THRIFTING 101

Hi, darlings. Happy Fri-Yay! 

I was recently doing quite a bi of thrifting to find some fall pieces and some items that I needed. I am a frugal Asian at heart when it comes to shopping, so I always have to go to thrift stores before I can commit to buying from a department store. However, I realized that not everyone knows how to thrift shop or how to even find a good store in their neighborhood. I wanted to share a few tips that I use when thrifting, since I have been dressing from second-hand stores starting from a early age. My mom and aunts have taught be their tips and tricks, too. So, it's time to share with my loves on he internet.

Here are my top tips and tricks on thrifting...in no particular order:

1.   Don't just buy something because it's cheap!

I think most people assume that thrifting is so affordable, so they end up buying so much stuff only because it had a good price on it. Thrifting, just like any other kind of shopping, requires a bit of planning. You should already have an idea of what you want/need to look for or have a list with you of items you want to search for. The reason I say this is because most thrift stores are disorganized and all of the items are scattered throughout the store. It's like the Hunger Games of shopping -- you have got to survive it. My best tip is to have a list with you to help you stay organized. 

2. Think about the item's condition before buying it:

I have struggled with this one for a while. Sometimes it's hard to tell if a thrifted item is even worth buying, regardless of how cheap it is.  For example, if you find a coat that is 4 sizes too big, but it catches your eye for whatever reason and you think about tailoring it to your size, think twice or even three times. Is it going to be worth it? Tailoring can be pretty expensive and it doesn't work on every single item. I remember finding an awesome looking coat at Goodwill that I absolutely fell in love with. It was a designer item as well and the price was under $50. BUT. It was a few sizes too big on me. I called the local tailoring shop and they quoted me $65 for tailoring a coat like that due to its fabric and labor that would go into it. I called a few other places and got a similar quote for that coat. So, I decided it was not worth my time considering the total price to make this coat work for me. On the other hand, I recently found an awesome vintage denim jacket that was a bit too big on me and also boring on the outside. However, I thought this would make a great DIY piece. I got a few patches and pins to put on it and personalized it to my own liking and the result was a unique looking jacket that cost me under $10 total to make. 

3. Always ask for additional discounts:

Whether you're a student, in the military or have a few coupons up your sleeve -- you should always utilize ALL of them. I have learned throughout the years that it doesn't hurt to ask. What's the worst thing that can happen? They'll say no and that's it. I have gotten great deals on top of other discounts making my total very low! 

4. Don't forget to check the men's section:

This is a great tip to remember for any kind of oversized clothing that you need. I have found really awesome plaid shirts and sweaters in the men's section. And of course, you can always find great deal for your man, too.

5. Go early or late: 

This tip depends on the where you're planning on going and what items you're looking for. If you go early enough, you will have your first pick at ALL the items and if you go late, then you may score some great deals b/c normally people want to wrap up and get rid of everything. 

6. Insist on trying it before purchasing: 

I normally do this with electronics. I love to collect vinyls and oftentimes find some great selections at local thrift stores. But it doesn't always mean it's going to work and regardless of how cheap it is, I always ask to return it or to try it in store before purchasing. 

7. Thrift while traveling:

The world is your oyster when it comes to thrifting. There are so many great things waiting to be found. I have quite a few friends who travel and when they do, they always make it a point to stop at local thrift stores or antique stores. I remember a friend of mine went to Europe for the summer and she blogged about the things she did and one of them was hitting up all the local antique stores. She ended up finding a few amazing treasures one of them being a real gold ring from the 1940's. for under 5 euros. So, you never know what you may find. 

My outfit aside from shoes and accessories was thrifted locally in Orlando. I scored this amazing Anthropologie skirt for under $12, a striped top from Zara and a beautiful denim jacket with embroidery in the back from the Gap. My entire look cost me under $50 and all of the items came in the most pristine condition. This outfit came from Avalon Exchange and it is one of my favorite spots to shop for unique, inexpensive items. They also do trades, let you bring your own items and pay you cash on the spot or let you trade in the items you no longer want for something in the store. Whatever floats your boat, basically. Here is the info for the one in Orlando:

Address: 745 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Phone: (407) 636-9304
Hours: Open today · 11AM–8PM

And here is a list of my absolute favorite antique/thrift shops in Orlando:

1. Dechoes Resale Vintage Store carries a variety of selections from vintage to designer brands. I did a collaboration with them recently, which you can read here. Visit any three of their locations in Orlando. 

Address: 2110 Edgewater Dr, Orlando, FL 32804
Hours: Open today · 11AM–8PM

2. GoodWill Boutique carries a nice selection. It definitely wins among all the other Goodwill locations. I have found quite a few nice pieces from there. Here is their info:

Address: 750 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789
Hours: Open today · 9AM–6PM
Phone: (407) 628-5553

I really hope this was useful information for you and please feel free to ask any other questions on the topic of thrifting or any other topic for that matter. 

Until we meet next time, be good and stay true to yourself.

xx,

aida zhan 

Photography by: @manjistan