Tag Archives: Vintage

Thrifting Tips

17 Sep

These Thrifting Tips originally appeared last week on my column Vegan Vogue I write for I Eat Grass. If you haven’t stopped by I Eat Grass yet, be sure to do so!

{image credit: www.gingerandthegeek.com}

One of my absolute favorite ways to shop is thrifting. There are so many benefits to finding clothing and accessories second hand. It’s a great way to find really unique items that no one else has, a way to save money, and most importantly makes a global impact being you are purchasing second hand. It’s by far one of the most eco-friendly ways to shop.

When I was in high school, my favorite thrift store had a “bag sale” once a month. The way it would work is you’d bring a paper grocery bag, and as much as you could shove into it was only five dollars. While this was awesome and amazingly cheap, my mother wanted to kill me because my closet was packed to the gills. Plus I’d wind up mostly completely impractical items. A 1970’s mint green polyester mother of the bride dress gown sticks out in my mind as being my worst offender. Sure, I thought it was cool but where the hell was I going to wear it? I think I wore it for Halloween.

As a result of these realizations, through the years I’ve created a few rules I now follow when I thrift. If you are a novice thrifter who gets intimidated by the lack of curation in a thrift store, these tips should definitely help your next thrifting experience.

{image credit: www.sammydvintage.com}

Always Thrift With a Plan

I never, ever step foot into a thrift store without a basic idea of items I’m looking for. In general, after I clean out my closet (you can find my tutorial on how to do so here) I’ll create a shopping list of items I either need to replace, or would like to add to my wardrobe based on trends currently in season.

Believe it or not, it’s totally viable to shop current trends second-hand. A great example right now is the fall 2012 color of the season, oxblood (basically, a deep maroon). If you wanted to participate in this trend, you just add “anything oxblood” as a bullet point on your shopping list.

Never, ever step into a thrift store without this list. You’ll just wind up with a lot of cool yet impractical items you’ll never wear. You don’t need a 1970’s polyester gown.

Start Pulling

Once you’ve arrived at the thrift store armed with your list, attack the racks and start pulling items that meet the requirements of what you listed. Need a new blazer? Pull a few options. A pair of red pants? Look and pull those. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to find what’s on your list, because you are specifically looking for them. It makes the unorganized racks of a thrift store much more manageable. I’ll never forget last August when I stepped into a Goodwill with red skinny jeans being on the top of my list. Upon five minutes of searching the racks, I miraculously found a perfect, brand new pair that fit me like a glove. They were only $6.

Even if the item is a size or two larger than you usually wear, I suggest pulling it at this stage. You can always get it altered and it still would only cost a fraction of what it would new, but be custom fit.

While having the list is important, it’s not 100% necessary to follow it to the letter. If you spot something you love, still pull it. This especially goes for things that suit your “trademark” looks, or “completer” pieces we often forget to shop for, like vests, cardigan sweaters or blazers. For me, if I spot anything leopard I always grab it. Anyone who follows my blog knows I have way more leopard in my closet than I know what to do with. Thrifting after all should be fun and the thrill of the hunt is part of the experience!

One important tip is to only pull the number of items you can bring into the dressing room at a time. It always sucks having to leave half of what you pulled on another rack only to come out and find another thrifter snagged them while you were trying stuff on (because they were no longer buried in the racks among mom jeans and easy to find). I’ll usually do multiple pulls and dressing room shifts until I feel I’ve exhausted the thrift store’s inventory for what I’m looking for.


{image credit: www.sheilaephemera.blogspot.com}

Try On Your Finds

Now it’s time to try on your garments. While doing this, inspect the item for damage, as well as give it a good smell. Always keep the following in mind:

  • Does it fit perfectly? And if not is it something a tailor can easily alter for you? This is why I suggested even pulling a size or so larger. If a pair of jeans for example costs you $5 at a thrift store and will cost you $20 to get altered, you’ll have a pair of jeans that fit you like a glove and look like you spent 4 times what you actually did on them.
  • Does the color look good on you. If not, pass. This goes for all shopping, not just thrifting, and should be followed regardless of trend.
  • Does it smell overwhelmingly musty? If so, pass. No amount of washings and dry cleaning will get rid of that.
  • Is it damaged? And if so are you willing to get it mended, and would it justify the cost to do so?
  • Will it work with at least two other items you already own? Again, this goes for standard shopping as well as thrifting.


{image credit: www.thesaged.com}

Following this plan will not only make your next thrifting experience more productive, but more enjoyable. If you are a thrifting virgin, also keep the following in mind.

