Blonde vs. Brunette – 5 Thrifting Tips

Blonde vs. Brunette

This Friday our challenge will be “Tips for Thrifting.”  These are tips that we have acquired along the way and feel are essential to not only surviving a trip to the thrift store, but making it a successful one!

5 Tips from Kristin – THE BLONDE

1. Try everything on – If you didn’t know it, sizes and shapes have changed drastically over the years.  If you’re currently a size 6, chances are you would have been closer to a size 10 a few decades ago.  So, try things on; don’t trust the label.  Also, try on things you think may be too big, you can always have it tailored, but, remember tailors can’t work magic.  If its too big, leave it.  Plan on ignoring my advice?  Know the store’s return policy.

2. Don’t EVER go on a empty stomach or full bladder – If you are really going to look, make sure you eat something and hit up the bathroom before leaving because the bathrooms are either non-existent or gross and you aren’t going to leave treasures behind to go eat or find an acceptable restroom.
3. Shop the men’s section – I personally love menswear inspired items; so, why not hit up the men’s section?  T-shirts, sweaters, button ups oh my.. size small or xsmall can usually fit a medium sized woman.  You’ve looked through the clothes, be sure to check out the men’s section for accessories too, like gloves, hats, suspenders, etc.
4. Think outside the box.. Be creative – Try and view things as more than they really are!  A necklace could be a fun belt, or a long skirt can be shortened or even worn as a dress.  Beyond looking at items as versatile, look at everything as a raw material.  I tend to shop patterns; if I love the pattern, I will figure out some way to use it.
5. Learn the thrift stores schedule – Some thrift stores offer discounts on certain days; so, either go those days and be prepared to brave the storm for a discount or avoid those days like you would the plague.

5 Tips from Alex – THE BRUNETTE

1.  Have an idea of what you’re searching for.  If you walk in hoping to just magically come across a cool item, you MIGHT get lucky.  I always like to have an idea of what I’m on the hunt for; ie. jean jacket, gold watch, red blazer, old concert tee.

2.  Don’t forget to check out the jewelry and purses.  I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a thrift shop or Good Will without buying a cute pair of earrings.  It is the ultimate 80’s earrings Mecca.  It is also a great place to take an old cross-body bag and add some studs, spikes or fringe. Or all 3.  Bitchin’.

 3.  When September hits, start looking for costumes.  I didn’t realize how cheap I was until I graduated college, started making money and still went to the thrift store to make a Halloween costume.  I suggest going around mid-late September before all the really good pieces are taken.  Find a pink dress with shoulder pads and wham; you’re an 80’s prom queen.  Find a top and pants, shred them and dirty them up and boom; you’re a zombie.  You get the picture.

4.  Go with a friend!  I suggest taking a pal with you on this adventure.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes having 2 sets of eyes comes in handy.  What you may find looks terrible on you, could look great on your friend and vice versa.

5.  Take a gander at the dishware.  Thrift stores are a great place to find retro glasses or mugs, plates, bowls, etc.  They are always super cheap and a great way to take a vintage piece and turn it into a modern, personalized gift. What appears to be a set of plain, white plates, could easily be turned into a personalized set for a friend’s birthday, by simply using a marker and creativity.  

Any questions, just ask (!  Any comments, type away!

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3 thoughts on “Blonde vs. Brunette – 5 Thrifting Tips

  1. These are great tips! I always try and remember the bathroom rule. It is important. If you sew it is pretty common for me to find tons of fabric that has been virtually untouched in thrift stores.

    • I love all things vintage, to include patterns. So, thrift stores are the best place to look for vintage fabrics. Be sure to look out for floral fabrics. If the Met Gala is any indication, they will be making a comeback!

      • Lol. Yeah, but hopefully better than Kim’s look. I have recently found a neat stash of polka dot fabric.

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