The One With Rainy Days And Thrift Stores

Soooo it’s raining here in LA, and of course by raining I really just mean lightly sprinkling… but STILL. This weather makes my heart so so happy. Of course when I actually noticed it was raining as I was heading out the door, in a white top and bright colored skirt, I may or may not have had an intense panic attack…

But everything turned out fine, I was only a few minutes late to work (by the grace of God) and walking into work in the rain was one of the most peaceful things I had experienced in a long while. I think this means this week will be a good one 🙂

One thing rainy weather never fails at making me want to do is curl up in a sweater, fuzzy socks and drink hot chocolate. Since I’m at work, fuzzy socks are not gonna happen, but you better believe I am currently sippin’ on some Swiss Miss… And since I can’t wear a sweater (the sun will come out eventually, this is SoCal after all) I thought I’d write about them. Specifically thrift store sweaters.

Y’all, I’m a sucker for a steal. Maybe it’s because I’m on a budget, maybe it’s because I love the thrill of finding a hidden gem, maybe it’s because I think $85 for a white t-shirt is outrageous.

There are SO many great things you can find at a thrift store. Sure half the stuff has a funky smell, there’s more than enough 90s mom jeans available at every turn, and (a good store) is usually crowded with all kinds of walks of life (ohhhh the stories I’ve overheard at thrift stores in LA…). But don’t let ANY of that scare you off!! That’s how the weaklings leave empty handed.

Thrift stores are great for DIY things too! Like picture frames, fun vintage kitchen finds, and random knickknacks to spray paint bright fun colors and bring back to life. But perhaps what I love most about thrift stores are the sweaters. Every time I enter a thrift store I make a B-line for the men’s section. Call me crazy, but I just can’t pass up a long sweater or sweatshirt THAT’S ONLY ONE DOLLAR. It’s literally cheaper then washing a load of laundry at my apartment complex…sad but true. I’ve found a multitude of different sweater/jacket/sweatshirt thing-ys for a dollar or less that I wear on the reg (as seen here, here, here and here)

As a frequent thrifter, it pains me that some people think they are above it. I have found MANY designer items for 75% off the SALE price and tons more for even better deals! In fact I was at a resale store just the other day selling some of my clothes and the owner and I started talking about this exact issue. She has so many nice things in her store that are at prices normal humans can actually afford. She was so kind and so sincere that it made me really sad to think people pass by her store just because it says “resale” and “thrift” over the door.

***Also, funny story, so OF COURSE the only time I actually have the energy and time to bring in some clothes to sell there is a fire at the store… So imagine walking into a store for the first time and having a room full of fireman turn around and look at you like you just walked into the wrong meeting at work, one sweet little old lady behind the counter, and me just standing there with a flashy laundry bag I’d gotten for high school graduation that had my name in big bright letters alllllll over it. This would be what my friends would refer to as a “Classic Katie Moment”.

Anywho, to help those of you who are overwhelmed by the whole thrifting process, here are a few tips to finding the best steals:

1. Don’t turn up your nose because the store is a little dirtier then your normal fancy-shmansy boutique. First of all, you’ve got a washer and dryer at home so you can clean most things and make them feel brand new. And secondly, have you seen the malls lately?? You occasionally venture into those dirt pits and deal with the worst of the worst youths of the world just to get that cute J-Crew necklace on sale…If you can survive that, you can survive a thrift store.

2. Don’t be lazy, do your homework. If you really want to find the best deals, put some effort into it! Call your local thrift stores and see when they get the most items in. Usually that day or the next are the best days to find the greatest treasures. Also don’t forget to ask about discount days!!!!!! One of my local stores has 50% off on weekends, which is when I got 2 pillows, 2 scarves, 3 shirts and a sweater all for $8. YEP, YOU READ THAT RIGHT. Discount days are the bomb.

3. Take your time in the store don’t just rush through it. Remember the good ole days of Blockbuster when you and your friends would just roam up and down the aisle until the perfect Friday night flick spoke to ya? Same goes for thrift stores! Many times thinner items get hidden between the thicker items and often go unseen. There are so many different gems to be found, you just have to be patient and willing to look through everything. Which brings me to my next tip…

4. Shop in every section, not just your normal section or else you could miss exactly what you are looking for! Thrift stores are notorious for having so much stuff that it takes them awhile to put things that have been misplaced, back in the right section. I once found the absolutely perfect men’s flannel shirt, in the little girls section…it happens.

5. Thrifting can be a WAR, but be courteous to the other shoppers and don’t take stuff from someone’s cart. You’d be surprised by how many times that has happened. It’s not like Forever 21 where they have about 38 pairs of the same shorts plus a hundred in the back…If you see something GRAB IT or it’ll be gone the next time you do a walk through. But don’t grab something from someone else’s cart or something that someone is very clearly getting. There’s no need to grab it from someone else’s hands, unless you are Monica looking for your perfect wedding dress, then all bets are off 😉

Oh! And don’t forget to give back & donate! You really don’t need that dress from Freshman year. Of high school. Trust me 😉

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