Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thrifty Thursday: Thrifting Tips - Only Get It if You Love It

This is Part Four in my How-to-Shop-Cheap series. If you missed my first Thrifting Tip, you can check it out here. For the second, click here. The third is here.

The corollary to Try it On is this: Only Get it if You Love It.

Didn't love it.
There are so many gems to be found at thrift stores, but if you bought every single item that looked halfway decent, you would have no bank account, and your personal style would be all over the map. I've never been one to embrace a wholly unified look – sometimes I look like a lost flower child, while other days I prefer to be a classy business lady – but there's something to be said for unity.

(Now, if that's not your thing, by all means have a blast. One of my best friends from college dressed like a low-budget Olsen twin. Her closet was a mishmash of things she found in the bargain bin at Marshall's and things that had been in her closet since she was in the sixth grade. Sometimes, she looked like a homeless woman. But you know what? She adored her personal style, and no matter how much we teased her, she wouldn't change herself for anything. Her style is her own, and she OWNS it.)

Many times, I have seen something at a thrift store, tried it on, and convinced myself that I will love it. "If I change the buttons, it will look fantastic!" "If I take it to a tailor and have them bring it in it will look really cool and then I can wear it!" That's awesome! I highly recommend doing both of those things – but will you really, truly, actually do them? For years, I did not, and the back of my closet was a wasteland of "projects."

Recently, I've found a tailor whom love and trust, and I have been taking her my dresses. It's wonderful! I have a whole new custom wardrobe! But here's the catch: if I brought her every single thing I found, I would be dead broke. I wouldn't have any money left to buy groceries or hang out with friends (and if you can't go out, how will they see all the cool stuff you wear?).

"But I have a sewing machine! I will do all these refashions myself! I don't need a seamstress, and it will all be basically free!" Okay, but once it's tailored, will you actually wear it? Because once it's been refashioned and once it fits your body, it has to be something that you'll still WEAR. I've bought lots of things because are in style (or because they were hilarious), only to have them rot at the back of my closet. If you don't like the way something looks on you, you won't wear it. Or if you do force yourself to wear it, you'll feel uncomfortable – and that'll make you look uncomfortable. Instead, save your money for things you absolutely love.


A few weeks ago, I was shopping and found this adorable dropwaist dress. It's very cute, and the skirt is so retro it hurts. But for some reason, it just didn't click for me. I couldn't imagine where I would wear it, pretty as it was. So I left it at the store for someone who will really appreciate it. And you know what? No regrets.

So: Only Get It if You Love It.

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