Thrifting for the Vintage Enthusiasts
THIS IS A SPONSORED POST WRITTEN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOODWILL OF THE OLYMPICS & RAINIER REGION
Has anyone else ever had a relative drag them into a thrift store? I certainly have. My first thrifting experience came when I was very young, maybe 7 or 8, and what I remember was lots of dust and low lighting. There were piles of things arranged as if someone haphazardly placed them on display for you to sift through. Some modern thrift stores are still like that, and I know some fellow thrifters/thriftresses enjoy the old school hunt of unmarked, unorganized piles of prospective treasures to dig through. There are times I can handle that and have the time to be one of those people, but sometimes I just want to go shopping where things are a bit more organized and the store doesn’t have a strange smell. So, I go to Goodwill!
When I discovered thrifting for myself I was in high school. I was on the hunt for a homecoming dress. My mom and I found a simple plum colored dress with a bad hem job, but I didn’t care because it was 6 dollars and it was just stylish enough for my angsty fifteen year old self. From that moment I was hooked. I would continue thrifting throughout high school and college and now as a full-fledged, living-with-my-fiancé adult.
I didn’t get into vintage until I was in college, because I was, hello, poor. I worked a part time job and had to pay for all my school expenses and such myself. So what I began to wear was exclusively thrifted; and whatever was at the thrift store I wore. And what is mostly donated? Older things that are deemed “outdated” by modern aesthetics. I began thrifting for basics, and then by lucky chance I found some cool vintage things and I started mixing them with modern clothing to give it a unique look. That’s what is great about thrift stores. You’re going to leave with something unique, that maybe no one else has.
With the rise of Instagram I discovered a community of people just like me. People that thrifted the majority of their clothing. People that wore older things like me. I felt more confident in my style and since then I have been dressing in vintage clothing full time. My favorite Goodwill find is this black circle skirt. It originally had a hole in the front, but with the help of my grandma we added floral appliques and it looks lovely with a petticoat and gloves.
In more recent years, I have gravitated towards the zero/less waste life style. Thrifting is a great opportunity to buy things that are already made instead of buying something new and creating more consumerism with big businesses. I started out thrifting canvas bags for grocery shopping and moved into buying kitchen pans, jars, utensils, mugs, plates and other home décor. Another great thing is instead of your money going to those big corporations, your money is going to job training and other Goodwill programs!
Some tips for thrifting:
- Go to different Goodwills.
I was known to start at the Puyallup Goodwill and drive my way up to the 38th Tacoma Goodwill (My favorite) and ending at the Gig Harbor Goodwill. That’s some serious thrifting! With the different Goodwill locations, become familiar with their different layouts! I also collect vintage media, such as records. The Gig Harbor one has a HUGE section of records, while the 38th street Tacoma Goodwill has a small section. Know the layouts so you don’t miss out on something cool!
- Doing a quick search? Don’t bother with a cart. Choose a basket if possible.
It can get annoying when you’re trying to maneuver through an aisle and someone is taking up space with their cart. I always opt for a basket for easy access and swiftness!
- Always. ALWAYS try on the clothes before you buy them.
It may look cute, it may appear to be your size, but you never know why something was donated. I always check under arm seams, zippers, buttons… Some things I can fix myself but some just aren’t worth the hassle. And sometimes cuts look cute hanging up, but weird on your body.
4. Don’t overlook the Housewares aisle!
There is always new art and crafting supplies there, just check out what I found in one visit! It’s a good place to look for gifts because they’re still in their original packaging and no one will know that you got it second hand.
You follow Briana on her vintage thrifting journey… @brimonster on Instagram.