At the start of the new year we jetted off to New York City to visit friends and enjoy some Big Apple adventures. My boyfriend had always wanted to visit Columbia University's campus so I decided to do a modern take on the classic collegiate style. As always, my entire out is thrifted (except for the boots and handbag). I was super excited to style my shaggy faux fur vest which my boyfriend has dubbed the "rug vest" (some men just don't understand fashion!). This vest and hat were both thrifted steals too.
When I attend fashion and blogger events we all love to chat about our outfits, and people are often surprised when I tell them my outfit is thrifted. Every once in a while I will come across someone who has a negative impression of buying second hand clothing. I love to take the opportunity to tell them about my experiences and educate folks on the benefits of thrifting, and hopefully convert them!
Thrifting Myths Debunked:
You can't get the brands you like - I am a super brand loyal gal. I know what aesthetics, cuts, washes, even stitching I like and I know which brands have it. It requires more elbow grease but you can find the brands you love. I have found many pieces from brands like Free People, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Chaser, Helmut Lang, Nasty Gal, Mod Cloth, Theory, Gucci, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, and the list goes on. It's a combination of putting more efforts into your search and a little bit of luck.
I can't find my size - The sizes in a thrift store are generally a direct reflection of the sizes in the surrounding community, and communities are filled with people of all shapes and sizes. I can tell you that the selection in thrift stores closer to bigger cities tend to have a better selection of both brands and sizes. I wear sizes 8 - 10 and I can always find clothing in my size.
The clothes are dirty - In thrift stores there's generally a pre-screening process to keep you from running into soiled items. I won't deny that an occasional dirty garment pops up from time to time, but generally most items are sanitary. I also heard someone say that you can get scabies from thrifted clothes. All I can say is in my 30 years of wearing thrifted clothes that has never happened to me or anyone I know. Worrying too much about the clothes being dirty is more of a mental block than a reality.
Thrifting is for poor people - I have seen people from all walks of life shopping thrift, and having fun while they're doing it! There are amazing things you can discover in a thrift store that you wouldn't be able to find anywhere else. A very lucky thrift shopper once discovered an authentic Picasso painting!
The styles are outdated - In any thrift store you will find a wide variety of styles, and yes, many of them will be outdated. If you're looking for something that was just recently released then you probably won't find it. But styles don't change too much over a year period and if you shop off-season you can get plenty of on-trend items. Also, shopping for classic evergreen staples like chunky sweaters, trench coats, denim, boots, summer dresses is always a safe bet :)
Thrift stores are disorganized and take a long time to shop - Now this statement I have to agree with but I actually think it's a positive! If you're looking for a quick grab and go then thrifting isn't the best option. The thrill of thrifting is in the hunt. Depending on how big the store is, you need to dedicate a good chunk of time (most likely a couple hours) to go through the racks and explore every nook and cranny. The disorganization can help you uncover some awesome treasures!
Online thrifting - All these same principles tend to apply to online thrifting websites. The shopping experience is often a bit disorganized and you have to scroll through many pages of product, similar to looking through racks at a physical store. But the rewards can be worth it, trust me. Patience pays off ;)
I challenge you to change the way you view thrifted style and to even give it a try!
See more from our New York City trip:
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