Little known fact. I am cheap. I love clothes but I don’t like spending a fortune on them (all the time). Don’t get me wrong, quality still reigns supreme over quantity but sometimes quality can be a little pricey.
I love a bargain. I love thrift stores, consignment shops, ‘old’ clothes that no one wants to wear anymore, clothing from different time periods (vintage) etc and so on. I also don’t like holding on to things I’m not wearing anymore (ask my sister and closest friends). Typically, if I don’t see use for it, it’s either going to goodwill or a friend or family member is glad to take it off my hands. Hey, what’s someone’s trash is definitely someone else’s treasure (well, in my eyes). I also like to sell clothing from time to time; not necessarily as a second income but if I can make at least 10-25% of what I paid for it, then I’m not complaining.
There are 3 major reasons why I’m into thrifting:
1. Vintage, unique one of a kind looks
In an age where everyone is wearing the same thing; when something ‘different’ is seen by the ‘right’ person all uniqueness and authenticity is thrown out of the window. I love vintage looks from the 70’s, 80’s, dare I say 90’s and even if it’s current, I love expressing my INDIVIDUAL style. So at the end of the day, while its not something everyone may like, it’s something I know I’ll love.
2. Less expense
Thank God for consignment. Thank God for vintage. Thank God for sales. Who doesn’t like to get quality items for less? I think of all the trends that are recycled season after season and how those flared jeans that were in in the 70’s did a comeback in the 90’s to early twentieth century and now have come back in full force this fall season.
3. Make some of your money back
Why not? I’m always thinking of ways of how items I don’t wear any more can have some sort of use. Donating is a GREAT idea! However, if you want to be economical, that’s Ok too! I’ve sold a lot of my clothing to friends, strangers, on apps, online communities, yard sales and while making others happy, I in turn got something back from it as well.
And these are my top 3 ways I go about thrifting, buying, selling and still looking good:
I love apps like Depop, EBay, Poshmark that make it easy in terms of putting items online that you want sold. If you’re on any of these check me out. @bahamianista
DEPOP (follow me @bahamianista)
2. Online and actual Communities
Everytime I go home I always frequent Facebook Groups (mamma’s marketplace) whether it’s for a friend or myself. These have a bit of a more intimate feel of real people wanting a bargain. Only just be sure you meet in a central location (take a friend) and receive your finds for your item before you actually give it over.
Yard sales are always fun and always CHEAP! I love seeing signs around my neighborhood for great buys
Who doesn’t love a good insta-boutique, especially when you can’t find those body con sets or body con dresses for a good price! Some of my favorites are @shopbarmaid, @thriftwhisperer, @shopvintagebowtique @_coasttocoastvintage_ and my own personal favorite @nicandmik
3. Thrift Stores
I love a bargain so I’ll frequent a lot of buy and sell stores (I.e. Plato’s Closet in Tampa). When I lived in Brooklyn, there were places like the artist fleas in Williamsburg, and vintage stores in Flatbush just to name a few, even the Salvation Army (yes, you read that right); had some AMAZING funds for that low-low.
Now a question that most fashionistas ask:
How do you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck?
There’s several ways.
Look things up; do your research.
Comments,reviews or Word of Mouth
I love Instagram for this and EBay. Customer reviews! Word of mouth and typically you can see how a seller interacts with potential buyers via their daily social media posts and correspondence. I also take friends recommendations; so don’t be too shy to ask, “Hey, where’d you get that from?”
Does the store have an actual website or location?
I find security in knowing there’s a site somewhere and that this isn’t a scam especially if it’s a new small business. Or if there’s no site, is there a building standing up somewhere called “so and so’s” closet? That’s typically a good sign that they’re legit but still dig a bit deeper for customer reviews.
Taking real time pictures or seeing how an item is actually worn is a plus. You get to see the condition or how to wear it if you don’t have a clue on how to style it.
Sooooooooo how do YOU shop, thrift, buy or sell?
By the way, my sister and I launched a new venture to help with all budding fashionista needs. Nic and Mik is an online boutique selling ONE of a kind buys—from clothes to housewares—. We felt there was a need for the shopper that’s unconventional, unique and doesn’t like following the crowd. Follow us on Instagram @nicandmik …here’s the direct link http://instagram.com/nicandmik .
Don’t worry! There’s a website in the making!