I find that when I step out in a super cute outfit, killer pair of shoes, amazing work jacket - I get kind compliments from friends and even strangers to which I respond a lot with, "I got this at the ARC". They are always shocked. I find so many awesome things at the thrift store and people always wonder how I have such "luck". It's not luck. Thirft storing is a skill you need to develop and it takes practice. I have been doing this most my life. I thought I would impart a couple tips to take with you on your next thrift storing adventure.
1) Mindset. You need to be in the right mind set before venturing out on an thrift store adventure because it's work. You can't expect a victory every time. Being on the front-lines of a thrift store excursion isn't all roses and lollipops. Sometimes you have to wade through 30 things before you find something good. Sometimes you can go through the whole store and find one thing - or nothing. That DOES happen. Week before last, my friend Dara and I went to dinner and then to the ARC for some shopping. We shopped for an hour and both left empty handed. Last Saturday, we went again and I left with a killer pair of colored jeans which I am wearing today, super cute cap sleeve brown flyaway cardigan, three books I have been wanting to buy anyway, an expensive coffee travel mug, and a North Face workout shirt. (I might add that everything is half price at ARC stores on Saturdays and I left spending $11.64).
2) Figure out your mission BEFORE you go. Every time I go, I keep in mind what I need or what would compliment something I already have. Before you go, decide about three things you are actively looking for to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed. I recommend going on Pinterest and making a board for what you are looking for, for inspiration. I recently was working on a project in which I had to dress "casual country chic" and I was going CRAZY thinking of everything I had to buy. I thought I needed a whole wardrobe! My friend Karen pinned some ideas for me - I also pinned some myself and I realized I only needed a couple boyfriend cardigans and plaid shirts. The rest was in my closet! Here is my board: Show Outfit Ideas
3) To make some extra $$, shop all the sizes. I always look in sizes that don't fit me. Shoes as well. I bought a pair of Manolo's in a size 8 (I wear a 10) but I listed them on eBay for extra cash! They aren't up to much right now but most people bid in the last 10 minutes of an auction. I paid $8.00 for them at a thrift store in Pasadena, Texas. At this same thrift store, I bought three pairs of high end jeans in sizes 2-14 and just brought them up to Zoe's Consignment on Broadway...they gave me a $90.00 store credit for the jeans to which I turned in for a beautiful Missoni Couture top for spring. (This is Missoni Couture - not that Target stuff. I was devastated when the Target thing happened.) I paid under $10.00 for all three pairs of the jeans. Here is my top that I found online!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Just remember your "Three P's" - practice, perseverance, and patience.