So, in part 1 I said you need to know what exactly you need when thrift shopping, which is helpful, but if all you know is that you want a yellow sweater you could come back with any kind of yellow sweater: a nice one that’s usually sold for $300+ and will last you years to come or one that falls apart within days.
Here’s the second key to thrift shopping: finding quality.
2. Set aside a lot of time
Don’t go to a secondhand store if you don’t like shopping for more than an hour.
The nicest garment is not usually the one that sticks right out to you on the rack. Secondhand stores are usually large, unorganized and full of hidden treasures. You’re more likely to find something you want searching piece by piece for 30 minutes instead of grabbing the first item you see.
Example of a Platos Closet. I like to shop at my local Platos Closet because they do cater to an older age range near me, but some Platos Closets are dedicated to young teens. Find the secondhand store near you that you like the most, and remember that they change depending on their location.
Usually I set aside a whole afternoon for shopping, but I also enjoy shopping more than your average joe schmo. Putting aside at least 2 hours for a thrift store is a good idea- that gives you an hour or so to pick out clothing and all the time you want to try the clothing on. If you have extra time then woohoo- grab some lunch or relax with a coffee.
I use this long period of time to relax and meditate on my day. It gives me time to think, but remember that shopping therapy does not always equate to buying. Buy what you need and use looking at clothing the way you look at art: You like to stare, but it’s not something you can afford or need about 95% of the time.
This is when knowing your brands, quality sewing and fabric comes in handy. Do your homework and know when to recognize boutique brands and high quality brands that you like. It’s easy enough to do this by searching through your own wardrobe. What are your favorite pieces? What label do they have? Look for that label as you go through thrift store. Always remember to be open to different labels, though. You don’t want to look like you walked out of an Urban Outfitters catalog unless your personal style is the Urban outfitters Catalog.
Have any questions, comments, or want to enter a competition to see who actually spends the most time in secondhand stores? Email me, Autumn, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt and Kim are cool because they respond to my tweets.
I mean, their interns are probably the real ones who respond, but whatever. They’re my favorite band.
With most bands I phase in and out of listening to them. I am never bored with Matt and Kim.
Their latest album came out a year ago and I’m STILL obsessed. There’s something happy about their music that makes me feel better without being obnoxious. I can listen to them any time of the day, whether I’m trying to go to bed, prepare for a night out, or wake up before class.
They are also great to watch in music videos. Kim’s famous for her dancing.
My favorite songs from their latest album, in no particular order.
1. Stirred Up
This song signifies what Matt and Kim stand for music-wise. They’re playing music to have fun and literally stir it up. It’s fun, danceable, and has a pretty awesome beat. Old Matt and Kim songs are less bass-heavy, but I like the change in their new album.
2. Not Alone
Not Alone is one of those songs that would be depressing if any band other than Matt and Kim made it. It’s about being alone, but not being alone, in that weird depressing way. It reminds me of the feeling I get when I overdress someplace but find that one other person who also overdressed.
3. Hoodie on
Oh this song.
It’s so dumb.
I love it.
Here’s some hoodie inspiration, because there are some days where you want to wear a hoodie and look good at the same time.
Sneakers are the best way to mix up hoodie looks. My favorite are girly- pink, sparkly, metallic. The hoodie to the right also shows a trend I’ve seen around campus- companies are making hoodies out of new fabrics and are trying new cuts that look nicer than old-style hoodies.
Have any questions, suggestions, or Matt and Kim songs you really like? Email me at email@example.com
B- I am a poor college student and minimalistic cheapskate.
C- I am really picky about what I wear.
These traits caused me to create a secondhand shopping science.
Thrift stores have a lot of cheap clothing. It’s easy to spend $75 and come home with a whole new wardrobe, thinking you’ve saved money because you bought the clothing at Plato’s Closet.
This thinking is flawed. You spend a lot of money on what ends up being low quality clothing you didn’t need and don’t want to wear but bought because it was cheap.
