Looking too thrifty

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Patti of NotDeadYetStyle raised an interesting point this week. When owning a wardrobe which mainly consists of second hand attire, is it possible one can look a little too thrifty? If so, how can one carry off an outfit which resembles vintage glamour rather than granny, or eclectic boho chic instead of grungy hippie?

Image c/o bleachedminds

What do you think readers? Is it possible to look too thrifty? If so, how does one overcome this? What is the key to a thrift outfit success? Adequate styling? Refashioning? Mixing fashion trend’s from different era’s? Mixing thrift with high street fashion? Share your thoughts!


nathalie said...

My wardrobe is about 75% thrifted and if I didn't tell you, you'd never know. I think the key is to pick pieces that are in good condition. I love natural materials such as merino, but if the item is pilling badly and has holes in it, I won't buy it, regardless of how much I like the piece.

Secondly, things have to fit right. If it doesn't, I don't buy it. If I had the patience to sew, it would be a different story :)

Another thing is moderation in combining crazy things. I have a glittery gold jacket. I wouldn't combine that with a pink pettycoat and yellow knitted tights. Only with some black skinny pants and a simple black top and boots. I love crazy things, but only one out-there item at a time.

Lyndel said...

interesting topic Erica. Apart from those that like to dress ''way out there'' all the time, I think the trick is to only buy Classic styles. A black pencil skirt is a black pencil skirt, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
stick with simple lines

elseseven said...

I am singing "Junk shop clothes will get you nowhere, betrayal wihout treason..." by the Auteurs. Got to pick the nice stuff in good c ondition as Nathalie said. Keep an eye out for nice fabrics, quality labels. Even - gasp - combine with new pieces. I get a lot of my new stuff - the basics - jeans, tees, shoes on sale and combine them with nice opshop stuff...

Stacy said...

A large portion of my wardrobe is thrifted and I think it's all in the items you pick. Items in good condition goes without saying, but I think the key is to pick classic lines and fabrics.

I have a lot of linen and cotton that are easily mixed and matched with other pieces. I also seek out items that are layer friendly.

I avoid the old polyester, you know the 1970s stiff dated stuff. That will always look dated no matter what you do with it.

Natural fibers are more thrift friendly and easier to up-cycle. It seems as though things like linen and wool never go out of style.

I'm not really a trend setter, so my key really is classic styles and lines. I know I get asked a lot about where I got something I am wearing and so many are taken back when I say I bought. Shocked by the fact that I have such nice clothing from a thrift store.

Patti @ NotDeadYet Style said...

Thanks for the mention! I agree with Nathalie about looking for good fabrics and good fit. And one "out-there" item per outfit! : >

I often look for "good" brands when I thrift, expecting they'll hold up better. I also try to mix in a few newer pieces, like shoes or a handbag.

Catherine said...

I think it's totally possible to have a nearly 100% thrifted wardrobe and have no one know the difference. A major key for me is refashioning. Fabrics may be fun and cute, but the cut of the clothing may be totally dated. Just change it and no one will know. I can also pick up ill-fitting clothing and alter it to fit me just right. It's so fun to browse the racks and think of the possibilities.

Like Nathalie said I think you do have to limit the show pieces. Personally I stick with mostly classic looks and touch briefly on trends as an accent.

Christine said...

I have a lot of thrifted items as well as clearance items (think 90% off Kohls items). I pass on items which are clearly from another decade and only choose those things that really speak to me. I often leave empty handed. I pair these pieces with well fitting basics (solid colored tee with my thrifted camo skirt). Not exactly couture but the style is my own.

Alison said...

I think my wardrobe is 50/50 2nd hand/new and although I am not the most stylish person on the planet I would say most people wouldn't think my clothes scream thrifted! I tend to buy high quality items second hand, clothes I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford, and don't buy just because something is in fashion, I just stick with what suits me in classic cuts. The only problem with this approach is that my clothes are sometimes a bit old for me...!! Maybe I should be a bit more adventurous!

Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

I think Nathalie has the key!

Christi Grace said...

I agree w/ all of the comments! Stick to the classic quality items in good/great shape , make sure they fit well, and punch things up a bit once in awhile with a few glam/whimsy/just plain fun pieces!

Stephanie and Carlos said...

I think being fashionable flexible is the key. Pulling off different looks and styles and being able to murge them slightly works well. Looking LAME doesn't work well!! Hahaha... I totally just bought my first granny nylon dress for $5. It honestly looks like it came right out of her wardrobe which is why I bought it. Something spoke to me... But it's far to long so I'll shorten it a s wear it with my $2 black leather boots... SNAP!

X Steph

Mongs said...

This was the question that was floating in my head just today when I was browsing a couple of really glamorous and trendy blogs. No way can my wardrobe achieve the same look but I saw something on another friend's blog that says don't be afraid to look different and unique. I think there's something different about thrifted clothes, instead of trying hard to achieve the same glamorous catwalk looks with a thrifted wardrobe, I would rather attempt to create quirky or vintage chic outfits. And I think accessorizing helps too. I'm also often looking out for thrifted clothes with good cuts and fabric. Btw Alexa Chung rocks the granny chic looks..haha..


Jamie Lee @ www.ditzalee.blogspot.com said...

I'm a little late jumping in on this, but better late than never right?

I think that having a personal sense of style is a huge component in a successful thrifted wardrobe. Refashioning is also very important. To me, browsing through magazines, all the wonderful fashion blogs and whatnot out there, I see almost the exact same things I can find in the thrift stores. Especially if you can sew. If you're able to see what an item can be, and beyond what it already is, you'll have a awesome, even enviable wardrobe, that no one would guess (or even care) if it was thrifted/clearanced etc.

Vision, creativity, and a personal sense of style that works for you make it entirely possible to have success in the thrifting explosion.


Jamie Lee


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