7 August 2008

Thrifting, Vintage and Style-Hints and Tips

Oh, where to start!! Well, I wanted to share my love of thrifting and vintage with you all, not just by "This is what I thrifted today" but more along the lines of tips, hints and generally anything to do with vintage fashion!!

Firstly, if you like to thrift, I would suggest the best places to go are going to be jumble sales, church or school fetes, charity shops, boot sales, markets, online shopping and ebay. I do appreciate that a lot of people do not have access to charity shops or boot sales on a regular basis-but don't forget to check out new places if you go on vacations, business trips or days out to different towns or cities. Don't forget more closer to home-check out mums or grans wardrobes too-you may be pleasantly surprised!! Also check out my list of favourite websites-I have links to a few good vintage websites!!

Secondly, what to expect? Well, the best tips I can give are:

"Expect the unexpected"
I've often gone thrifting for specific items or a lot of the time a general browse and came home with something that wasn't even on my radar.

"What is a good buy?"
A good buy whilst thrifting is only worth buying if it fits you (or you can get a garment altered), it is a wardrobe basic, it is an original, good condition vintage piece, a one of a kind and most importantly, is within your budget. Ultimately, you do have to love the item too!! I'd rather come home empty handed than with something just for the sake of it! If you can, always try an item on, unless you are totally convinced you don't need to, for whatever reason!!

"If in doubt whilst thrifting-BUY IT"
My most treasured piece of advice I can pass on is this. A vintage piece is unique and one of a kind, so it won't be there tomorrow, like at H&M or Zara. Generally, if you are buying from a charity shop, the price will be low anyway and if you don't like it after all, you are doing a double whammy of buying from the charity shop in the first place and then donating it back again!!

"Quality, not quantity"
I know we all love a full wardrobe, but if an item is totally bang on trend and of low quality, chances are you won't be wearing it again in six to nine months time, let alone a decades time! Thrifting is also an excellent way of bagging a designer name at rock bottom prices-quality is generally assured too. This is the timeless appeal of thrifting for vintage, as it never goes out of fashion and the quality of a garment is generally so much better than high street buys nowadays. If you do go for trends, try to purchase an item that adopts a timeless, chic attitude about it- scarves, blazers, floral dresses, belts, handbags and costume jewellery are great buys which never seem to be out of fashion or style. Will you be in lace or tartan in 9 to 12 months time? Maybe you will or you won't, but try and source an item that will stand the test of time and quality and can be seen again when its next back in trend.

"Check out Ebay"
Ebay is the one stop shop for specific items- 'a black lace vintage dress', 'wide legged jeans', 'navy velvet blazer'-you get my drift!! plus, if you are a label fanatic, then 'Yves Saint Laurent', 'Ossie Clark', 'Chanel' or 'Pucci' are only fingertips away!!! Plus, I've noticed with my own buys that the summer months tend to be the best time to win or buy items at very reasonable prices-maybe because a lot of people are away on vacation and also people tend to sell their things in summer for holiday spends!!

"Have fun by creating your own style(s)"
The great thing about thrifting is you can recreate many different styles-I personally don't have one look, I like to dress in floral vintage one day, modern jeans and top the next, 80s combo the day after!! I think this only leads to building your self confidence as you are not dressing in 'whats in fashion today'-you are showing your individuality, creativeness and developing your own sense of style-for example, Agyness Deyn may not be your cup of tea, but she doesn't follow trends and totally works her own unique, crazy way of dressing!!!

"Be your own Person"
I could ultimately go on to say, look out for lace, tartan, pencil skirts, polka dot dresses, etc-yes, they are all timeless trends that come in and out of fashion, but half the fun is experimenting for yourself and seeing what you come up with! The fun of vintage and thrifting is you never know whats round the corner-try it and see!!

38 comments:

Fabulously Broke said...

I like the line "When in doubt, buy it!"

When it's jeans or a winter coat, I don't..er...won't hesitate. :) hahahahahahahaa

I'm linking to this, because there are great tips!

Make Do and Mend said...

Ah, great useful info x

Sharon Rose said...

Hi fabulously broke-glad you like the post enough to use it too, thanks so much!!

Hi kate-thanks a lot!!

ellie said...

thank you so much for the tips. some of the best thrifting I've done was at church sales. but one of my favorites is the charity shops that has such a turn over of clothes. so if you see it, want it, get it. it won't be there long.

& you are so right about my story and ellie's parents. hopefully, no family would ever go to that extreme.

thanks again for reading.

Jaimie @ Just Kiss 'N Makeup said...

thanks for all the tips! Maybe i'll someday be as fashionable as you!

Times of Glory said...

Dear, you are absolutely my thrift Queen! The tips are really helpful! I have lots to learn from you, Sharon! I'm sure these will ensure you have a very satisfying wardrobe xxxxxxx

Sharon Rose said...

Hi ellie-thanks for your lovely comment and keep up the good work!

Hi jaimie-you're so lovely, thanks my dear!!

Hi times of glory-what a sweetie you are-thanks so much!!

♥ fashion chalet said...

I love digging through my Mom's (and Grandmother's) old things too. xx

Thanks for your comment, you're always a doll! <3

Sharon Rose said...

Hi fashion chalet-Its the best place to start, I think!! You're welcome, my dearest!!

Sal said...

