When you walk into a thrift store in the midwest and are staring down racks and racks and racks of 80s bridesmaid dresses, old sweaters and thing you know you’ve seen your grandmother wearing, it can be easy to make a quick judgement and decide that there is nothing in the store that you would ever wear. But while the bad may outnumber the good, there are guaranteed to be some gems tucked in between the neon dresses and shoulder pad blouses…you just have to learn how to recognize them. While choosing an entire outfit from a thrift store can be challenging and a bit time consuming, it can be worth it for the money you will save when putting together a fashionable outfit.
One of the first things you will have to realize when choosing an outfit from a thrift store is that size doesn’t always matter and you should try everything on. As most girls know, sizing from one brand to another can be drastic. This doesn’t change when shopping at a thrift store. Ignoring sizing also gives you the opportunity to get really creative. A baggy dress can be cinched with a slim or chunky belt, a top that is a few sizes too big can be used as a tunic and worn with some leggings, and a large sweater can really balance out a great pair of skinny jeans. Fashion designers have been using the baggy look for years now, there is no reason you can’t copy this same look with your thrift store finds.
One of the things I love most about thrift stores is their tendency to color coordinate everything. Not only are racks of rainbows a beautiful thing, this kind of organization can make putting an outfit together very simple. First you should decide on the color or colors you would like your outfit to be. If you are going for a monochromatic style then make sure that you choose pieces that have various types of textures. If you are looking for a classic all black outfit, consider trying on a shirt or pants that have some colorful accents. These types of pieces will often stand out against all the other black clothing they are surrounded by, which will make them very easy to find.
No outfit is complete without the perfect accessories, and thrift stores are filled with them. Once you have picked out your outfit head over to the purses and scarves. Here you’ll be able to find stylish, and often times vintage designer bags, for only a fraction of the price. Scarves are a great way to pull any look together, so consider trying a few on to see what works best for your new outfit. Finally you will want to head over to the jewelry. This is where you can really find some diamonds in the rough (well, maybe not real diamonds..but who knows!). Many times you will be able to get beautiful, eye catching vintage pieces that you can’t find at any store in the mall. Not only will these additions to your outfit be unique, but they are generally better made and will last longer than costume jewelry that you pay full price for somewhere else.