Sammy Davis

Imagine a style site whose first question is: What do you want most out of life? We love SammyDavisVintage and the inspiring enthusiasm that drives it. Sammy Davis, the brains behind the blog & brand, is not just a model of positivity, she’s also a seasoned thrifter who totally embraces the thrill of the find. Clearly, this New York local was made to be a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon.

This New Yorker who knows style like nobody's business. Lucky for us, thrifting's her passion - & lucky for you, Sammy wanted to share her best thrifting tips with us in this interview. Enjoy!

We got the chance to chat with Sammy Davis about her style, her thrifting, and her incredible site SammyDavisVintage over the weekend. We hope you enjoy her carefree style and contagious joy as much as we did!

How did you first get interested in thrifting? Were you raised to reimagine fashion as a youngin’ or did this passion come later in life?

I grew up in the suburbs of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania – where the most forward-thinking sense of style was found either via watching MTV (which I did a lot of growing up!) or scouring thrift stores like Goodwill to create your own unique looks. I was a creative teenager, and as soon as I got my license, I was off to explore the thrifting possibilities of Central PA. The passion grew with each affordable, one-of-a-kind find, helping me to win the title of “Most Unique Dresser” in my high school yearbook!

How would you describe your own personal style?

I’m like a reptile who always sheds her skin – in other words, I enjoy reinventing my style based on my inspiration of the season. For summer, I’m enjoying a current obsession with all things tie-dye. Who would have thought that the designs of The Grateful Dead bears and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream would be my latest fashion inspiration? The best part – I’ve successfully scored tons of tie-dye in thrift stores! It was a 90s fad that’s definitely making a comeback – you should go find some yourself!

What role does your budget play in shaping your own personal style?

Budget is definitely a contributing factor to my personal style. Growing up, I didn’t have a lot of money – minimum-wage jobs don’t get you much beyond gas and snacks! So to channel my creative energy, I found that thrift stores offered everything the mall stores did – if not MORE! When you budget your wardrobe around second-hand clothing, you can purchase a new wardrobe for the cost of a few pieces. And the best part is: Thanks to the variety at a thrift store, you can purchase quality pieces for less, that will last you for many more years than cheap, throwaway purchases on the sales racks!

What does “style” mean to you?

Style is what makes you feel great. It’s what I like to call “feel-good fashion” – no matter the print, the color, the size, the fit, the material – if it makes you feel good for whatever reason, then that’s your personal style. Stick to the style that makes you feel best, and your confidence will take you anywhere you dream.

When you go thrift shopping, what do you always try to keep in mind – and keep an eye out for?

When thrifting, I usually head straight to the dresses/evening wear section. This is where I find the most ready-to-wear pieces and bang for your buck. I first look for vintage, but recent pieces always catch my eye, too – I’ve found so many beautiful evening dresses with the tags still on!

Another important thing to keep in mind: sometimes pieces aren’t in the best condition, no matter how well-curated the thrift store is. So always give the piece what I like to call the “360” – look at all edges and seams inside and out for stains, rips, tears or wear!

What are the biggest mistakes people make when heading to their local Goodwill?

My number one bit of advice: Come armed with a plan! You know when you walk into a grocery store, and you immediately head for the food section where you’d like to buy an item from your grocery list? The same tactic works well for thrift stores – they are not for the casual, first-time shopper.

I often hear people say they “get overwhelmed” upon entering a Goodwill. But if you come armed with some ideas on your “shopping list,” – think what kind of piece or color – then you can search and seize to find the best piece for you. Goodwills are organized so well, that all you have to do is know what you’d like to find for your wardrobe back home.

So looking for a sweet summer dress? Skip the T-shirts and move toward the back dress racks. You’ll leave satisfied and excited to return for your next awesome thrift store find.

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See what we mean? Sammy knows her stuff ! Don’t forget to check in next week for Part Two of our interview with the expert Ms. Davis. In the meantime, keep sharing your great finds and style tips with us on Twitterand Facebook – we love hearing from you!

A Goodwill outfit from this New York girl - done in perfect Sammy Davis Vintage style!
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