  • When selecting a thrift store to target, consider the neighborhood the store is located. If your goal is to find quality mainstream items, target stores in affluent neighborhoods. For example, my favorite place to thrift in New York City is the Upper East Side. If you are looking for vintage or unique finds, the more rural you go the better.
  • Be prepared to have to dig in a thrift store. Garments usually are not organized. You may get lucky and find a store that’s organized by either garment type or color, but most are not. This is why you go in with the list, it makes it easier to manage.
  • If you can, bring a friend. It’s always better to have a second opinion while trying on your pulls. It also helps to have someone who can stay with your finds while you try stuff on to avoid other shoppers poaching. Plus it’s always more fun to shop with friends!

Are you a thrifter? Please share your tips in the comments!

Vegan Vogue is a lifestyle and style column focusing on all things in vogue and vegan. More tips from Corrie Feld can be found at her website Brooklyn Bliss. Follow her on Twitter @CorrieFeld

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Summer Days

5 Aug

Summer Days
{Maxi Dress: H&M (old); Sandals: Melissa; Bag: Cornelia Guest (Bloomingdales); Sunglasses: Vintage (found at Brooklyn Flea); Adorable Yorkiepoo: Adopted!}

This heat and humidity here in NYC this summer has been absolutely brutal. I feel like I’ve been wearing my hair up like this all the time because otherwise I’m sporting a giant frizzy fro. Poor Portia is dying on walks lately between the extreme heat on the sidewalks and her black fur retaining all the heat.

Regardless, I think we both still look pretty fab, despite melting!

On a quick shopping note, I very recently invested in this Cornelia Guest handbag and I’m so glad I did! It’s perfect for my every day bag. It’s just the right size, and looks great with both professional attire as well as on weekends. It’s also really, really well made. It should last me a while. I’m now a huge fan of the brand and can’t wait to see what new designs she comes up with.

Summer Days

Summer Days

July 4th

13 Jul

July 4th 2012
{Blouse: Old Navy; Jeans: Mavi; Shoes: Zara (vegan,found on Ebay); Headscarf: Vintage (my grandmother’s); Clutch/Wallet: Gunas}

Jim and I took an early bus up to Boston on the 4th, and got in around 11 am. We took our time getting acquainted to the city and our hotel, walking around Chinatown, and grabbing some lunch. In the late evening, we had a quick wardrobe change and got ready to go out to dinner.

A red, white and blue headscarf is as patriotic as I get on the 4th. During the day, I wore this same outfit from the waist up.  I just had on denim shorts and my neon yellow sandals instead of the jeans and heels.   If you checked out my packing tutorial yesterday, anything from the waist up I was actually wearing while taking the photos for that post, which is why they’re not included in the photos.

Just before dinner we headed up to the roof top deck, being it was recommended by the hotel concierge as being a good spot to watch the fireworks.  We enjoyed the view and took these few quick shots before headed out for some pizza and wine for dinner (I’ll be doing an entire post on all the food we had in Boston very soon!).

 

After dinner, we decided we’d probably have a better view of the sunset and the following fireworks from our hotel balcony.  So we went back to our room, enjoyed the stunning sunset, and watched the Boston Pops 4th of July Spectacular on TV.  Once the fireworks started, it was hard to miss them.  We had the most amazing view!

July 4th 2012

July 4th 2012

July 4th 2012

July 4th 2012

July 4th 2012

July 4th 2012

How did you spend the July 4th holiday?

Detour

12 Jun

Road Trip

Wearing {Fedora: Target; Tank: Calvin Klein; Skirt: Buffalo Exchange; Sandals: Melissa; Tote: Gap; Sunglasses: Vintage via Brooklyn Flea}

Jim and I this past Sunday took a quick road trip to Philly to visit his family and go to a birthday party.  Philly is only a two hour car drive from Brooklyn, so it’s a great same day road trip destination.

On our way back instead of going the more direct, highway route we took a detour and made a quick stop at the Old City District.  Jim and I love all things old and historical so we took a quick hour break to stretch our legs, walk around and check out the sites.  He also got to reminisce a bit being he grew up in the area.

This alley proved to be the perfect backdrop for a few quick outfit shots.  Jim has the patience of a saint and eye of a professional photographer.  He totally called that the lighting was perfect and it was.

Stay tuned tomorrow for some of my favorite shots of the amazing, historical architecture we saw during our walk.

Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip

Hot High Line

3 Jun

Highline{Blouse: H&M (thrifted); Shorts & Cuff: H&M; Wedges: Target; Tote: Gap; Sunglasses: Vintage (Brooklyn Flea)}

This past Tuesday, I took the day off from work for an extended Memorial Day holiday. Jim and I spent the day in Manhattan visiting the High Line extension in Chelsea, and then doing some gallery hopping in the area. It’s safe to say we were both pretty “arted-out” after the weekend was over.

It was ridiculously hot out, so I decided to try out an outfit similar to my Memorial Day Inspiration board and go with a breezy leopard blouse, shorts and wedges. I seem to be gravitating towards blouses and shorts a lot this season.

Stay tuned for posts on both our High Line adventure as well as our gallery hopping in the next day or so!

Highline

Highline

Highline

Spots and Dots

30 May

Dots and Spots
{Blouse: Old Navy; Shorts: Market Publique; Wedges: Target; Bag: Nine West (old)}

On Sunday during Memorial Day weekend Jim and I decided to head to the city and view the Whitney Biennial. It was pretty hot and sticky out, so I wanted to wear something that would be cool outside while be air conditioner friendly inside the gallery as well. I also wanted to be on the dressier side because galleries are always more fun when you’re a bit dressed up. My vintage polka dot shorts paired with my cheetah spot bag proved to suit my needs perfectly.

Dots and Spots

Dots and Spots

Dots and Spots

Dots and Spots

Off At the Knees

12 Jul

Day Twenty One 1- Display

{Top: Vintage (Buffalo Exchange); Black Walking Shorts: I forget where I got them, they’re old; Camera Bag: THEIT; Wedges: Dolce Vita for Target; Necklace: Love Brigade; Cuff: H&M}

Does this outfit look remotely familiar?  Take this one… chop off the pants at the knees and voila! There you go.  Creative, huh?

For the record, beloved Mavi jeans were not harmed in the making of this post. In case you were worried.  Don’t want anyone losing any sleep.

Day Twenty One 2

Polka Shorts

9 Jul
Day Nineteen 1- Display
{Chambray Shirt: Old Navy; Shorts: Market Publique; Camera Bag: THEIT; Wedges: Dolce Vita for Target; Cuff: H&M}

Holiday weekends I always forget to get photos. I’m too damn busy. I’ll have my camera with me but I’ll never take it out of my bag.

This was last Sunday during 4th of July weekend. My husband and I met up with my best friend and her boyfriend for a few cocktails. On our walk home, I remembered I forgot to get my photos, and my husband happily stepped in to take a few for me.

It’s really funny to me how different it is taking photos in front of him instead of a tripod. I make really silly, goofy smiley faces when he takes my photos.  They’re 100% genuine, but goofy nonetheless.  He makes me kinda self concious in a cute girly way.  Which is weird for me because there’s nothing about me that’s normally cute and girly.  Ask any of my friends, they’d tell you I’d probably punch you in the face if you called me that.

Oh, and how awesome are these shorts!  I found them at the Market Publique loft sale here in Williamsburg  back several months ago.  They were actually unfinished.  They were much longer and not hemmed.  I had them altered and now totally love them.  I can’t believe I forgot I had them in my 30 challenge items until day 19.  You’ll probably be seeing these shorts a lot in the final 10 days of the challenge so I can make up for my forgetfulness.

 

Day Nineteen 2

Day Nineteen 3

Day Nineteen 4

Sunday Shirt

30 Jun
Day Thirteen 1-Display
{Shirt: Vintage from Buffalo Exchange; Denim Shorts: H&M; Sandals: Alloy}

This shirt is ridiculously comfortable and perfect for summer.  It’s not see through, but  the breeze travels right through it, keeping me cool.  So it’s a go-to item for me on weekends.  I also wore this shirt the previous Sunday during this 30 for 30 challenge, so I hereby dub it my Sunday Shirt.

 

Day Thirteen 2

Day Thirteen 3

What you’re favorite thing to wear on weekends?

Father’s Day

21 Jun

Day 6 Display

{Top: Vintage; Jeans: Mavi; Wedges: Dolce Vita for Target}

Sunday I was exhausted and cranky most of the day being out late the night prior. Then I remembered it was Father’s Day and had to meet my Dad for dinner. I threw on the first few things I spotted in the closet (part of the challenge of course) and headed out hoping no one would notice.

Luckily, my Dad had a crazy evening the night prior and wasn’t feeling too well himself, so it at least made for some interesting dinner conversation.