Photographed by: Daniella Guzzo Photography
One of my favorite things to do on my days of is second-hand shopping. It’s not for everyone, however, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and have developed quite the eye for finding unique pieces. It’s a great way of recycling, giving back to your community and supporting non-profit organizations. I could spend hours roaming around, finding some really beautiful vintage items like clothing, books and art. In fact, when I was in high school, I worked at Value Village and loved it! The Salvation Army Thrift Store is another great organization to support, and it’s my go-to places to shop for furniture. As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and boy do I have some amazing treasures to share with you! In the words of the great Macklemore, “That’s hella tight!”
For those of you who have never tried second-hand shopping and would like to, here are a few tips to keep in mind…
1. Be open minded and have fun! Second-hand shopping is all about the thrill of the hunt. It’s sometimes hit and miss, and the store is not always perfectly organized, but when you do find a unique, one-of-a-kind treasure, it’s so worth it!
2. Take your time – Second-hand shopping takes time, especially when your looking for unique items at great bargains. Give your self plenty of time to peruse through everything.
3. Examine each item carefully – Inspect the garment for holes and stains, especially under the arms. Ensure that the lining is in good shape and that the clasps, buttons, zippers and hardware are intact. If you know of a good tailor, chances are they can repair and/or re-design pretty much anything.
4. Look for gently worn shoes – Shoes can be a little tricky and you always want to make sure that they are in good shape. Check the soles, tips and inside of the shoe to ensure that they are still wearable. Bring nylons or sock with you when trying them on and once you purchase then, give them a good clean and spray the inside with lysol. I also suggest buying insoles for extra comfort.
5. Be mindful of what you have in your wardrobe – When items are priced so reasonably (like $7 for this great striped blazer), it’s easy to buy things you don’t need or already have in a similar style. You may find yourself having one to many unwanted items, which will collect dust and take up space in your closet and home. Take it from me, I’ve been guilty of having duplicates in my closet in the past.
6. Dress comfortably – Wear comfortable clothes and shoes; things that are easy to slip in and out of in the fitting rooms. Plus, you may come across a great piece of furniture that you’ll have to carry back to your car.
7. Try things on! It’s always a good idea to try everything on. It may be your size on the tag but it may not fit perfectly. Remember, vintage clothing and shoes fit smaller, and let’s face it, some items are just poorly constructed, which is why they were donated in the first place. I sometime don’t make it into the fitting room and slip things on over top of my clothes to save time.
8. Get creative – I have been able to find so many beautiful prints and unique pieces of art over the years. Be sure to check out the art and houseware section; you’d be surprised at what you will find to update your home decor!
9. Take what you want and want what you take! – I love quirky things (seeing as I am a little quirky myself
) but you want to be sure that you’ll use everything you buy. If you think that this pink flamingo laps is super cute but will never use it, leave it behind for someone else to enjoy.
10. Get inspired! One of my favorite things to do is to collect vintage books. The book section is so inspiring and full of wonderful old and new reference materials for everyone.
Pack your wet wipes and hand sanitizer and get to it! Happy shopping, friends. Next week, on my blog, I’ll be sharing my vintage dress and book collection with you, as well as a few DIY projects I’ve created using second-hand finds.
PS. This blog post is dedicated to Sarah and Aubrey, aka: “The Wedding Belles”, who have been nominated for a Leo Award tonight for an episode they shot with me at my studio called “Vintage Chic Wedding”. It was such a fun day of shooting and I am so proud of their accomplishments! Break a leg, ladies! xoxo