Warning: Text-overload and picture-overload. Read at your own risk.
Throughout this post you'll see pictures of most of the thrifted/secondhand items I have collected over the years. I use "thrifted" for any item that was bought from a thrift store and "secondhand" for hand-me-downs and any items bought from a garage sale or consignment store.
Garage/yard sales are my favorite places to scout out vintage jewelry.
My love of deals and bargains came from my traditional Korean parents. They are the type of people that will do anything just to save a penny. They are frugal and cheap to the max. It was embarrassing when I was little but now I love and admire this trait in them. I had to find this inner frugality gene when my husband and I were first married to make ends meet. Four years later, he's still in school and I have a job but L.A. is an expensive city so we constantly feel like we have no income.
I can't believe I only have 4 pairs of thrifted shoes.. (Read on.)
The first thing to go, of course, is shopping. I was never a big shopper in the first place. But who am I kidding? I have a FASHION blog. I love CLOTHES and SHOES and BAGS and JEWELRY. So thrift shopping and shopping at consignment stores took over. At first it was soooo gross! Ew! Somebody WORE that before. You don't know where it's been! Someone's FEET were in those shoes. (Okay, that one still grosses me out.. I hate feet.) But having little money gave me no choice -- if I wanted "new" clothes, I had to wear someone else's.
Vintage skirts on the left and skirts I made with thrifted fabric on the right.
I learned to be picky with my thrifty/secondhand selections at first. I would only consider items that were new, still had tags on them, or had no signs of wear. (I still do, but anyway..) And then slowly I began to relax with the rules.. A stain on a dress? No problem. I can spot clean it out. Dirty and dusty purses? NBD - I'll wipe it down. Gross shoes? Put them back, sicko.
Now I've come to the point where thrift stores are the ONLY places I want to shop at, especially since living in L.A. where I have to drive an hour to go to the mall. Ummmmm, no thanks from this lazy butt. I've even come to the point where I don't ever want to set foot in a mall again! (Okay, that may be an over exaggeration...) I don't like knowing everyone else will have the same thing as me. It's not like I have some burning desire to be different. Okay, maybe it is. But it's also because thrift stores have a huge variety of items from different eras, styles, places, cultures, etc. and I LOVE variety. One of the things I dislike about today's retail stores is you can tell it has one note and one note only. There's no room for variety or even the thought of something different to combat or even complement the style. It seems so boring to me.
My only two thrifted dresses are blue! Who woulda thought!
I've set a goal for myself to only buy thrifted or secondhand items. I don't know how realistic it is but you guys will have to be my conscience and set me straight! (I think underwear and socks and stuff should be bought new at the store though so don't judge me on that..) I feel like there are already so many mass-produced clothes out there that people are throwing away once the style is soooo yesterday. I think it's wasteful to keep buying new when you can work with what you have got or are given.
I find the easier things for me to thrift are belts, bags, jackets, and skirts. I have an especially hard time with dresses, tops, and pants. Mostly because I don't want to try anything on that hasn't been washed yet.. And I'm naturally picky with the fit of tops and pants anyway. I wish I had the sewing skills of Sarah to modify a big old grandma dress but it takes me seven hours soooo...no.
Belts, belts, belts! My favorite thing to thrift...because you don't need a dirty fitting room to try these on.
With the onslaught of fashion bloggers on the internet, thrifting isn't anything new and there are quite a few extremely talented thrifters out there. One that I especially admire is Jentine from My Edit. She finds the most amazing items and after reading and studying her blog for a couple years, I'm constantly wondering why her gift hasn't transferred over to me yet. Isn't that how it works?
I know this was a super long and boring post but you made it! Consider it a homework assignment you completed that you'll never be accredited for. Now that you've read my rambling thoughts about thrifting, I'd love to know what you think about it and/or what I had to say. Go!
P.S. This was inspired by Indiana's post. Please read it if you haven't!