Smart ladies love thrifting, how to find the best clothes

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Gemma gets in on the action.

I am going to share a LOT of my secret tips about thrifting, so I hope you don’t live in my town and take all the good shit. What I WON’T be covering: inspecting clothes for holes, trying everything on, and buying things that are the right size because those are completely obvious and if you need to hear that from me you should leave now.

Follow all the suggestions I gave last time–those lessons plus these will give you the best shopping experience.

1. Know what works best for you

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I love a blazer.

I do not even think about trying on skirts that button and zip in the front. I look horrible in them and then I can’t tuck in my tops. Wide-waist-banded side- or back-zip skirts are all I put in my cart, and there are always lots of those I love, so I don’t feel like I am missing out.

2. Try something different

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My favorite recent find, a chambray shirt with multicolored smiley faces.

Even if you remotely like something, it doesn’t hurt to try it on. You might find something that is really flattering and cute!

3. Know what’s available

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And what’s available here? JESUS SCARVES!!

I know I’m not going to get a lot of vintage in my local thrifts–I save those hunts for when I go out of town. But I do know I will find name-brand work clothes and vintage Ferragamo shoes (6 pairs!) in my fave haunts.

4. Discover your true thrifting skills

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Finding good shit in racks packed like these takes talent.

I can spot an Anthro blouse across the store and eye the one cashmere sweater in a sea of acrylic. Those are my gifts. Know what yours are and cultivate them. As I have been going regularly for several years, I’ve developed other skills, like knowing certain fabrics by touch or being able to tell if something will fit without looking at the tag. This will come in time.

5. Be sober

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I mean, do you really need a cashmere hoodie?

I would advise not to go thrifting while intoxicated to avoid buying anything you will regret. You will buy crap because you think it looks good on you, even though it’s two sizes too small and way outdated.

6. Size is nothing but a number

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Picked up this handmade dress, vintage applique skirt and Vera scarf in Baltimore!

I bought three J. Crew cardigans last time I went out that were three different sizes. I actually prefer stores that sort their wares by color and not size. When it’s by size I have to look through everything because not only are things sorted incorrectly but sizing differs by brand and cut. At my local Goodwills, the tops are sorted by color, so I can skip whole sections (brown).

7. Buy out of season

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Vintage fur jacket from Poughkeepsie for less than $10!

Don’t go crazy buying sweaters in July if you can’t store them; however, people donate things regardless of season and you have less competition for fabulous wool skirts when you’re sweating your tits off than in the cooler months.

What are your top secret thrifting tips?

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