Collaboration + My Two Cents: Thrift Tips

Hello, my loves! This post is actually a really cool post with some nostalgic vibes because I am going back to my roots! My blog originally started as a platform to stress frugal fashion. With gems from thrift stores, garage/estate/rummage sales, and flea markets, I have been able to accurately depict my identities with practically one-of-a-kind finds at my kind of price range.
I come from a low-income household, so frugal fashion wasn’t necessarily a choice. It was part of my upbringing and I didn’t think much of secondhand clothes growing up. I loved going to thrift stores with my family and we would split up into our respective departments. We would then regroup with some of the oddest finds. It wasn’t until I was made fun of for wearing used and outdated clothes when I realized that my upbringing differs from others. Thus, I realized that I was (and still am) different. (Oh young-Diem, how I wish you appreciated yourself for being different then.)

I am so glad that the mentality regarding used clothes has changed. For it to be considered cool and hip now, people are giving secondhand clothes a second chance that they deserve!

Fun Fact: My earliest thrifted item was a pair of clear jelly shoes with silver glitter, which my mom picked out for me. I remember hating them with all of my heart, but I wore them everywhere in hopes of wearing them out. I def got my PPW out of them! I was so so surprised to see its return in fashion several years ago. I almost bought a pair at American Apparel, but that would have been way too ironic.

During this collaboration with Allen V., we went to Freestyle Clothing Exchange in midtown Sacramento. Although I haven’t gone thrifting in awhile, I immediately felt at home at Freestyle! Allen asked me for tips on thrifting, so I thought I should share that knowledge on here as well!

First thing first, I like to visit the shoes. I don’t think there is such thing as owning too many pairs of shoes. I always need another pair… not want, but need! (I am currently looking for an affordable yet chic pair of pleather heel boots. Help!) While looking through shoes, I keep a few things in mind: style, accents, and size. When I say style, I mean, are you looking for flats or heels? If you’re looking for heels, are you looking for stilettos or booties? I ask myself these questions to stay focus. I then go through the shoes again asking a different set of questions if time permits. I do so to make sure that I don’t miss anything. As for accents, I like those that are unique like rusted buckles and vibrant or clean colors/patterns. Lastly, in regards to size, some places are organized while others aren’t. With my experience, I am able to eyeball my size, so I can eliminate a bunch of contenders. I don’t have to look at sizes 8+ because I am a size 6. I can focus on sizes between 5-7 instead. This helps with time management big time.

After shoes, I visit the racks with dresses. Dresses are my absolute favorite article of clothing because they are the easiest to wear. I don’t have to think or find a complementary pair of bottoms for a chosen top and vice versa. If time permits, I go through every single dress, but that’s usually an ideal scenario. Instead, I shop by running my fingers along racks to analyze different textures. Personally, I am attracted to velvet, corduroy, and lace. While doing so, I also check out unique colors and patterns. If both elements check out, then I give the article of clothing a closer look. 

I tend not to find accessories at thrift stores, but Freestyle impressed me – from belts with animal accents to quirky/fun bags. They even have authentic vintage Dooney & Bourke’s! 
Since I am an avid vintage Dooney & Bourke bag collector (Is that even a real thing?), I was once asked how to spot an authentic bag vs. a replica. It goes back to the fundamental element of texture! Definitely check out the leather; it should be rather soft and not stiff. Secondly, make sure the spelling is correct. A lot of replicas misspell the logo/brand. Next, inside, there should be a tag that says “Dooney & Bourke, INC. Made in USA.” A lot of the replicas omit the “USA” portion. Lastly, there should also be a serial code on the back of the tag. Once you get familiar with the authentic ones, it gets easier to distinguish them from replicas.

My last thrift tip is in regards to looking through and buying denim bottoms. They are my worst enemy in thrift stores. However, I still have a little tip that has helped me out. I skim such racks by solely looking at the denim bottom’s cut. I only wear skinny jeans because they compliment my body. For that reason, I look pass any boot cut, straight, and etc. Another great time saver!

My Ten Cents #60: Honestly, practice makes perfect! Thrifting can be overwhelming at first, but if you take it one department or even one rack at a time, then it’s super manageable. Once you discover the thrill that comes from finding a one-of-a-kind gem, then you will know that all of that work was worth it!

Thanks Allen for working with me on an awesome and fun set!

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