it's no secret that i love a bargain, the thrill of the hunt, and vintage. even if i knew the number of hours i've spent searching thrift stores, i still probably wouldn't tell you because it would be embarrassing (and it would also provide proof, once and for all, that i am a thrift store junkie), but what i will tell you is that in all of my hunting, digging, rummaging, and gathering, i have learned a few things. i've had some people tell me before that i have "the best luck" finding things, but since i think it's more about how dirty you're willing to get your hands than luck, i thought i'd share what i've learned...
1. completely throw sizing out of the window. if you see something you like, pick it up to try on, but pay no attention to the size tag because it can trick you. the skirt above (one of my more recent, and beloved vintage thrift store finds) is marked a size 9 but fits like it was made for me. i wear a modern day size 0, and had i paid attention to the tag, this beauty might hanging on someone else's wall for pictures. i can't bare the thought.
2. keep in mind you will be washing items when you get home. when i was new at thrifting, if i saw a spot, i rejected the item entirely. what a dummy. i'm not saying that if something has a 30-year-old permanent mustard stain you should get it, but sometimes you can tell that spots (or, yes, even pit stains) are of the removable variety, and when washed, old items can become almost new again! the same goes for smells; old lady perfume isn't permanent, thank god.
3. most thrift stores have clothing separated by type, season, even color. i can't tell you how many times i've found a gorgeous vintage cardigan tucked in with the tank tops (probably something someone was hiding for later, but it's fair game at the thrift store), or a perfectly fitted jacket hidden in the dresses. look everywhere, because you'll probably find something good!
4. one of the biggest problems i have when thrifting is telling myself that i'm going to make alterations, but never actually doing it. unless you sew often and enjoy doing alterations, be honest with yourself, and don't get something if you know deep down you won't fix it.
5. try things on! thrift stores have dressing rooms for a reason - because most won't accept returns, and you don't want to be stuck with something that's ill-fitting. it took me a long time to actually use the dressing rooms, and to be honest, i have no idea what i was so afraid of. now, they're my best thrifting friend right behind a low price!
6. don't go to the thrift store expecting to find a diamond in the rough. lately i've been overwhelmed with all of the good finds - so much so that i actually have to put some things back because i don't have enough room in my house - but often times there just isn't anything i like or that fits. you have to be willing to keep trying; sometimes you hit it big, other times you may go home empty-handed.
i think that about sums it up, but if you have any other tips or rules you follow when thrifting, i'd love to hear them! also, have you found anything good lately?