It’s hard to not buy many things. Clothing is pretty and sometimes you just have to own that peter-pan collared short sleeved crop top with pearls (and yeah, I’ve never worn it because it doesn’t go with anything). There are times when I absolutely have to have something, but in most cases that’s not true when I’m at a secondhand store.
Here’s what I do to buy less and not rely on my impulses:
Second- I keep a list of all my clothing. I used to use a notebook, but about a month ago I found the app Pureple. Pureple lets you take pictures of your clothing and organize them into sections- so you can see what you have the most and least of.
Here’s a picture from the app:
Is it kind of ridiculous? Yes. But it works.
Having a list of all your clothing makes sure there isn’t anything wasting space in your closet and helps you realize how much you have. Seeing this list helps you know exactly what you need when you finally make it to the thrift store. That way, you only buy what you need and not waste money.
Reflecting on this article- my process seems boring and scientific. But I’ve found that downsizing a bit has allowed me to really develop a relationship with my clothing. I rarely find myself sorting through clothing I’ve never worn and instead can pull something from my closet that I know I will love every single day. Loving my closet as an extension of my personality brings a lot more joy to my life than that short-lived thrill of buying a lot. The fun in shopping is now, for me, finding the perfect article of clothing.
In my next article on thrift shopping I’m going to write about what to do when you actually get to the thrift store because, you know, I’ve got this down to a science. If there is anything you’d like to know about the buying process or on minimalism- feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet Eleni, otherwise known as The Vagabond Blonde.
She’s a friend, sorority sister, lifestyle blogger and local model. I’ve always been impressed with her style; it’s bold and diverse. She’s never afraid to try a new look and can pull off almost any shade of lipstick. Her website, The Vagabond Blonde, has a minimalistic and colorful look that includes pictures of her modeling and stories of her travels.
How/when did you begin modeling?
Freshman year of high school. A local boutique that I regularly shopped at asked me to work for them!
How long have you been modeling?
What’s your favorite memory modeling?
I have so many! My favorite part of modeling is meeting new people. There’s so many great girls in NWA and in the surrounding areas that are inspiring and beautiful and so fun to work with!
The best photoshoot I ever did was for a tshirt company called Grumpy Pig- we had tiny pigs at the photoshoot!
How would you describe your style?
I have so many styles. I like to try new things all the time! It ranges from very preppy and structured for my internship and work to more eclectic and loose casual styles for every day. I like not having a specific cookie cutter style because I feel like it makes me different- you can never expect what I will wear on a day to day basis! Especially because of my shopping addiction- which is a completely different story.
What’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe?
Huge circle sunglasses. They were super cheap and although I love my Tory burch and ray ban sunglasses, these are always my go to pair!!! I always feel like Jackie Kennedy when I wear them.
Why did you begin your website?
I worked and worked and worked for about 40 hours and taught myself how to set up galleries and organize my thoughts onto just 3 pages. It doesn’t seem hard until you have 20 years of ideas and 6 years of photo shoots to try and present in a reasonable manner! It was a learning experience for me. Eventually I want to pay someone to help me make it more professional, but I wanted the experience of building it from scratch myself so that I could say that I did it! It is currently approaching 2,000 page views, so I am really proud of it! Even if no one reads it ever again, I love having it because it makes me feel accomplished and I love preparing things to post on it!
What do you hope to achieve with blogging?
Joy. Writing, modeling and modeling have always been my favorite pastimes, so why not combine them all? At the very least, I have a running history of everything I have loved to show my children someday. At the best, someone else can enjoy reading it as much as I love writing it!
What would you say is your signature look?
Something floral. I can’t think of a day that I don’t wear something that incorporates nature. My favorite Dooney and Burke bag has pink hydrangeas on it! I hope to one day open a flower shop. I can not resist floral print anything in any store. Half my closet is currently something flowery!
What stores do you generally shop at?
