Thrifting: A Guide


[infobox subtitle=”Thrifting as an Art” bg=”yellow” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”no link”]How to Score Vintage Gold[/infobox]

When we say we LOVE vintage finds, we are not channeling our inner Regina George. In other words, we are not lying like the Mean Girl did in Tina Fey’s cinema masterpiece when she complimented a vintage skirt she truly hated.

Knowing how to mix high and low pieces is a skill we are constantly trying to perfect. Here at TheLoDown, we are inspired by It girls like Alexa Chung, who popularized thrifting as she combined vintage finds with designer pieces over the last several years. Anyone can buy designer clothes off the rack, but it takes true style to know when and how to combine pieces from different times and brands. That being said, thrifting, like anything else, is an art. It takes time and practice to learn the skills necessary (ahem… patience) to delve through pounds of unwanted goods at thrift shops.

Several of my friends have this art down pat. They can sift through rooms and rooms and come out with the most magnificent clothes. I, on the other hand, with my short attention span, become easily bored if I don’t find something I adore upon my arrival at the shop. I’ve been trying to figure out the secret to thrifting, and I am here to tell you, the art of vintage shopping lies in patience and persistence.

So, before you head out:


Do your research. A big part of knowing how to score vintage gold is knowing where to go thrifting. Thrift shops carry what their surrounding neighborhoods will support. You’re more likely to find high quality pieces in fashionable neighborhoods. In New York City, for example, you’re more likely to find shops that carry vintage designer pieces in SoHo and the Lower East Side than you are in Midtown. It’s all about the clientele so from shops like Buffalo Exchange to Salvation Army, the surroundings are truly what will give you insight into the items the shop carries. In NYC, our favorites include Le Grand Strip (Brooklyn), Tokio7 (LES) and Monk (Greenwich & Brooklyn).

Keep an open mind. It’s great to keep in mind the pieces you’d like to add to your wardrobe. This can give you a blueprint for your shopping trip, but it’s important to keep an open mind when you’re sifting through piles of clothes. What may look unappealing on the table may look absolutely incredible on you, and you may find that the piece adds a unique twist to your outfits.

Be (a bit) wary. If you’re shopping at a vintage shop that specializes in vintage designer, you have to be cautious about the authenticity of the pieces. This is where your style-obsessed friends come in handy. After all, you don’t want to drop a pretty penny on a vintage Chanel that may or may not be a fake.

How do you incorporate vintage into your wardrobe? Sound off below!

  1. Keeping an open mind is truly essential! If youve got blinders on to everything but dresses, who knows what special accessories youre missing out on. Theres nothing like a good thrift dig

  2. I always do a quick sweep of all the racks, the faster the better. This is so you don’t get attached to something you are partial about! Always keep a budget and look at quality not the brand. If it’s worn out torey burch, not good!

  3. Anyone buying used clothing needs to be aware of the very real risk of bed bugs. Inspect the item in the store for any obvious signs. Even if there are no obvious signs, seal the item in a plastic bag until you can throw it in the dryer on high heat or dry cleaning it. Toss the plastic bag in an outdoor trash bin once the clothing begins the cleaning process.

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