Do You Even Thrift

Is it weird that the first thing I wanted to do after arriving in Brooklyn was to go thrifting? Not to unpack, or go buy furniture and dish-ware like a real adult,nope it was to go thrifting. New York itself has some of the best thrift stores in the world, you can stumble upon the most unique and hard to come across vintage finds in this city. So as a fashion lover and enthusiast, I of course planned out what store’s I’d hit up first.

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Most people thrift now to be cool, but if you’re anything like me (which is a true thrifter) you understand that thrifting is an art, and requires skill. Sure anyone can go into a Goodwill and say oh i got this cool shirt for $2, I thrift all the time. But do you really? I don’t think so. The summer before my sophomore year of college, I did a summer internship with a vintage boutique owner. Her store was called Parkerhawn Vintage Boutique and I learned everything I thought I knew about thrifting but didn’t. Over the years I took what I learned from working with her to what I’ve learned on my own. So take some notes and become a real pro at thrifting.

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  1. When you go thrifting it’s best to start off not expecting to find anything. If you go in there with the intent and determination to leave with the coolest thrifted pieces ever, you’re gonna leave empty handed. Instead go in just like you would any regular retailer, walk in ready to look, and if something pops up that you like grab it and move on.
  2. Touch the fabric before you even pull it out. Feel for good quality and see if the color is even something that you like before you waste time pulling out a garment that you may end up wishing you hadn’t.
  3. I cannot stress this enough..Do not, and I repeat do not EVER by any means go thrifting with someone who doesn’t want to go. Don’t force your boyfriend to tag along, and do not turn your lunch date with your bestie into a thrifting hour. If they hate thrifting don’t take them. It ruins it for you and they just will hate you after.
  4. Know that tailoring will be your new best friend. Everything in a thrift store has potential to fit you perfectly and to not look like you literally got your clothes at a thrift store. You can make a $2 dress look like a $200 dress by the magics of tailoring.
  5. Wash before you wear. You’ve donated or sold your clothes before, did you honestly wash every single piece before you got rid of it all? as excited as you will be to get home and throw on your new distress jeans, think about where they might of come from.
  6. Be creative. Don’t just stay in the women’s section of thrift stores, dare to venture off into the land unknown -AKA the men’s side, even the children’s side. Children tops make great crop tops and men’s shirts make for great make shift shirt dresses.
  7. Make sure you always have at least $20 cash on you. I’ve been to some thrift stores that accept cash only, and sadly I noticed this a little too late. Yea let’s just say the lady did not like that I offered her a I Owe You.
  8. Go through the whole damn store.I don’t care if it takes you 3 hours just do it. You might pass up on some really unique pieces and you’ll only wonder about what you could have found later anyways.
  9. “Nothing haunts us like the things we didn’t buy”- Needless to say, if you like it get it. Its a thrift store not Macy’s. You won’t ever find the same thing ever again so get it and don’t regret it.
  10. If you’re new to thrifting, and have no idea what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into, relax, and breathe. Start by shopping for things that you know are trending and instyle at the moment. This is a great rule of thumb for anyone. After all fashion recycles and repeats, so you will always find what’s “in” at a thrift store.
  11. Lastly and most important, is to realize defeat when it’s staring you right in the face. So you came out and you hoped to find something and didn’t, please don’t be that guy who comes in a 1 and stays until closing at 6. Its creepy and a little depressing. Know when to call it quits and leave, besides there are other thrift stores thats not the only one my dear.

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