It's Earth Day! And a great time to reflect on the imprint you’re making on the planet and if you’re treating her well. One of the ways you can reduce the build up to the land fill is through recycled clothing…buying resale. I have loved shopping in thrift stores for as long as I can remember. As the trends tend to recirculate every 30 years or so, thrift store shopping is a convenient way to buy into the next trend before it hits the main stream. I get tired of seeing the same thing in every store. One high-end store decides to sell jeans with holes in the legs and pretty soon every store has them. The classic safari jacket has become more in trend and now they’re everywhere in olive green. Shopping in a thrift store is my way of being original in a cookie cutter world. If I’m looking for a jacket, I can find 20 of them in my size and find the one that complements my shape, coloring and style the best. And it will look original. Instead of an olive green classic safari jacket, I may find one that’s a sand colored linen with a touch of gold to emphasize the highlights in my hair. The best part is that if you change your mind and decide it’s not perfect for you, you haven’t invested much. My teenagers love it because they can explore their own identity and personal style within their budget.
“Thrifting is an inexpensive way to express
Here are 5 ways to make thrift store shopping pay off for you -
1. Avoid clothes that look dated - the key is to look like it’s hot off the runway, not recently unboxed from grammy’s stuffy attic. (Unless you’re going to an ugly sweater party.) Look for a good fit in the shoulders and arms. Football sized shoulder pads are not in…yet. Neither are the 70s era gigolo sized collars. Make sure the collar is small to medium in proportion to your body size.
2. Good quality is often easy to find at a thrift store. I tend to gravitate towards clothes that I normally pay full price for because I like the fit and styling. Often, I find something I like, look at the tag and see Banana Republic or Ralph Lauren and think, “Oh yeah, that’s why I like it!”
“Brands you trust in new clothes will most likely
3. Inspect closely for spots, stains, moth holes, or tears. I won’t buy anything with spots, stains, etc. For me, it’s not worth the risk of being unable to get it cleaned. The same goes for holes. However, a hole strategically placed may be easily fixed. My mom got a hole in one of her favorite shirts about 6 inches from the bottom hem. Instead of tossing the shirt, she sewed a horizontal seam, placing the hole in the fold, and it looks like it was designed that way.
4. Err on the side of too big rather than too small. Much easier to alter if needed. I found a cinnamon colored suede skirt that was in great condition for only $5. The size was too big for me, but it wasn’t too difficult to take off the waistband, size it correctly, and sew it back on. If you’re not handy with a sewing machine, or don’t have a mom you can call ask a hundred questions on how to do it, take it to a tailor. The total cost will still be much lower than full retail.
5. Make it yours! Choose clothes that work well with your shape, and complement or repeat your personal coloring. Take or even wear the clothes you are looking to work with to the store and try on many of the options. Not sure what your best clothing shape or colors are? Check out my Mother's Day special here.
“If you can’t find it in retail, buy it in resale.”
Looking terrific doesn’t have to cost a ton! For a fun way to save money, create a unique look, and tread lightly on planet earth, give thrifting a try. If you really want to look like a million bucks, take a professional image consultant with you! I’m just a click or call away.
E-mail Dani@StyleByDani.com or call 385.229.6297.
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.