High fashion and secondhand rarely get mentioned in the same sentence. In order to be on-trend you pretty much have to buy new threads, right? If you want to look super stylish, high-end boutiques are the only way to go, are they not?
If you think my answers to either of these questions is yes, you clearly don’t know me very well (and you’ve never read my blog). I’ve been looking fab and fashionable in my thrift shop finds for a long long time. I can say with confidence that my style is well-curated and sharp. Strangers ask me where I shop all the time…and they’re shocked when I say, “Goodwill”.
Thrift stores get a bad rap from some snobby fashionistas. They’re frequently considered havens for hipsters or people who just don’t really care how they look and want to save money.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can look on-trend, yet unique and fabulous with very little cash.
Think 20-30 years ago, rather than a couple of seasons ago.
Fashion is cyclical. Flared pants were in the the 70’s, then the late 90’s, and now they’re coming back in style yet again. Do the math. Do you see the pattern? The same is true for skirt lengths, waist heights, fashionable colors, and just about any other style element you can think of. If you truly want to be on the cutting edge of what’s about to be hot, you’re better served looking far into the past (counterintuitive, I know), rather than last season.
When in doubt (or tight of pocket), buy black.
For the less daring fashionistas out there – or those with limited coinage for clothes – buy black. Black is timeless. Black is slenderizing. Even the most daring/crazy styles are somehow normalized in black. Black is classy. Since it’s a neutral color, it goes with absolutely everything else in your wardrobe. Plus, it’s almost impossible to stain a little black dress with marinara sauce.
Audrey understood the power of the LBD
Look for ways to wear thrifted finds out of context.
Recently, I discovered Kimono Jackets were being worn by countless celebs. “Hmmmmmnnn…” I thought. Know what works really well as a kimono jacket? Is your mind prepared to be blown? An actual kimono…which I found at Goodwill for $6. When slip dresses were in fashion, I just layered a couple of slips I thrifted for $1 apiece and was ready to hit the dance floor.
Wear something weird.
You heard me. One of my favorite fashion “tricks” is to just wear something totally random that makes absolutely no sense and isn’t fashionable in any way. People will usually just assume you know of some emerging trend they don’t. And how do you think trends get started? By thinking like a fashion innovator, you can actually become one. One of my favorite offbeat style divas blogs at Pull Your Socks Up.
Fortune (and Fashion) favors the bold!
If you’re going to splurge, splurge on accessories, but never ever clothing.
Given everything I’ve just told you, why in the world would you ever waste your money on new clothes ever again? But I know some of you absolutely must buy something brand new every now and again. So, take the money you’ve saved on clothing, and spend it on that awesome designer handbag you’ve been wanting…or those fabulous new pumps. You certainly can find awesome bags and shoes while thrifting, but your label craving will get the most mileage with something you can wear every day all Spring long.
Inspiration from Dulce Candy who styled this thrifted 2XL shirt (worn as a dress) with a new Rebecca Minkoff bag.
Know your style.
Absolutely none of what I’ve shared above will do you any good at all if you don’t have a good idea of your own style. It’s impossible to construct a look for yourself if you don’t spend some time thinking about the image you want to project to the world as well as what you like. Think about who your style icons are. What celebrities do you look at and think, “I like their look.” What eras of fashion do you you most identify with? What fabrics, colors, prints, and textures do you find pleasing? Start a Pinterest board. Bookmark your favorite fashion blogs. Or even take a thrifted cork board and start pinning bits of style information you find from fashion magazines.
Now you’re ready to be the most fashionable woman in the room this Spring. Go ahead, you style diva you!