Thrifting, Vintage and Style-My Tips

I'd just like to say a big thanks to all the people who regularly comment on my blog, whether you are a loyal follower, a browser or an 'anonymous' who has just popped by, your input and comments are much appreciated!!

A lot of comments that are left are also general questions about where and how I thrift. I live on the East London and Essex borders and I have around half a dozen towns that I can visit that have around half a dozen charity shops in each of them. Of course, I love a boot sale too and am lucky that in season, there are ones on every other day!!!

I'm fortunate that they all tend to have very reasonably priced, good quality pieces-of course, I don't always come home with something, but 8 times out of 10, I'll pick up either a wardrobe basic which can be of Gap or Marks & Spencer quality, a vintage piece, or if I'm really lucky, a designer item that has my name on it, LOL!!

I'm also re-posting Thrifting, Vintage and Style-My Tips from August last year, which is my take on thrifting in general and getting the best bargain possible-so for those of you who want to know my tips read on!!!!

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!!


Michael said...

Sigh, I love thrifting but it takes so much time and paitence! I don't have time and paitence, that's the main problem. hahah

Jules said...

"Be your own person" Love this. This is one thing every person must do. Be yourself. Great post Sharon. =D

A Writers Den
Brown Mestizo

Timeless Fashion... said...

East London sounds like the perfect place for vintage shopping. But if you say you check other towns too; I better have a look here in the North West. Have a great weekend.

Rebecca said...

Great summary of some very practical tips about thrifting! Love it!

Unknown said...

Good advice! xxx Lots Of Love and Have a good weekend! x

zsooofi said...

great, useful post. my biggest problem is that I don't ever have time. And when I have - I'm really tired to go on thrifting.:)

Unknown said...

Great advise. I love ebay, but am wary of any counterfeit items. So I research my product before buying.

Anika said...

I freaking love this post...made for me, it was. I love thrifting and have heaps of patience browsing and finding things I find pleasing texturally or shape wise.

And completely agree with you, I learnt quickly to just buy if in doubt :)

yiqin; said...

Woot, great tips! I MUST go thrifting soon.

www.janetteria.com said...

Gorgeous tips, dear Sharon. :-)

Happy Friday!

Siljesfashion said...

Great advice Sharon! Have a wonderful weekend!

Etrapar said...

Great post and "Be your own Person" I translate as BE YOU!

Angela said...

great tip. you are right, it is important to have personal style.

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

You truly have a gift lady. Fabulous advice!

Anonymous said...

Great tips. 'If in doubt, buy' with thrifting you can buy everything in sight and still not damage the finances- fabulous!

Sharon S said...

Hi everyone-thanks for all your kind comments and input, so much appreciated!!

Make Do Style said...

Great masterclass!
You know I always channel you when thrifting.

Sally said...

great post! i have times when i forget about ebay but then i rediscover it and im addicted again! x

Noémie K said...

interesting post !
I'm really curious about what you think about my last vintage purchase (a Leonard scarf bought 65 €), you can see it on my blog*
Have a nice we !!

AsianCajuns (Lauren) said...

Great tips, Sharon!!! You are inspiring to work harder to find better thrifting locales in Atlanta- we seem to not have quite as many as you- though that could be because I'm not as good at finding such great deals!

michelle_ said...

Hello there. I'm new to your blog :)
and I'm enjoying reading it !

i agree with all the tips you just wrote..thrift shopping is truly one of d best experiences in shopping.. its always great to find great pieces at such a low price.. its somekind of satisfaction actualy :)

added u to my blog roll.

mind to exchange links ?

Winnie said...

I love all your bits of advice seeing as I regard you as the Queen of thrifting! x

nurmisur said...

Those are very good advices. You are an expert in the thrift art.

Belle de Ville said...

Thank you for your post...and for this blog. Thrifting is a great way to find unique looks at a reasonable price. Long before I went into the vintage estate jewlery business, Beladora.com, I was a huge vintage fan and I still shop vintage.

Sharon S said...

Hi everyone-thanks for all your kind comments, it means a lot to know you all liked the post!!

Bonnie said...

I love your advice to be your own person and I'm still loving the 50s check vintage dress your have. It's awesome!


Sharon S said...

Hi Bonnie-thanks so much, it was my mums and I love it too!

Gerri Ward said...

WOW! Thank YOU Sharon Rose, however, I think only YOU can solely Find FABULOUS GEMS, it's a NATURAL GIFT YOU have !!! Of course I'll continue my quest of trying to unearth some FABULOUS TREASURE !!!:))

Sharon S said...

Hi Gerri-so kind my dear, thanks!!


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