Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pretty Woman - Guest Post from Kati of Secondhand Fantasy Land

Today I'm hosting Kati from Secondhand Fantasy Land. She has a fantastic blog and the coolest thrift store style.  I've asked her to give us some of her best thrifting tips. I'll be doing a little DIY tutorial on her blog of my DIY Duck Tape clutch on her blog soon. When you finish reading Kati's tips, run over and check out her blog. You'll love it!

Hey Real Girl Runway readers! I’m Kati from Secondhand Fantasy Land and I’m so excited to be guest blogging for Deb today. She’s one of my favorite bloggers, I'm always steal amazing DIY ideas from her. I can totally relate to her experience as a “real girl” obsessed with clothes and style who finds ways around dropping the big bucks on designer goods. That’s where my thrift store addiction comes in handy! Combing through those bloated racks and collecting armfuls of odd yet appealing fabrics is like a drug to me, but it wasn’t always such an effortless endeavor. It can be overwhelming to walk into a secondhand store for the first time. And I’m not talking about those “vintage boutiques” which charge way extra to basically do all the hard work of sifting through the crap for you; I’m talking “Goodwill,” “Value Village,” “Salvation Army” and the like. These places are like infinite abysses of chaos, with magical awesomeness weaved in. The challenge is learning how to find the needles within the haystack, if you will; the diamonds in the rough. Never fear though, I have some fool-proof tips to get you through it.

     Know Your Closet: This is probably true for all types of shopping, but it’s a really important tip. We all know nothing is worse than coming home with a haul of skirts when you already have a million skirts and what you really need are shirts to go with those skirts (learned that one the hard way). The best thing about thrift stores is that they have a lot of everything, so half the battle is really just knowing what to look for.

     The Planning Lap: All thrift stores are laid out differently, but they all have some sort of organizational system. When you first get to the store, walk around and take everything in before you start digging through the racks. This way you’ll be able to figure out the sections of the store you want to focus on and which ones you can skip. Most thrift stores simply classify each rack as a type of clothing for a specific gender. The breakdown can be very specific or more broad depending on the store, but either way a preliminary lap can be a great way to make the entire experience seem less overwhelming

     Branch Out Size-Wise: Clothing sizes are really annoying in general, but the great thing about thrift stores is that they literally mean nothing. That’s kind of already true in mainstream stores, but even more so when you’re shopping secondhand. Many times thrift stores will sub-organize their racks by size, but seriously, don’t pay attention to that. I’ve found some of my all time favorite purchases in the maternity section and I ain’t even mad.

     Follow Your Instincts: The great thing about thrifting is that you’re not going to hate yourself and hurt your wallet with each purchase. Sure, there’s the potential to go nuts and get waaayyy too much stuff (been there), but generally speaking thrifting is pretty much guilt-free. Do you really like that dress but you’re afraid it’s too long? Get it and hack off the bottom later! Is that fabric to-die-for but the cut is unflattering? Get it and use it for a fun DIY project. The point is that this is supposed to be fun and if you see something you like, trust yourself and at least entertain it. I know when I’m shopping at Urban or the mall or something, every piece I pick up automatically goes through a checklist in my brain: Will it look good on me? How much is it? Do I need it? Will I wear it more than once? Will it go with the stuff I already have? It’s enough to make me just want to go home and forget the whole ordeal. With thrifting, you have the chance to turn that voice off and just let yourself pick the things that appeal to you. Eventually the annoying naggy voice will be replaced with a much mellower whisper.

     Have Fun!: This is the most important tip I could give any new thrifter. If you don't have fun when you're secondhand shopping, then you're definitely doing it wrong. That's literally the only way you could thrift “wrong.” Whether you leave the store with your arms barely able to carry the weight of your awesome purchases or go out totally empty handed is beside the point. The great thing about thrifting is the opportunity to make clothes fun again; to play dress up and to laugh! Don't get discouraged by all the ridiculous clothes that you would never wear, enjoy them. And someone please figure out how to bring big puffy eighties sleeves back in style because my local Goodwill is teeming with them!

Here I am wearing my “Pretty Woman Dress,” one of my favorite thrift store purchases ever! The shoes, belt and necklace were also thrifted. The dress was the most expensive purchase at $7.50, the shoes were $4 and the belt and the necklace were both $1.99. The sweater, in the last shot, is my boyfriend Xander's.

 Don't you just love Kati?!  Thanks so much to her for guest blogging today.  

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...