I spoke at FASHION CAMP 2010 on Saturday, February 20th at Parson's in New York City on the "Art of Thrifting." [http://www.fashioncamp.org]
While other speakers were chatting up jargon like "monetization," "virtual runway," "branding, licensing, & copyright," ... I just wanted to talk about how to get a super fab wardrobe for less. So, that's exactly what I did.
I didn't get a chance to film the panel, so I did a mini-summation here. A bit choppy in the editing, but it gets the point [and motivation to thrift!] across.
The bonus? Buying from your local thrift store combines the 3 pillars of my platform: style, substance, & sustainability into your wardrobe.
Now that's what I call one-stop shopping.
The 5 tips, broken down:
1.) **Get Social**
Double your F's for an A+ thrifting experience by shopping with FRIENDS & shopping with FOCUS.
**Friends will help you to attack a store by splitting off in different directions and bringing back the goods to one another. Group like an army, plan your attack, search & seize!
**Focusing on what you need in your wardrobe will help you on solo thrifting trips. Evaluate your wardrobe pre-thrifting. Discover that you need some new jeans? Then only review the jeans rack, and dedicate your time there. You'll have the patience to sort through the junk and find the gems.
2.) **Dress Appropriately**
Wear tight clothing [leggings/tanks for girls, sweatpants or shorts/tanks for guys] so you can slip into and out of outfits easily in the aisles. Why the aisles? Because the dressing rooms [if there are any] take a minimum # of items and if available, come with the burden of a long line. Get smart, and skip it all.
3.) **Get Digital**
Use the "store locator" section at Goodwill [locator.goodwill.org], Salvation Army [salvationarmyusa.org], Housing Works, St. Paul's Vincent, and other national thrift stores, or aggregated directory sites like Yellow Pages [yellowpages.com] [just look up "thrift store"], Vintage Where [http://vintagewhere.com]
Thrift Shopper [http://www.thethriftshopper.com] and even YELP [for the tips & reviews to decide where to go!]
Call the store in advance to a.) get specific directions and b.) double check that it's open. Independently owned thrift stores have varied hours. Like a hair salon, many are closed on Mondays or only open at noon. When asking for directions, state back whatever Mapquest/Google Maps tells you - trust me, you can't rely on GPS technology to give you the landmarks you need when driving into unfamiliar territory for the first time.
5.) **Dig for Discounts**
When you call TK thrift store to double check on directions & existence, ask about "discount day." Salvation Army stores offer 50 percent off all tags but ONE color every Wednesday. Others, like Goodwill and independently owned stores have 50% off sales near holidays or on another day of the week. Thrift wise - hit up those sales!
Happy thrifting ;-)