You are so good to share your secrets. Does it ever make you leery to buy vintage on eBay? Or do you find that people are generally upfront about flaws, smells, etc? I'm so much more comfortable buying older garments when I can touch them, though I did land a glorious persian lamb coat on eBay for $10. Whee!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi Sal-I was caught out with my floral Ossie Clark dress from ebay-the seller said there was about 3 flaws max-oh no there wasn't!! At least double that, so I negotiated a partial refund, as I still wanted to keep the dress! Your coat sounds an excellent find-well done, it just shows ebay is great for vintage bargains!!

Cupcakes and Cashmere said...

i swear i'm going to print this out and take it with me this weekend when i hit up the rose bowl flea market. i definitely need to adhere to the 'if in doubt, but it' motto since i've passed up on some great things and in retrospect realize that $5 wasn't terrible for a pair of slouchy, leather boots (still kicking myself over that one). thanks for this! xxx

Nothing Elegant said...

Thank you. These are great tips! Love your blog and your style...I just added your link!
Cheers.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi cupcakes and cashmere-what a lovely comment, I'm so pleased this is helpful to you!! I have some follow up posts on this, so watch this space! Hope you get some really good finds this weekend, I can't wait to see them!

Hi nothing elegant-thanks for stopping by with your lovely comment!!

atelier said...

I think my problem is I doubt too often...hihi. This summer I have realized I prefer quality instead of quantity, I guess being in Paris by the time I realized was not good at all for my savings...they are all gone!!!!!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi atelier-aah, thats a shame about the savings but hopefully you do have(or will have later) some quality, timeless investment pieces to show for it!!

Wendy said...

So many times I've wavered on buying something and afterwards I regret it so much. Good tips!

Mariel said...

Thanks for your comment! I'm now back posting, and have new additions to my blog.
What a great post! I love vintage shopping, but you mentioned a bunch of ideas and techniques I haven't thought of before. Great job!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi wendy-If it feels right then certainly don't pass it up!! Thanks!

Hi mariel-thanks for your comment and pleased you've found the ideas useful too!

Siljesfashion said...

Love your advices, what a fabolous post!!!! I agree, buy! I have regretted it many times and there is no going back. I have also scored some great deals this summer, so you might be right on track. Also, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to watch the videos, your opinion means a lot-even though we speak a different language, we certainly have many of the same ideas and thoughts about fashion!! I bet many will get a great guide using this post when they go thrifting!

Marte said...

thanks for the tips:)

Always In Style said...

Great tips -- esp. QUALITY vs. QUANTITY -- even if it's a thrift shop and stuff is cheap doesn't make it a bargain and just because something's old that doesn't make it "vintage."

Sharon Rose said...

Hi Silje-it was a pleasure to watch your videos, like you say we have such similiar thoughts and tastes, it was great to see you chanelling your blog and style through the videos, I really enjoyed them!! Thanks for your lovely comment too-I've a couple more posts on this thread, so watch this space!!

Hi marte-thanks a lot, you're most welcome!!

Hi always in style-Yes, exactly my point and once you master it, it makes it so much easier to pick out the jewels if they're there!!

Alison said...

very interesting - and so indepth! thanks!

Danz said...

These are some great tips Sharon and I will definitely keep them in mind since they're coming from an expert thrifter such as yourself!

I'm always hunting on Ebay for vintage deals (none that I can afford right now though).

Vintage clothing in Barbados is very hard to find because there's still a bit of a stigma here about secondhand clothing. Most people seem to have either thrown out their vintage clothes or haven't kept them in very good condition.

I think as long as the item looks great, is affordable and of good quality, it's worth buying and wearing!

Take care hun and enjoy the rest of your day :)

Savvy Mode SG said...

Hi S, thanks for sharing. we don't need to be experts to know quality when we see it.

Cheryl Lynn said...

This is incredible! I'm contacting you by email about a proposition I have for you and this post is just perfect for what I'm looking for. So very informative and a good read to boot!

Love your vintage flair!

Nay'Chelle said...

Great tips! I liked #4.

WendyB said...

Your "if in doubt" advice is so right. I noticed someone on another blog saying that if you have doubts, not to buy it because it's not "your style." But if you follow that advice, you'll never try anything new and interesting that you might ultimately love.

Sydney Speel said...

ebay usually has really good stuff.

but the best is thrifting.

you get to see the clothes, feel the fabric.

soak up the thrifting experience!

Karima said...

great advice, sharon. you nailed it, and make thrifting sound like the great fun it is!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi alison-thanks very much!!

Hi danz-thanks for your lovely comment and its a shame there isn't more vintage readily available for you-I suppose ebay and online vintage websites are good alternatives, though! have a lovely day too!

Hi savvy gal-yes, you're right about not been an expert to appreciate quality, its just being more experimental in your own style if you find a quality vintage piece which is different!! Thanks my dear!

Hi Cheryl Lynn-thanks for your lovely comment and email-I've answered you too!!

Hi nay'chelle-so kind, thanks a lot!

Hi wendy b-exactly right!! I think that broadens your own self confidence and style boundaries by trying something you hadn't thought of before!

Hi sydney speel-thanks and yes, thrifting is a great experience!

Hi karima-haha, you don't need much of this advice, you have a superb eye for thrifting with your lovely finds!

p said...

great, great, great advice!

i swear by "be your own person" most of all!

always great to see your thrifting loot!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi p-thanks so much for your lovely comment my dearest!!

yiqin; said...

While, when in doubt BUY IT?!!? I love that line! But I am actually more of a quantity over quality person right now wit a tight budget!!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi Yiqin-each to their own-it obviously works for you!!

TUPERSONALSHOPPERVIAJERO said...

Thanks for your useful information
;-)

Sharon Rose said...

Hi tupersonalshopperviajero-thanks my dear!!

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