheaper.

#7. Look up estate sales, especially if you are looking for unique jewelry.

#8: Think outside of the box, if you love the pleating on a pair of trousers but the rest of the pant is an awkward shape, feel free to create shorts. If you find a shirt with a beautiful neckline but the rest of it is horrendous, then make the neckline into a necklace. Also, mom jeans always look good when made into cut offs. There are infinite possibilities and it’s fun to experiment considering the clothing is so inexpensive, if you spend $3 on a shirt, its a bit easier to cut up than a $50 shirt, and you will have a custom piece made just for you!

I hope this helps!!!

44 comments:

amanda said...

great tips! i love the one about seedy neighborhoods. i bet they really do have the best stuff. and i love that blouse you're wearing! so very cool.

Lucy said...

I agree, unspoiled shops make for hidden treasures. Sweet hat also. x

http://werethewildthingsmightbe.blogspot.com/

samantha said...

those tips are ace. i always use the scanning for patterns technique!


discardedjunk.blogspot.com

soph (owl vs. dove) said...

Thanks for the tips. I think I need to do more of 1, 2 and 6. Might try my luck this weekend :)

Salon Mystique said...

Great tips, I'm going to try out #6, never thought of doing that. Great outfit as always <3

Tayler said...

yep definitely would the same thing about my experiences. my wardrobe is like 4/5 thrift-vintage. I love it, and cant get enough. i mean thrift/ vintage is way more stylish, cheap, usually better quality, and unique. while department or chain stores are overpriced, there are a million of the same things so you are bound to see someone with the same outfit, and less earth friendly.

www.bighairandbikinis.blogspot.com

M. said...

your tips are great, I really have to try an estate sale!

lovelove, M.
http://marissaexplains.blogspot.com

rachel / Red Lips Vintage said...

i love these tips! you've definitely got an awesome thrifty style! (the best kind, in my opinion)

megan.tme said...

I'm still so amazed that there are people just like me out there that love thrift store shopping!! This community is amazing! You definitely have a great eye, and I look forward to seeing how you make your clothes work :) Thanks for the tips, I've never heard of a swap meet, I will have to check that out!

~ megan
http://transmissionme.blogspot.com/

Chloe said...

sooo cute, love how it all goes together

LyddieGal said...

I love your skirt, it's so cute!
Thanks for the tips - I can't believe so much of your wardrobe is thrifted!

Chic on the Cheap

Mel said...

Such a cute outfit! I love the polka-dotted blouse and the scarf! Thanks for the list of tips, I don't usually thrift but sometimes I go and get completely overwhelmed :(

Lemondrop Marie said...

Your thrifting tips are fabulous. Lovely outfit, the last photo is my fave~
Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

kate maggie said...

This is so helpful! thanks so much for sharing. I love thrift store shopping - alot of my clothes are from thrift stores aswell! I always find that small towns and seedy neighborhoods have the best - like you said! :) Can i also just say you look incredible today? You keep blowing me away!

Paula Macarena said...

ohmygod you look so gorgeous on that look! i really love it <3

avalonne said...

Great tips, Megan! Thank you so much! You do have one of the best wardrobes, I do envy you! You should photograph your closet, clothes, hats, jewelry, shoes... I'm curious to see how much stuff you have :)

Mamushka Marie said...

great advice, i follow #3,#4 religiously...i literally scan the isles just looking for specific fabrics and patterns, after a while it becomes second nature! :)
xo,
claire

Mamushka Marie

ShoesForDessert said...

Great post! I love your tips for thrifting.

disarming darling said...

totally agree with all of these. i've always had a strong appreciation for where i grew up (and am currently living in again) because it isn't a very "hip" town... so the thrift stores are full of amazing pieces because the majority of people here shop at the mall and the mall only.

LOVE the shoes/socks/skirt combo, by the way!

Sixes and Sevens said...

Thanks for the tips, I bet they will be very helpful.

Kelly Lauren said...

great tips - I definitely get the best luck with salvation army/goodwill in worse neighborhoods - pretty sure all the good vintage had been there for years and years!

xo

Charlie said...

good tips and such a lovely outfit :)

natasja said...

amazing blouse

Jodes said...

your blog is divine!!!
i've spent the last 15 minutes admiring your photos and outfits.

these tips are the best, too.
almost EVERYTHING i wear is thrifted also.
my sister and i found this amazing one in a small town close to us and refuse to tell anyone where it is.
there is the best bakery across the street and everyone at both places knows us by name since we're there so often for the 5.00 fill a bag deal and the imperial cookies!

love&light!

Charmalade said...

These are great tips! My mom is usually the thrifting queen, but I hope to get more experienced at the Goodwill shopping soon. I'm excited for this summer when I can do that more often!

And I think it's quite safe to say that I personally want to steal your outfit, I love it so. It's part Annie Hall meets schoolgirl, I really like how you casually tied on that cravat!

Toast with Charmalade

Zanah said...

OMG these tips are amazing ! You are the Queen of thift shopping !! :) Mon Mode Blog

Kara said...

This really helps, thank you! I am on a very limited budget, but buy clothes like I am making 3 or 4 times what I actually am. I have tried thrift shopping in a couple of places in my neighborhood in an attempt to find pieces for less but have always walked out empty handed and frustrated. Will try again soon with your tips in mind!

http://soclothesandyetsofar.tumblr.com/

Jessica said...

Really love your blouse. And I loved reading this post. I have just learned to sew and now I'm obsessed with altering things I buy at thrift stores. It's so cool to have a custom vintage piece for super cheap!

princesspolitico said...

Great thrifting tips! #5 is my favorite.

xo.
princesspolitico.blogspot.com

Philippa said...

Very chic:)

lkfeely said...

love your blouse! and i also love thrifting... most of my stuff is thrifted as well! i'll have to look up the swap meets, that sounds golden.

darlingdee said...

You stole my heart and gained a follower with this polka dot shirt. Polka dots have always been my weakness.

You look fabulous! Honesty your style is amazing.

xx
DD
http://darlingdeedee.blogspot.com

shoeless simone said...

Great tips!
I love the tie in this, its so original! I haven't read your blog in a little bit, and I see that I've been missing out on some amazing posts! Your trip to Pioneertown seems very fun

-Shoeless Simone

Starr Crow said...

you never miss a beat doll! always as cute as the day before. lovely tips too.

Diya said...

oh MY. this is so cute... love the scarf+shirt print mixing. btw, aren't you on chictopia and always leaving me the sweetest comments? :D <3


PS. visit my blog at:
http://diyainherstilettos.blogspot.com/

StuddedLilly said...

great tips lovely! i must thrift more, i don't thrift as much as i wish but you really inspire me to do so, with all your beautiful pieces! ;)

xxjess

Jay said...

Fantastic tips. I usually find pretty decent things at my local Goodwill, but you have just such great skill!
Love the blouse and your hair.

Neon Gypsy said...

such a cute outfit, i love that tie with the shirt, the colors and patterns all funky and different give such a cool look!
and great vintage tips, thank you for sharing (:

ChYmEc!nDy** said...

Great photos.

Audrey Allure said...

Beautiful outfit!

Just stumbled by & I love your blog! :)
- Audrey Allure <3
http://audreyallure.blogspot.com

Silmi Sabila said...

Great combination!

shybiker said...

Great tips! I hadn't considered most of them and will use them now. Thanks!

Martwa Marta said...

great tips! thank you for inspiration! besides, love this look.

Brooke said...

These tips are great - I totally agree with scanning a crammed rack for good fabric - That's always my strategy because if the fabric isn't pretty or good quality, it should probably be eliminated anyway!