I’ve been an avid thrifter for the past eight years. Thrift store shopping has been a part of my weekly schedule not only because of the potential outfits I can wear and objects I can have lounging with me in my apartment, but for a variety of other reasons. One might say I have a bit of a compulsive behavior because I never wear the same outfit twice, but fashion is an integral part of my life, being an apparel designer myself. I always felt that thrifting makes a huge impact on the things I design. I also have something against the mass-produced apparel industry in general and hate big department stores, so I try to do my part in making use of what is already here in an attempt to be semi-”green!” My kitchen and my closet are filled with about 70% secondhand items and my primary choice of fabrics I use in my apparel and artwork is secondhand as well.
I’ve been told various times by people how they enjoy seeing what outfit I’ll have on next, and the question of “Where did you find that?” pops up very frequently! My simple answer is typically thrifting, and their reply is always “I never find anything good when I go.” After hearing this so often, I thought it would be fun to help people thrift a bit more successfully! I hope that my suggestions for individual items will help stem some creativity in deciding what to purchase on your next thrift!
First let’s start off with some basic tips!
- Be crafty! Seeing something on a hanger doesn’t really help in seeing the potential it has being worn as an outfit. I’m a sucker for silk tops and right-above-the-knee skirts – nothing too special, but when paired with a wool vest, scarf and belt, it can be way hip.
- Be open-minded! I started going to thrift stores looking only for t-shirts and bags, then I started buying all different types of apparel, and now I always make sure to look though kitchenware and other bric-a-brac. You never know what things you will find and be able to give as silly gifts or the different ways you can use the items you find.
- Lastly, go often! There are always new things coming in. I hit up a thrift store at least once a week, but I often end up going more than that!
This week’s shop:
Salvation Army Thrift Store
1520 75th St
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Ready to be worn finds!
I found all these cute jewelry pieces were found in the half-off bin which is always a huge plus!
*colorful wood shape necklace. [$1.00]
*red & white circle disk necklace. [$1.25]
*gold horizontal textured triangle earrings [$0.45]
*beige circular protrusion earrings. [$0.45]
Sock Friend in Jar. [$0.75]
I thought this would be a great potential idea for a gift. Upon seeing this cute guy and being an avid glass bottle collector myself, if I eventually get my paws on some jars that are the right size and some pairless socks, making a bunch of these might take up one of my Saturday afternoons.
Vintage Glass Fawn. [$2.50]
Who can resist this adorable knick-knack! I was thinking of covering up a few glued planks of oak plywood with some sheet moss and develop a tiny faux environment to sit upon my bookshelf.
Porcelain Holder w/ Apple Print. [$0.95]
This cute holder has four holes up at the top for something to go inside of… too small for a toothbrush, perhaps it can be used as an incense jar or ink pot for pens. I plan to simply use it for storing some straight pins. It might also be a cute idea for keeping tea packets in!
Outfit: Gamblin’ Good Tyme
While browsing the thrift store I make sure to head to the “plus size” section because there is often a vast amount of silly apparel. This week, I found a large button up shirt, fit for poker night at a steal: half off, at only $1.00. This over sized collared shirt has adorable spade buttons and 3/4 length oversized sleeves which work well rolled up a few times. Although the shirt is pretty oversized, it looks pretty tame tucked into a pair of red high-waisted hot shorts that I found this week for only $2.00. Jazzing up this outfit can be pretty simple with the essentials I found - a beige/brown swirl square scarf for $2.50 and a brown belt around the waist for $0.90.