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Mace and Crown | May 22, 2018

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Monarch Style: How to Thrift Like a Pro

Monarch Style: How to Thrift Like a Pro
Kimberly Bering
Contributing Writer

Thrift stores are often a frowned upon method of shopping. A peculiar combination of thoughts ensnares your senses when walking into a thrift store, evoking mixed feelings for some: “There is too much to look at… this place smells funny… this has probably been on display since the ‘80s…”

Everyone has been dragged into a thrift store on a Saturday afternoon with mom and grandma that bored you to death as a child. Many clever fashionistas, however, browse through thrift stores every now and again to find eclectic pieces. Why? What exactly can you find at thrift stores? Is it really worth saving the money? How can you find pieces worth buying?

The first thing to consider is what you plan on buying. Simple pieces — like collared shirts, cozy sweaters and vintage scarves — are key items to have in a wardrobe and easily found at thrift stores. Designer brands are also often found in thrift stores and consignment shops, selling for a fraction of the original price.

In a thrift store, you must be ready to look. There certainly is an art to thrifting that takes practice, and perhaps the assistance of an experienced thrifter or a friend. You never want to go through every single rack and article of clothing; you will lose your enthusiasm rapidly. Have a premeditated idea of what you might want to purchase.

Something entertaining about thrifting is the vast amount of projects available to tackle. Fancy a pair of high-waisted distressed shorts? Go to the denim rack and create your own cut off shorts! Want a vintage summer dress? Search through the dress section to discover a floral dress you can hem or modify to your size!

Be cautious and smart when thrifting: look out for stains. They can easily be unseen and often overlooked when displayed on the racks. Be sure to check the entirety of the piece from front to back. This goes to say with any article of clothing found at thrift stores. It’s a very discouraging feeling to discover a rogue stain after the purchase.


J. Crew button up from Goodwill, Kate Spade bag, Loft jeans and Forever 21 flats.

A list of pieces to keep an eye out for at thrift stores are collared shirts, sweaters, vintage scarves, leather jackets, professional suits and denim of all sorts. The go-to pieces typically hide among the overwhelming amount of less attractive clothing.

Last summer when I decided to give thrifting a try for the first time, despite my snobbish attitude, I stumbled upon a J. Crew button up top originally priced at $88. I snatched this up for $5, which is a 94 percent discount. This steal could not be found at any J. Crew outlet.

What is deterring you from giving thrifting a try? Whether it intimidates or appalls you, thrifting is a resourceful way of dressing smart on a budget, which every college student needs. Of course, finding outrageously great bargains may not happen during every trip to the thrift store, but neither is a visit to a regular store or boutique.

Give thrifting a try and make a day of it. Take a friend along for a second opinion and moral support. The main message to take with you to the thrift store is common sense. Search for what you need, like and can afford, which conveniently is very cheap. Step out of your comfort zone and try a fun and creative method of shopping.