Guest Blogger: Thrifting Tips from Secondhand Magpie

Hey Y'all!  Today we've got a lovely guest, Britt from Secondhand Magpie.  She is a wiz about thrifting and remixing items, on which I could learn a lot.  She's here to give us her tips and tricks for us beginner thrifters and/or simply how to make the most out of your thrifting expeditions.

Hi there! I'm Britt, and I live for a bargain.


I was so flattered when Kristen offered me a guest blogger position while she's on vacation! On Secondhand Magpie, I pride myself on my thrifted finds, as well as items I have managed to keep long term and incorporate into my current wardrobe.

I can't bring myself to buy something full price, even if it's a reasonable price initially. I cringe when I see it on sale later, even I've worn it a few times between the time I bought it and when it was marked down. Luckily for us, thrift stores have come a long way, and buyers have become more savvy. Gone are the days of the stores full of grandma's castoffs and poor quality items.

Places like Plato's Closet and Buffalo Exchange sift through pieces and only accept seasonally appropriate, on trend items. Other stores, such as Goodwill and Savers, feature a 'boutique' section of the store with more current or relevant pieces donated.  Here are my top thrifting tips to make your experience not only worth your while, but successful to your wardrobe!

Look past the current product
Sometimes we see an item and dismiss it because it looks frumpy, may not be pressed, or is crammed in with more dated pieces. If it even remotely interests you, pick it up, examine it, hold it up to yourself. You may be surprised when you notice small details that you may have missed from the rack such as buttons, pleats and stitching. 

Vintage skirt: Thrifted for $12
Examine quality
Just as when we shop in retail, we examine the item for holes, stains and tears. Also look for missing buttons, faulty zippers and intact hems. Things like a broken zipper or torn hem can be easily replaced. Other things, such as a stain or underarm yellowing, may be permanently set. If it's something that affects the quality of the item and it can't be hemmed out or repaired without a visible seam, don't bother. 

Examine fit
Treat this as you would a retail piece. There are key parts that have to fit. Something too small is going to be difficult to let out and will most likely not be worth your time and money. If it is a size or two too large, examine what areas need to be brought in. Easier things to fix are skirts and button up shirts, as they have seams that are easily accessible and don't need a ton of extra work to take in.

Don't be afraid of the tailor
As I said above, the product may have unseen potential. What would it look like if you took in the sides? Brought up the hem? So the skirt's a little long. Yes, you'll have to get it tailored. No, it's not a big deal. People think tailoring is for suits, wedding dresses and dress clothes. It's also for everyday wear! 
Think about it. You've found a gorgeous dress for $5, but it's way too long and may need to be nipped in a bit at the waist. Because you're thrifting, there won't be options for sizing so you make do with what you have. Tack on an extra $10-$15. It may be more expensive, but you have a piece that fits you perfectly, and you have still spent less than retail.

Imagine it with 3 pieces
Take at look at the piece in question. Imagine three ways you can wear it with current pieces in your wardrobe. If you can do that, it will be easier to integrate it with all of your pieces and become a frequent flier.
Blouse: $6  Skirt: $8  Both thrifted!

Don't buy just because it's a good deal
You've found a fun printed shirt in a pretty color. Problem: It's pretty worn. And it doesn't match anything you'd ever own. But it's only $2! That's $2 that can go toward an item that is better quality, and will eventually have more of a life in your closet.

Be patient
You can sift through racks and racks of pieces, only to walk away with one or two, if you're lucky. Thrifting is a lot like treasure hunting, and you have to put the time and effort into finding great pieces.It's also important to keep an open mind. 
Stores that buy back merchandise are going to be more discerning, meaning you'll have more of a chance finding something more relevant and in better condition. You also may pay a few more dollars per piece. Overall, thrifting will change the way you look at clothing and how much you really need to spend to achieve the look you want!
    Thanks so much Britt!  Now everyone get out and thrift using your new found knowledge!  I plan to hit up our local vintage shop soon!

    The Mrs. & The Momma

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