How to Find The Good Stuff at a Thrift Store
Sarah Otis shares their top thrift tips, plus baking tins and bonus reads
Welcome to the Thursday newsletter for This Needs Hot Sauce Subscribers. Today we are talking about thrifting with my dear friend Sarah Otis. Sarah and I met while living in Guatemala in 2015 (we went back to visit in November 2019) and they have had excellent style for as long as I’ve known them. We got coffee in October and they offered to do a thrifting day, which we did last week. It was my most successful (and colorful) thrifting trip ever and I credit our success to Sarah’s eye and experience. It’s been a little over a week and I’ve already worn three of the pieces, some multiple times (some are out of season).
I wanted to share their tips and hear yours in the comments as thrifting and secondhand shopping is something I know many of us want to do more of. I also know that thrifting is easier for thin people and many thrift stores are not size inclusive (I have seen extended sizes at Housing Works and Beacon’s Closet but there is a long way to go). In Brooklyn, Plus Brooklyn is a great shop and they also sell on Instagram. Sizing is so inconsistent across brands and eras and I actively tried not to look at sizes while shopping. If you’re buying thrifted or secondhand pieces online, pieces are often listed with measurements, which is more standard.
Sarah shared their quick tips to make your next thrifting trip more successful:
Always be thrifting. If you see a thrift store, take a peek. You’ll get more comfortable in the spaces and hone your eye.
Dress for success. Wear things you can wear stuff over like leggings and a thin top and slip on shoes.
Keep a running list of things you need/want/are looking for. Pay attention to fabric, construction, labels. 100% cotton, cashmere, merino wool, LEATHER? Yummy! These will always be cheaper at thrift stores. (Ed note: also be sure to check for stains and things that will be difficult/impossible to repair).
Try it all on! There’s no harm in trying something on. I always grab like 20 things, and end up buying only one or two things I love. (Ed note: we separated the try on by category: first outerwear, then separates, then dresses, which made it easier to see what holes I’d be filling in my wardrobe).
Break the rules! Leopard is a neutral, black and navy go great together, white absolutely KILLS after Labor Day.
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