From ThriftStyle co-author Reise Moore:
My first trip to a thrift store was a disaster. It was a $2 sale day. All the clothes in the store were $2. I thought no one had ever been so lucky. I grabbed everything that was remotely cute and walked out with a slight sense of guilt and tremendous victory. Boy, had I got one over on them. Once I got home and started going through the clothes, I realized I had a whole bunch of nothing. I had some cute items, yes, but they were not talking to me. I could not intelligently say they were not my “style” because I had no idea what my style was. The shopping trip was a total bust and I would not thrift again for years after that.
It was handbags that got me back to the thrift store. After my thrift pro sister noticed I had bought some horrendously made handbags for top dollar, she took me thrifting to show what I could find. First trip out, I nabbed a beautiful alligator handbag. I returned those other handbags post haste.
I was still skeptical about clothes, and I started slowly. A dress here, a blouse there. Next thing I knew, I was on a personal journey of style-self-discovery, what we call “Style ID” in our book ThriftStyle. My question was: What is personal style and where can I get some? The more I tapped into things I liked by studying magazines, websites and streetstyles, the easier it was for me to discover my own Style ID. This made it easier to thrift because I was able to cut through the store clutter by focusing only on what made my heart go pitter-patter.
Next, I set a personal challenge: to be thrifted head to toe, every day, including jewelry, handbags and shoes. My closet turned over and to this day, its contents are almost entirely thrifted and, excuse me while I say, “badass.” Discovering my personal style led me to where I am fully thrifted, most of the time (pants are tough, I’m a tall, thick woman) with a strong sense of Style ID.
There are some major, “you get a gold star,” pat on the back, humanitarian benefits to this way of shopping. It’s green. Textile waste is a huge issue. Shopping at thrift stores is a way to recycle and renew. Thrift shopping can also be charitable. I usually frequent stores that are tied to worthwhile causes. By thrifting you have an opportunity to look good while doing good.
Here’s hoping you take what we dish up here on the blog and embark on your own thrifting journey. There be gold in them there thrift stores, and I’ll be bringing it to you – along with my co-authors Allison Engel (left) and Margaret Engel (right) — several times a week.