Thrifting Tips

tinyangrycrafts, thrifting tips, vintage fashion

Often I get asked by my friends where I get my vintage; according to one “How are you such a thrifting queen?!”
Now, I don't think I'm a 'thrifting queen', I just get lucky sometimes. I've cultivated a lot of skills over the years and, because I love to share and help people, here are some tips I use when I'm out thrifting and searching for vintage.

Utilize technology.
Thankfully, in this age of technology, we can do a quick internet search for anything we want to look for. Sometimes just searching 'thrift store' and your area can come up with some new places to check out. There is also the site The Thrift Shopper
 which is a thrift store directory!

You can also check the Vintage Fashion Guild's Label Resource for some 'brand name' vintage garments to see how prices online compare to those in the shop.

Have an idea of what you're looking for.
I use Evernote to make a list of items I'm on the lookout for. Usually it'll be something simple; such as cardigans. This is my last list from my trip to the San Diego Costumers Guild.

tinyangrycrafts, thrifting tips, how to thrift

But you can also make a general list of things you’re hoping to find with pen and paper, and put it in your bag.

Don't be afraid to rummage.
Something my mom taught me, you'll find some amazing things if you take your time and dig for them. I once found some nice deadstock stockings in a box of belts at a sidewalk sale!

Ask questions.
Of course, this depends on where you are, but sometimes just a 'hey, do you have any more of these?' can yield a nice response. Once in an antique mall, I asked if there were any more magazines, and the booth owner moved a box aside to reveal a plethora of knitting magazines; nothing I was looking for, but I was gracious she showed me.

tinyangrycrafts, thrifting tips, how to thrift

Check the seams and armpits.
Nothing like getting something super lovely, only to notice the armpits are completely stained, and the shoulder seams busted open. Now, these can sometimes be cleaned, depending on what you purchased/the fiber content. Also, sometimes, if a tag doesn't say 'as-is', you can possibly ask for a small discount.

Keep a little cleaning kit in your purse.
Now, searching for vintage treasures can be a bit messy. Dust, jacket collars covered with hair...sticky candy still in the pockets (Yes, this happened once), are among the unpleasantries you’re likely to encounter. I have some hand sanitizer in my purse if there's no bathroom, and some lotion to keep my hands nice and soft. Baby wipes are also a very good idea.

Sometimes the garment just needs a belt to bring it all together, or a popped seam needs a safety pin.
If you can't change, or don't have the correct undergarments, then a tape measure will be your best friend. Keep your measurements written down, and also have them halved.

Don't wear makeup.
Rather, don't wear a full face without it being properly sealed. I've seen makeup smears on contemporary clothing when I'm out shopping with my sister, and it's so saddening. I try to just keep a light translucent powder and maybe my brows done, but if I do have a full face of makeup on, I have a secret weapon. I keep a scarf in or on my purse. When in the dressing room, I'll tie the scarf on my head, then try the garment on. Any transfers happen on the scarf, and the clothes are left clean.

According to my grandma, department stores used to keep scarves in dressing rooms for that very problem!

Know the difference between a thrift store, second hand store, vintage boutique, and antique mall.
I know I titled this with thrifting tips, but there is a difference between the various places you can shop.
Thrift stores and second hand stores have no specialization of eras, and tend to be very affordable.
Vintage Boutiques and Antique Malls are specially collected and sorted by era, and are sold at a higher price.

And here you have it, my little tips for thrifting. I hope you can utilize them, and find yourself some lovely treasures!!

Do you thrift often?
What are some of your tips?

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