As much as I enjoy shopping for new wardrobe pieces or home decor items (and if the sad state of my bank account is any indicator, I really enjoy it), I think I love the thrill of
the hunt thrift shopping even more. My mother taught me at an early age that more expensive doesn't always mean better quality and that you can find some unexpected gems if you're is willing to put forth the effort to find them. There's something truly exciting about finding a vintage pleated skirt in exactly your size or a near-perfect condition corduroy coat for under $5. To me, it's more invigorating than buying something new off the rack. Thrift shopping is one of my favorite pastimes, so that's why I decided to share with you some of my go-to spots for buying second-hand and tips for how to know when you've struck gold.
I'm not entirely sure when Poshmark came on the scene, but over the last year and a half it's become one of my favorite destinations when I want to make a little money from something I no longer want or if there's something specific I'm trying to find without breaking the bank. If I had to compare it to another website, the closest thing would probably be Mercari, but like if Mercari and Facebook had a love child. Poshmark has been instrumental in helping me refine my wardrobe, since I can sell things that I haven't worn in a minute and replace them with new-to-me styles I'm actually excited to wear.
I bought this Ann Taylor blouse for a whopping $12, which brought my final total to $18.49 after shipping. The seller originally listed it at $20 (most "on sale" blouses at Ann Taylor run about $40 and up), but if there's one thing I've learned is that it never hurts to offer a lower price—you never know when someone might be over-asking and the worst they can say is no. After a bit of back and forth, the seller accepted my offer and I received this adorable, super comfortable, perfectly-sized blouse in the mail three days later. I've bought dress pants, coats, handbags, and more on Poshmark and I have yet to be truly disappointed. It's a pretty transparent marketplace, and it's just as easy to sell as it is to buy!
*cue Thrift Shop by Macklemore*
I've been an avid Goodwill shopper for as long as I can remember. When I was 10 years old, I wanted to dress up as a bunch of grapes for Halloween, so where did my mom take me to find all kinds of purple clothing on a budget? Goodwill. When distressed, high-waisted shorts became all the rage, where did my sister and I go to find a cheap pair of mom jeans we could use to DIY our own? Goodwill. When I wanted to expand my tacky Christmas sweater collection, where did I first think to go to find the most authentic additions? Goodwill. (Well, technically it was a different thrift shop owned by Savers, but you get the point.)
Goodwill can be kind of a hit or miss sometimes, but one trick I've picked up over the years is to scout out the richest, most gentrified areas of a city and target the Goodwills in that part of town for the biggest scores. Some of my greatest hits include a wool paisley sweater, a gold corduroy Liz Claiborne coat, my wooden nightstand, and an oversized Stanford sweatshirt. (Which sometimes I forget I’m wearing and then people try to strike up a conversation about Stanford.) (I did not go to Stanford.)
I found this $3 pleated skirt in perfect condition while wandering through one of the nearby Goodwill stores one day and after a quick cycle through the washing machine, it's one of my favorite finds by far. (I forgot to ask my Instagram husband Ivy to take a real picture of this ‘fit so this picture from my Instagram story will have to suffice.) (For regular OOTD posts, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!) (Yes, that was a shameless plug.)
Another habit I've adopted from my mom is antique shopping. While antique malls are typically bigger hot spots for vintage furniture and other home decor, they're also a very underrated source for eclectic accessories, like this silk scarf I found at a small antique mall near where I lived in Louisville. Sure, I could probably find a similar scarf for $10+ at ASOS or J. Crew or Forever 21, but would it give me the same feeling that I'm wearing a piece of history? Probably not.
I love this scarf (plus all of the earrings, necklaces, etc. that I've found at antique malls over the years) because I feel as though it's lived a life of its own. It's been loved by someone before me, and it will probably be loved by someone after me. In the same way my refurbished waterfall dresser brings a bit of nostalgia to my bedroom—a reminiscence of time that has passed—this scarf makes me feel like I'm bringing a bit of someone else's past to my present.