Just Call Me Tailor Thrift
It is well known that I am not the biggest fan of Goodwill, and that’s putting it kindly. I've tried to be about it, but after one used tissue in a pocket and a bird (yes a bird) I haven’t been able to shop for clothes there. And until recently, that was my experience with thrift and vintage shopping, which is so unfortunate because I totally support the idea of it when done well.
The fashion industry is infamous for being detrimental to the environment whether that be from the dyes and chemicals in bodies of water, to the mountains of clothes in landfills. Along with being an environmental hazard, the fashion industry is a large contributor to human trafficking by forced labor due to companies turning a blind eye to how their clothes are made. Thrift shopping is a great and cost effective way to reduce the impact of these problems without having to always spend a lot on clothes from ethical clothing brands.
Thankfully through recommendations from friends and stumbling upon great stores on the street and on Instagram, I have been introduced to a whole new world of thrift shopping, and I am living for it. And now I want to share it with you too!
If you live in Richmond, Virginia you should definitely check out Ashby and their sister store Clementine! Technically, they are a resale store rather than a thrift store, but the concept of finding secondhand clothes for cheap is the same. They are a MUCH better alternative to places like Plato’s Closet where they never take your practically brand new clothes, and when they do they give you nothing for them. The clothes at Ashby and Clementine are always in good condition and they buy back your clothes at fair prices. They also partner with local artisans to provide new products. I always enjoy the witty pins and chic sunglasses.
But my favorite find from Ashby is this dress. Initially when I saw it I was unsure, but after I tried it on there was no going back. It can easily be recognized as a gem from the nineties, but it is still relevant today.
Speaking of gems, are you looking to invest in luxury pieces but can’t afford the retail price tag? Baggio Consignment is my dream come true. The owner is an unforgettable woman with impeccable buying abilities. Her store is filled with luxury designer pieces for every style and size. I spent way too long carefully looking through everything and silently crying over all of the beautiful things. What really did me in was my dream Chanel boy bag teasing me through the glass counter. Even though I didn’t purchase the bag, I did buy a beautiful pair of Alexander Wang ankle boots! Thank you Sydney aka @chicstripes for enlightening me to this hidden treasure.
Not in RVA? Technology can be a beautiful thing friends, but it can enable shopping habits as well by allowing us to purchase clothes via Instagram. For instance I found a shop, ironically named Found Shop, through a friend (@all_awear) that posts their thrift finds on their Instagram stories. In the photo they list the size, fit and price, to which you can message them that you’d like to purchase the item. They message you back and voila, except when someone beats you to it. But, how cool is that?! The pieces that they pick are unique as well as chic, which makes it obvious that they are as invested in current trends as much as they are the past ones.
What completely sold me was how lovely the owners are. Inside every package is a sweet and thoughtful handwritten card, thanking you for shopping with them. You don’t get that personal touch everywhere so when you do it’s much appreciated.
The cheapest and probably most convenient option for thrift shopping and discovering vintage clothing is to raid, your mom's, grandmother's, or your aunt's closet. My mom holds on to everything, unless it’s my Nespresso or my blender, but thankfully she has held on to a few things from the past that have worked for my current wardrobe, including a woven purse and a printed jacket. I made a minor adjustment to the jacket by removing the shoulder pads for a better fit and to give it an updated look.Mixing vintage pieces with relevant trends and staple wardrobe items, not only creates a unique and timelessly chic look but it also creates a more circular shopping system.
Even though I am still relatively new to thrift shopping, it has quickly found a special place in my heart. It is shopping after all, and finding unique treasures that are also affordable is to quote Lizzie McGuire, "what dreams are made of. "