Like any new task, consignment shopping can seem daunting if you don’t have the proper instructions. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
Before you set out to dive into the unknown racks of second hand clothing stores you need a clear head and a clear schedule. The most precious gems are found deep in the midst of pilly pullovers and out-of-date outerwear. You have to be ready to walk into the store, approach the first rack, slide the abundance of clothes to one side and sift through piece by piece; and don’t forget to try things on! Something on the rack can seem helpless but look fantastic on your shape, and something on the hanger may take your breath away but once you don that dress you may find yourself wanting to run far, far away. Be patient, keep an open mind and remember there’s nothing a belt, brooch, or a few stitches can’t do to update and individualize an item.
Do It Yourself!
When thrifting it is important to remember to be creative! The most precious aspect of a thrifted item is that there is a slim chance you will be walking through campus and shamefully spot the exact outfit coming toward you. These pieces are so exclusive and carry so much history that there may be times you come across a top with a breathtaking neckline and…shoulder pads. For $4.99 it’s worth buying and taking the time to show your creative side. Sit down with a pair of scissors and some thread and create a completely new, completely you, sleeveless tunic! Don’t get caught up in your old commercial shopping ways, everything you buy can be modified, by yourself or even a tailor. With the money you will be saving by thrifting these quality items it is okay to shell out a few dollars and get a quality hem from a professional. Since we’re thinking outside the box, remember to stray from the women’s department! Some of the greatest finds are in the men’s section. A button down can become a dress, a tie can become a belt, even a mens hat with some proper accessories like peacock plumage or sassy ribbon can kick the fedora trend to the curb! It’s all about using your creativity and fashion sense with thrifting, there are no models or advertisements to influence you.
Don’t be afraid to Haggle!
Ah, bartering. It seems like people are still uncomfortable when it comes to haggling a price. Obviously if an item is priced fairly there is no need to waste time trying to knock it down, but there are instances in which an item is priced too high for the quality or there is a tear or rip in an article of clothing that has been overlooked by an associate. There’s no harm in asking, most of the time they will be willing to knock off a few dollars just because you brought it up. Of course, if you are looking for the ultimate deal and you are confident with bargaining, the best tip I can bestow is to leave your credit, debit, and personal checks at home. Carrying cash is your best bet in ensuring a great bargain. You also avoid a surcharge that some of the thrift stores invoke once you pay with plastic.
Image courtesy of: flickr.org