Thrifting is in my blood. As a matter of fact, my first thrift trip took place while I was in middle school. My late grandmother, Essie Lee Campbell, is the sole reason why I have blossomed into the expert thrifter I am today. No matter the occasion, my grandmother was a firm believer in maintaining a strict budget while strategizing ways to stretch a dollar far beyond its usual standard.
Whether we indulged in back-to-school shopping, church shopping or “special occasion” shopping, the Value Village on Jensen was my grandmother’s one-stop shop for all things. My grandmother taught me that fashion is not meant to drain your wallet, she taught me that developing a distinctive personal style can be both attainable and fun. Under her wise tutelage, I learned that it is not about the amount you spend on your outfits, but it is about the creativity and confidence that goes into piecing together unforgettable looks.
Keep reading to find out why, to this day, thrifting is my primary source for cultivating my personal wardrobe!
Saving Valuable Coins
Frequenting the thrift shop is a dope way to save money. If you’re into trends and keeping up with what’s “hot”, the thrift shop should be your number one stop! Here’s a tip: List all the trends that you’re currently lusting after for the season, create a Pinterest board for inspo and continue to be on the lookout for similar pieces throughout your thrifting adventures. Your closet will be stocked with goodies in no time!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve saved money on trends that were poppin’ one month, and lacking during the next. In addition to saving coins, thrifting also allows you the freedom to sample a wide variation of styles for the low-low, basically giving you more bang for your buck.
Discovering Unique and Designer Pieces
Fun fact: About 90% of my wardrobe is thrifted and/or gifted, while about 10% of my wardrobe consists of the new new.
There’s simply no greater pleasure than nabbing authentic designer pieces from thrift and consignment shops. In my own experiences, I’ve lucked up in unearthing a beautiful pair of Christian Louboutin creme slingback pumps, a vintage Escada silk button-down shirt, a genuine Coach monogram mini bag and even a rare, yellow Miu Miu wool coat. If it had not been for the knowledge of thrifting, I probably would not be blessed to rock such highly coveted, upscale fashion houses.
I always advise my friends and family that there is no itch that thrift stores cannot satisfy. Fashion should be personal, and as individuals, we should always aim to not look like everyone else. Thrifting gives you a chance to experiment with styles, that you may not have previously considered, introducing fresh perspectives of how you mix and match your wardrobe essentials. Always keep in mind: fashion is cyclical, everything always comes back into style.
Fast fashion is a no-fuss shopping option, chosen by many as their primary source of cultivating their closets. Yet, most fail to realize that fast fashion also does more harm than good for the environment. Switching to the alternative of thrifting at secondhand shops gives shoppers a chance to recycle pre-loved items, that once created joy for a previous owner. All in all, it’s safer for the environment and limits the amount of clothing that is manufactured. Reusing items has proven to be more ecofriendly versus frequenting fast fashion heavy hitters including Forever 21, Fashion Nova, H&M, ASOS… you catch my drift.
Pretty self-explanatory, no? The thrill behind perusing thrift stores is pure exhiliration, but patience is key. I always like to challenge myself to see if I can top my last experience, but success is not always guaranteed. With thrifting, there is no broad spectrum, it’s either hit or miss; however, the excitement behind the search and the uncertainty of what you’ll find, provides a sense of elation that it unmatched.
So, my advice to you is to check out one of your local thrift shops, get to Googling and see where the nearest hot spot may be. Try scouring the home decor aisles, get lost in the sea of accessories or take you time with the infinite selection of clothes. Take the leap to try something new – you never know what you may find.
As I get back into the swing of writing, I do plan on creating more content about this topic: comment what types of dilemmas and/or questions I could personally address regarding the art of thrifting.
Also, do you consider yourself a thrifter? If so, name some of your treasure trove spots! If not, what’s stopping you?
Boiler Suit: Urban Outfitters
Sneakers: Ralph Sampson x PUMA
“It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.” – Lucretius