A true thrifter is one part super shopper, one part soldier and last part “frugalista.” To thrift well is to know that mass merchandisers and more traditional retailers will not always suffice when you are in search of a specific item. I know that when I am in search for an inexpensive vintage sequin cocktail dress I should try the West 72nd Street Goodwill boutique than say, a mall store. But besides specific items, like vintage, thrift stores can be a wealth of so much more. Here’s a list of some of the best things to buy thrift.
Halloween may have just passed but a good thrifter purchases costumes for the following year. It’s not hard to find a full-on prepackaged costume that someone wore once and then donated at a thrift store. For the super crafty and creative, a good walk thru of the racks can also provide a wishing well for more fashion forward costumes like Twenties Flapper, Sixties Flower Child or Seventies Disco Diva. With a little digging through the racks and a lot of imagination, a thrift store could be the best source for a fun costume or theme related party.
I have hit the jackpot while thrifting: silverware, china, vases and framed artwork. Usually you spot the item across the room or in the corner of your eye and like a kid in the candy store you rush over to claim it. Don’t be too quick to put something back because it’s not retail worthy. Vintage China is stunning and no one will detect if a tea cup is missing or a silverware set is lacking a butter knife, and a painting can be reframed very easily. Some of the most stylish homes always have a nice touch of thrift in them.
Only a fool pays full price for holiday items. You step into any thrift store and there are year round holiday themed items. Wreaths, lights, baskets, Menorahs and even ugly Christmas sweaters are bountiful at thrift stores. My local Goodwill sells holiday items at the same time as Wal-Mart and Target and one would be a fool to not go thrift before full on retail for a laughing blinking reindeer.
People still read books and not always nooks. Many still want to fill their bookshelves with original copies of literary classics or catch a great deal on a book they couldn’t imagine paying retail price. I know someone who loves the illustrations of old gardening and botany books, so I keep an eye out for them whenever I’m in my favorite thrift store. I’ve found the style and society imagery from the 1950’s and 60’s that I love at the Bellmore Goodwill in Long Island. Book dealers, book worms and bibliophiles do well by thrifting.
For me fashion comes first when it comes to thrifting. I go to the clothing racks before any other section. Clothing can be very intimidating especially thrifted clothing where there are many different sizes and styles from a vast array of retailers old and new. Your best bet and some of the best items in my wardrobe are thrifted accessories. Costume jewelry and bags are amazing scores when thrifted. This past July, I popped into the 72nd Street Goodwill and found a clutch that I wore to a celebrity filled affair at the Hamptons. I received tons of compliments for it. The clutch was a smash and it cost me $5. Thrifted accessories next to designer statement bags, it couldn’t get any better.
The key to thrifting is to know that age-old adage: one person’s trash is another person’s treasure and that thrifting is searching for a diamond in the rough minus the retail markup.
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