When people compliment on something I'm wearing or something that's in our house and find out it's from a a thrift shop, they are usually surprised. In case you were wondering, thrifting is my jam. And if it's not yours because you always strike out when you shop, here are some things that may help.
It's all about where you go. Flee markets are wonderful because they are full of hidden treasures waiting to be restored. Goodwill is the Starbucks approach of thrift shops. Since there are so many, if you don't like the one on your corner, just go to the one 15 minutes away. Antique stores usually sell pre-sifted through items that you could find cheaper at an actual thrift shop.
Thrifting is all about the hunt. If you always go in set to buy one specific thing, you will most likely be disappointed. If you go in without expectation, you will be surprised when you find something you love.
1. Break the store into sections
Dividing the store into sections keeps you from feeling like you're just wandering around in piles of junk (although if it's a lazy Saturday and you're sipping on iced coffee, wander all you want.) My favorite sections are the vases/cups and the books and records because I find a lot of greatness there.
2. Search for trendy styles
In your countless hours of scouring Pinterest, take note of all the most recent styles from home to design. You may be surprised at how many things from thrift shop resemble what you just saw in your magazine.
3. Try on the clothes
"Ew, no way," you're saying in your head right now. But we all know what is going to happen when you buy that shirt because you swear it's not going to be low-cut so you try it on once you get home and two months later, you give it away to your best friend's sister because you have still never worn it. Check for stains and tears, make sure it's your size, and get into a dressing room. If you're absolutely against this, then buy away and if worst comes to worst, you're only out $8.
4. Spray paint is your best friend
Spray paint is kind of like bread- it heals all things. I always have a can of gold, silver, black, and white on hand. Just make sure to brush any rust off first.
5. Mix and match
Sometimes it's hard to picture things going from a thrift shop shelf into your home but find things that speak to your style. Mix resale and non-resale items together to create vignettes- read about that word in Styled and love it now. Try some things outside of your comfort zone and see what happens!
Favorite Thrift Shops in Austin
Thrift Town: 5726 Manchaca Rd | You'll have to sift through a lot when you're here but there are great things hidden everywhere! Especially in the records section (even if you don't want to play them, buy some for display!)
New Bohemia: 1606 S Congress Ave | This is "pre-picked" thrifting but still cheaper than a non-resale shop. I've found some great clothes here!
Goodwill Blue Hangar: 6505 Burleson Rd | There are 25 Goodwill's in Austin but this is the last stop for everything that isn't sold at the others. You don't have to worry too much about your purchases because your picks are only $1.40 a POUND!
Room Service: 117 E North Loop Blvd | In the mood for retro meets thrift meets vintage? This is the place. Great furniture and daily sales.