Op-shopping has many advantages – the joy of guilt free spending, a creative adventure, environmentally ethical, charitable and, if your smart about it, a great way to find special pieces no one else has.
This is the most important thing to consider when shopping for thrift items. Quality is everything – linen, cotton, wool blends, silk and denim are key. Anything polyester is best avoided, cheap and nasty fabrics will make you sweat, will not age well and will most likely end up right back in the clothing bin within a few months. You can usually pick a fabric just from sight or feel but if unsure, check the care label.
Go oversized or tailored – nothing in between. You cannot make a size 10 work for you if you are a size 6, or a size 14 work for you if you are a size 10. Going up or down one size is ok depending on the tailoring but a good fit is a must. On the other end of the spectrum, intentionally going oversized can work a treat. This means going much, much larger than your size and having fun with belting things, wearing a “tee” as a dress etc. Fit is ultra important, make it work for you.
Don’t change your style just because you walked into a pre-loved store. If you don’t particularly like the kitsch vibes then don’t kid yourself and buy a patchwork jumper in every shade of crazy color. Likewise, if you tend to dress in a very elaborate way, don’t think you need to buy the the 90’s Levi’s and plain black tee. Look for pieces which match your style, otherwise you will never wear the pieces you buy and even if you got them for a steal, it is still wasteful to have items sitting in your wardrobe not being worn.
Pre-loved stores are overflowing with fun accessories which can be made modern and fresh very easily. Trends come and go all the time and this means an accessory someone threw out a few years previous is now the next big thing again (case in point, the woven bag!). Scouring the accessory racks can be a lot of fun – from hats, scarves and bags through to the unexpected such as embroidered gloves and unique belts.