I do a lot of thrift shopping! It’s always really exciting to find something amazing for a good price. I am currently super obsessed with Tory Burch, Kendra Scott (so many earrings!!!), Jcrew (always!), Banana Republic, Kate spade (just got two new purses!), Victoria’s Secret, ASOS online, and Giani Bini for swimsuits!
It’s been causing me to wear dark colors all the time. It’s almost second-nature to match the weather, like wearing earth tones in the fall or somber colors in the winter.
So, to fix this color rut, I called up my friend Caylee and asked to do a bright-colored photoshoot. She’ll be in lots of my pictures this summer because I like having a friend with me for photoshoots and she has a bomb-diggity style.
Caylee believes in the slip/textured cardigan/kimono (it drives me crazy that there’s no common name for them). I agree with her. They send off a 1920’s vibe and can easily transform an outfit.
Don’t forget to look at her shoes.
I centered my outfit around the shorts. Pink is my sometimes favorite color and it lightened up the dark mood rain has caused. It’s hard to see, but even my nails are pink in the picture.
The shorts were $5.50 at a local thrift store called Daisy Exchange and were originally from Forever 21. I’ll write about my thrifting secrets on Tuesday and Thursday. My shirt was also from Daisy Exchange and was $4.50. It’s from J. Crew. The shoes were $6 at an Old Navy sale last summer and the bracelet was a gift from my aunt a few years ago.
That makes this outfit $16.
This is the second J. Crew tee I have owned, and so far they have surpassed my expectations. While I refuse to pay full price for them, they have all been comfortable. The only downside to them is that they don’t look good on a rack. I’ve learned to try them on if I see J. Crew on the tag- and I’ve yet to be dissapointed.
To leave you guys off, I’ll share a happy pic. There’s too many serious fashion photos out there.
There’s no frowning allowed here
Have any questions, comments or want to shoot with me? My email is thechicteen.com.
Pitch Perfect was a movie I didn’t expect to like.
My mind changed when I watched it during sorority recruitment. Instead of the Glee copycat I was expecting, it was comedic and poked fun at the acapella trend.
Last week a gal pal and I went to the movies to see Pitch Perfect II. While it wasn’t as good its parent movie, I laughed more than I would at a usual comedy. What resonates with me the most is the unique characters, each with a different personality and style. Chloe and Beca, two main characters, have my favorite style of the movie.
Anna Kendrick’s character, Beca, is a pessimist and translates her mood into her clothing. She wears reds, blacks, grays and blues. What changed between this movie and the last was the confidence in her styling. In Pitch Perfect 2 she was more sure of herself and wore bolder clothing than in the first movie.
I took inspiration from Beca’s internship outfit in the movie. She usually wore dark colored pants with a sleeveless black top. Her purses were all packed with hardware and there was always something plaid in her outfit. If you want more inspiration, add a studded earnings or bracelets.
Brittany Snow’s character Chloe had an opposite style. While Beca had a punk-rock inspiration, Chloe’s outfits were preppy and sweet. She wore patterned dresses most of the time and if she wasn’t wearing one then she had on skinny jeans with heels. Her style reminded me of Lauren Conrad’s.
My inspiration was a sweet, yet confident look. The dress screams “southern charm” but the heels add a little bit of edge. The jewelry is classic but breaks some ye olde fashion rules by mixing metals.
If you liked the first Pitch Perfect and want to see a comedy with some good styling, I’d recommend going to the movie. Here’s the trailer for any of you who haven’t heard of it:
Have any questions, comments, or movie recommendations? My email is thechicteen@gmail.
Hi! Autumn here.
I am an english and journalism student at the University of Arkansas. I love style, music, movies and traveling. Even though I'm not a teen anymore, I began this blog when I was 16 as an honors research project. My wish is to provide inspiration to anybody who visits The Chic Teen. Bonne journée!
Interested in receiving updates to your inbox? Sign up with your email here!