I'm sure someone, somewhere has come up with a manual on how to thrift store shop in the most efficient way, but here is my take on the subject.
In general, I feel as though I dress decently for my age, but I feel my style has taken a new edge of trendiness ever since the blessed creation of.......Pinterest.
Lets be real. I am not the trend setting type. I like modesty, and I like comfort. Those two details don't mix well in a recipe for the fashion trend setter in the 21st century. Still, to be fair, there are a lot of hip Christian women who pull it off and I like their style.
That is why I follow them on Pinterest. To see what they are pinning on their fashion boards. Not because I want to look exactly like them, but because I am not creative when it comes to my wardrobe and I feel the need for a visual map. I'm also not brave in mixing colors in my wardrobe. Remember that post way back when? The one where I discussed my inability to make a cottage garden. My wardrobe is a similar garden color/texture mixing challenge.
So I go on Pinterest. I find 'outfits' already put together and then I figure out what I like about the outfit and work on how to recreate something similar. It is like the interior designers who look at a high end inspirational rooms and try to recreate it on a smaller budget.
First I have to figure out what I like about it. The colors? The textures and patterns? The cut of the clothes? A lot of time, I only like the colors. So when I begin to look more closely, the clothes themselves are nothing more than a colored tee shirt with a pair of fitted jeans and a cute pair of shoes and some earrings or a scarf in a contrasting color. That is so easy it is almost laughable, but I still would have never figured it out without the 'map'.
Back to thrifting. Once I figure out what outfits I am trying to recreate, then I go ahead and make a little list of what I'm looking for. The list is key, so when I'm out, I don't get distracted by all the pretty colors. I can just stick to my list.
A typical list might look something like this.....purple tee shirt, shirt with teal accents, grey sweater, buff colored shoes, floral scarf, etc. Vague descriptions are key, so that I can find something similar at the thrift store, not exact. You almost never find exactly the same piece as you saw on Pinterest.
Every once in a while you do.
So if I stick to my list however, I end up with more complete outfits in my closet, rather than a lot of random tops that can only be paired with jeans, jeans, and more jeans, and have no accessories to pair with them.
It also means I spend my money more wisely on the 'big' pieces. Like a few years ago, I dropped $100 (well, actually my mother did) on a sweater that I had fallen in love with on Pinterest, but that I knew I would never find in a thrift store. It was a big splurge, but its versatility and yet uniqueness made it worth it. I have never regretted that purchase. It wasn't a spur of the moment decision, I tried it on, thought about it, and came back the next day (with my mom) to get it.
If you don't have your list with you, don't buy anything, only browse.
So, when it comes to buying, I also never buy anything unless I try it on, even in a thrift store. If this grosses you out, then thrifting may not be for you. I find a lot of things that are sized as xl, but that have shrunk and fit me perfectly. Today I bought a 2x shirt that fit me like a glove, seriously, fitted and wonderfully soft. Glad I tried it on.
It goes the other way too, though. I tried on a large today that I couldn't even get my arms into the sleeve holes. Craziness. Now you know why people thrifted these things. Probably washed it the first time and it shrank like crazy and they couldn't get their arms in either. Or maybe not. Who knows.
Another fun thing about thrifting is that you get such a mix all in one store, and the selection changes as often as they set out new things. The key is to go often when you are looking for something specific, and not settle until you find that 'perfect' piece.
Today I spent less than $40 and got 1 amazing dress, 2 long skirts (my hippy side couldn't resist), and 7 shirts, most of which would be considered pretty hip/in style. Well maybe not the skirts, but that is my own little fettish.
Stay tuned, and I will show you how todays purchases completed some outfits, and what pinterest pins they were based upon.