Going into any kind of discount store can be a daunting and intimidating task; large thrift stores and vintage shops included. Being a seasoned discount and vintage shopper, I am happy to share of my tricks of the trade. Here, I will focus on specific items in thrift and vintage stores to keep a look-out for as they are usually the best “finds” and value-wise you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
When in thrift stores that are overstuffed with all kinds of goodies (and not-so-goodies), good tops can be one of the toughest things to find. They are usually wedged in between a whole lotta garbage.
One tip is to feel through all of the tops. Use your sense of touch! You may not be able to see all the items, and instead may be able to feel that vintage silk blouse or soft vintage angora tank sweater crammed in between all that polyester (not that I’m against all polyester!).
Another definite vintage goody are vintage dresses! There are always amazing vintage silk dresses up for the grab in thrift stores. One thing to look out for are STAINS! Sometimes in these poorly lit shops you wont notice a small grease stain until you arrive at your home and its, too late (no refunds at these store)! I have found some great dresses that I’ve purchased even with stains, only to find out that my cleaner can’t remove these age-old stains most of the time .
Another important tip when looking and purchasing vintage dresses is to try them on before purchasing them. Vintage molds and cuts are quite different from modern day molds so it is important to try on before purchasing. I frequent some mega thrift stores that do not have fitting rooms so I go in my leggings and tight shirt uniform and try on in front of whatever mirror I can find!
Although these are pretty tough to find, finding adorable vintage pumps and shoes always gives me an extra thrill. They are tougher to find, because vintage shoes in good condition that are good quality are just fewer and farther between. On top of that, you have to hope and pray the pair you find will fit your foot. It’s not a hopeless task though. There are plenty of beautiful italian leather pumps out there for the taking. Just have patience and return often for a looksy around.
Vintage purses are an easier find to keep an eye out for.The best ones to look out for are beaded evening handbags or leather clutches since these are usually in better condition being that they are more gently used.
Vintage purses are a perfect items to add a little pop and vintage feel to an otherwise contemporary look.
When I’m having a thrifting off-day (not finding any vintage apparel), I go for an accessory search. Thrift stores are a great place to score furs. I have purchased at least 4 different amazing vintage fur coats all well below $30 each. My most recent fave fur find was this gorgeous classic mink stole that I am dying to wear in the upcoming Autum/Winter months. I also wear my fox fur collar religiously with just about any sweater and coat in the cool months.
Not into fur? Other great vintage store accessories you’re sure to find: silk scarves, wool coats, and HATS! I’m in the middle of a hat obsession at the moment so I am always on the lookout for hats and have found so many amazing HIGH QUALITY vintage wool and beach hats recently. New, good quality hats nowadays are costing a pretty penny so put your thrifting skills to work!
AND of course last, but not least, my BIGGEST TIP when it comes to vintage and thrift shopping is SHOP DESPY!
Let me do the dirty work for you. Just sit back, kick your feet up and visit the website often for guaranteed great vintage finds at amazing prices. )