Monday, November 17, 2014

Personal Style | Thrifting 101

Thifting 101:  This has been a requested  post of how to thrift shop & what I look for when I go thrifting.  I will start this out simply by saying that one of the most important things to remember before you start thrifting is to identify your personal style.  What is it that you like to wear, because I may go into a thrift store & find 10 items but I know that my personal style is classic, timeless for staple pieces.  Staple pieces meaning blazers, slacks & skirts & I do also love vintage blouses.  You will have better luck in  your thrifting excursions when you truly know what you like to wear & not just what you see someone else wearing.  

Tip #1:  Check online reviews - be aware of what current customers are saying about the thrift stores in your area. Pricing, store cleanliness, customer services, etc.  This helps a lot believe it or not. 

Tip #2:  Go with an open mind - shopping at a thrift store is not like a trip to Macy’s or Gap, its more like a TJ Maxx experience where you have to hunt for great finds.  You may not find anything the first few times that you go but don’t let that stop you, drop in often if there are stores close to you.  Trust me its worth it!  

Tip #3:  Shop on discount days.  This is very important in maximizing your savings.  Most Goodwill stores have a “color of the week” & also certain days that all items are extremely discounted.  I feel accomplished when I get something designer for a fraction of the cost because of an extra discount.  

Tip #4:  Go alone!  I know this sounds crazy but thrift shopping takes time to look, its very seldom you can breeze in & out & expect to find a great deal.  For me thrift shopping is therapeutic & calming.  I typically will put on my headphones, listen to music & zone out while cruising the store.  

Tip #5:  Shop all sections of the store;  Men’s, Women’s, Children’s & especially housewares.  I love vintage t-shirts & I always make it a point to look through the Men’s t-shirt section.  Housewares:  look for unique vases for your home or office, sure they may need a little TLC but there is nothing a little cleaner & spray paint can’t make it into a great “new to you” piece of decor.  Be Creative!!  

Tip #6:  Go with a Mission - know the types of clothing that you are looking for on that particular day.  If its pants & blazers visit those sections first & then visit the other sections.  

Tip #7:  Have knowledge of quality brand names.  Its no secret that most people know names like Gap, Liz Claiborne, Polo, etc.  However I have alot of luck in the Nashville stores of finding quality designer pieces because most shoppers are not aware of what they just passed up.  For example, I’ve scored pieces by Salvatore Ferragamo, Givenchy, Stuart Weitzman, Tory Burch, Michael Kors & Christian Dior just to name a few.  It blows my mind when I see them still sitting on the shelves of especially Goodwill.  I think we are fortunate in that we do have some great thrift stores in Nashville but it really helps if you are educated on brand names!   Look for quality items that are unique, this sets you apart from always dressing like everyone else!  *Personal Style* 

Tip #8:  Don’t forget Accessories;  Thrift stores are great for finding accessories such as belts, scarfs, jewelry & handbags.  I am pretty particular about jewelry so I tend to keep it a minimum, however belts, handbags & scarfs I typically check those areas first!  For men definitely check the neckties as well as the belt section you will find many hidden gems just by being familiar with name brands.  

Tip #9: Don’t rule out the shoes. There are ways to clean & sanitize them to make them good as new.  Typically if I am shopping for myself I look for Italian made shoes because of the quality + craftsmanship.

Tip #10:  Wear comfortable clothes when you go thrift shopping, such as leggings, tank tops, over sized tops & comfortable shoes.  This will make help make trying on items easier in the end.  Also bring a no hassle handbag such as a cross body type bag so that you are hands free.  

Tip #11:  Try on all your items whether its shoes or clothing.  This is where the comfy clothes will help you.  Also be sure if you purchase any  item(s) be sure to wash it or take it to the dry cleaners for cleaning.   Also inspect your items thoroughly before purchasing for rips, holes, stains, etc.  Most stores have a return policy but its better to be safe than sorry!  

Tip #12:  Travel outside of your community or neighborhood to thrift.  Explore other areas of your city that have thrift stores, you can find all types of hidden gems!

Tip #13:  Be aware that stores like Target actually send items that don’t sell in their stores to area Goodwill locations at least once per week.  However the drawback is that sometimes Goodwill may price it higher than Target’s last markdown of 75-80% off.  

Tip #14:  When thrift shopping be sure to check out the current season’s trends on the runway, style blogs & street styles.  More times than not styles come back around & you can make it your own by scoring a unique piece.  

Tip #15:  Keep your closet relevant to your personal style.  I call this ruthless editing.  If you add a new or thrifted piece(s) remove one piece.  This will ensure that you actually know what you have in your closet & you can circulate your daily styles.  If you thrift often, things can add up pretty quickly so I suggest having a girls night swap party or clothes exchange.  Just another excuse to get together with friends to chat, have cocktails & explore style!  

I hope that you’ve found these tips value added!   Opulent Couturier is available for personal style shopping & also one on one thrift shopping if you would like to explore & shop with me!  As we shop I will share helpful tips & pointers but also share some of my local favorite thrift stores that I frequent in the Nashville, TN area!    

Contact me via my website at or email  to schedule your shopping experience!  

Happy Thrifting! 

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