Thrift stores are rarely like the glamorous retro secret heaven with neon signs and 50’s Chanel dresses for 20 dollars you see on glossy television shows or movies. In reality you it’s a lot of wading through chipped precious moments figurines, decorative plates with dogs on them and clothes that are just too serious and unflattering to bother with. I've learned some tips and tricks along with way and I always keep an eye for certain things,
What kind of thrift store are you going to?
Where are you going? That's the biggest part to me - some thrift stores are more home decor and furniture, some are clothing, some are well curated with a mix of clothes and decor, some are just junky, some are high end. A lot of thrift stores don't have websites but googling what's in your town and reading the reviews to see what they have has always helped me.
Thrift stores with mainly home decor can be really fun. I found two vintage cameras in a thrift store that was overflowing with furniture and housewares. I do look for unique bowls, vases and plates but so far have come up empty handed. I don't let a crowded, disordered store get to me = I set out to find where the vintage cameras would be and hone in. (It's almost always in glass cases with telephones/computers). I'd love to find a rotary phone and a typewriter so both are always on my radar. I tend to veer off toward the electronics area since that's where my interests lie.
Check out the vintage clutches!
Anytime I'm in a thrift store I make a beeline for the beaded clutches. A lot of times they are not displayed - rather they are in a pile (sometimes in a basket). I don't bother with the 2007 Coach bags that are trotted out. The real gold are the beaded, embroidered and fun clutches and handbags! Some may look like a dainty grandmother had them. I love those. Some might look 70s and sparkly and full of stories. Yes yes yes. Those are not only great as home decor to display but are great to bring out on nights when you want to only store a couple things and have a great statement piece.
Always the Dresses
For some reason, I tend to veer off to dresses rather than pants, blouses or shoes when I'm thrifting. I look for dresses that either I will wear all the time including work or are so fabulous and vintage yet practical that I can incorporate it in my wardrobe - mainly for parties or special events. Vintage prints I like are colorful 60's/70's prints and 50's style silhouettes with the slim waists an full skirts. I've found some great blazers, too. I love patches on the elbows or colorful, bold blazers that will turn a boring outfit into something fun and funky.
What are your favorite things to look for when you are thrifting?