Wednesday, May 02, 2012

On Thrifting

You know, I follow a handful of blogs that post OOTDs and consistently credit their clothes to thrift store finds. And they look adorable in their outfits. They must not make thrift shops the same way in Aiken as they do everywhere else. I have never understood the seemingly magic appeal of a dusty, smelly, shop filled with the elderly's unwanted and discarded clothing.

The only times I ever found myself browsing the racks at a thrift store were when I was in college and needed to buy something desperately tacky and cheap for the latest themed sorority function. I have probably never spent longer than 15 minutes at a time looking for something. How much time do you usually spend when you go to the thrift store? How long does it take you to find something cute?

I don't know...I just see this and think, "I'M NOT NEEDY, GET ME OUT OF HERE." The broke newlywed inside me really wants to understand how to be thrifty and find fabulous things. But my personal style is definitely not vintage. I don't regularly wear high waisted pants, polka dot shirts, or grandpa sweaters.

I don't get it and would gladly accept advice.

THE POINT IS, I was hunting for goodies at Habitat for Humanity (because I occasionally find pieces of furniture there that don't remind me of a trailer park), and on my way home, I happened upon a consignment store that I'd never noticed before. (If someone wants to explain the different between a consignment store and a thrift store, I would be much obliged. I guess I could Google it...)

Anyway, I decided to take a look inside just to satisfy my own curiosity. There was a lot of nice stuff, mostly antique furniture and dish ware, but in one corner there was a delightful jewelry display. I browsed for a while and fell in love with a pair of gold and pearl clip on earrings, but then found a white bead necklace with gold accents that are somewhat in the shape of little quatrefoils (the Phi Mu symbol). Naturally I was enamored with it, and immediately decided that I could part with $5 to make her mine.

Now all you thrifting pros, tell me: is $5 a good price for a thrifted necklace? I have no idea. But I loved it. So I bought it.



  1. A thrift store is where people donate the items, a consignment store is usually better quality and the people who are giving the items get paid a little when the item sells. I love your find!

  2. That necklace is gorgeous! I think it's totally worth $5.

    I'm not the best with thrifting either but I have found a few general truths to getting a good deal:

    1. Consignment stores often have better items because the people who gave them to the store will get a little money back from them (so they're usually a higher quality than the stuff you'd just give away to a thrift store).

    2. Go to consignment stores (or even thrift stores) in the fancy-shmancy parts of town. The rich people in town will naturally have better items to donate and they're not going to drive out of their way to do so - they'll go to the local shop. So if Aiken has thrift or consignment shops in whatever the "nice" part of town is, that's where you'll probably find the cute/designer deals.

  3. hiii! i just found your blog and i love it! the layout, everything :) YAY for new reads! congrats on the wedding!
    xxo em

  4. I am kind of the same way when it comes to thrifting. I think i've only ever once bought a shirt from a second hand shop. some of the "nicer" ones in the city have some better stuff, but when you're outside of the popular locations, they all pretty much look like someone's dirty old closet. I want to like it, because it would be awesome to find a new wardrobe for like $3 but it never works out that way for me either. I can never separate the gems from the garbage. If we're talking furniture though, well that's a whole other story ;)

    xo dana

  5. I couldn't understand thrifting either, the only time I went was to get home decor stuff on the cheap.

  6. I'm addicted to thrifting, and it can certainly get you into some sketchy situations. I've been in Goodwill and some scary man tried to follow me into a dressing room. I've had people scoff because they don't think I should be in there... Whatever. But I have also found, hands down, my favorite pieces in thrift stores.

    I think there's a certain joy that comes with finding a great piece at such a great price. I too am a broke newlywed, so I feel your pain. I just did a guest post on thrifting tactics, and how to separate the junk from the treasures.

    You'll have better luck at finding things in consignment stores versus stores that just take donations. They're more 'choosy' and they know what's on trend, current fits/colors, etc.

    I just found your blog and I'm excited to follow along! You're adorable!

    Secondhand Magpie


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