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Don't Judge Thrift Store Clothes at Face Value

Paisley Hansen Feb 4, 2020
The cool thing about thrift shopping is that it is almost like a treasure hunt. You are not just saving money. You are also creating a cool hobby out of clothes shopping.
The thing is, you don’t always have to take the pieces you find at face value. Read on to find out some cool ways to modify your thrift store finds to double your wardrobe possibilities!
However, first thing's first. Before you plan your thrifting trip, check out fashion magazines and blogs as well as Instagram and Pinterest to see what is currently trending. Everything in fashion is cyclical, so you are sure to come across some great vintage finds on your shopping spree that reflect the current past-inspired looks.
The cool thing about doing your homework is you’ll see pieces that you would likely pass by if you didn’t see them rearranged in modern fashions. You just need to look at the way your favorite influencers and bloggers styled or redesigned pieces with a new or fresh approach.

Layer Vintage Styles with Newer Threads

Layering is a great way to make something from another time appear crisp and new. For example, basic staples like pencil skirts, turtlenecks, and tank tops are always basically styled the same way throughout the decades, so layering these basics with more stylish fare can modernize their look.
For example, a basic tee layered beneath an old, floral sundress can turn the dress into a jumper. (Bonus points for this since it is a throwback to 90s style.) Another example may be to take a tailored shirt that you may find in the men's dress section and layer under a present-day cardigan sweater. Pair it with jeans and boots and you’re good to go!

Bring Life to Older Items with Accessories

Many times when thrifting, we pass right on by a piece that is too plain, or even downright ugly, because we are not looking at the big picture. You have to look at each piece from the perspective of what accessories you have that can bring it to life. After all, pairing present-day accessories with vintage clothes will give them a modern twist.
For example, the little black dress is timeless by itself, but when it is matched with today’s shiny stilettos, a satin clutch, and silver and black chandelier earrings, it echoes today’s runways.
The cool thing is you can take a basic piece, such as a pair of leggings, and change it completely by adding a tank, a couple of long necklaces layered, and strappy sandals, or knee high boots, an oversized sweater, and knitted scarf. Fashion pieces can be completely versatile, and it’s the accessories added that provide that changeability.

Alter, Redesign, and Sew to Transform Older Pieces

If you are super-creative, and have moderate sewing talent, you never have to look at a piece specifically for it currently is. You can always alter it in a variety of ways to meet modern fashion standards.
For example, if you find a particular dress matronly, but you enjoy the pattern and material, why not change it up? You can also turn buttons into zippers or vice versa. Maybe out-of-date flared jeans will make great shorts, or you can turn an awkward dress in a cool tank and maxi skirt. An oversized sweatshirt can be altered into a fleece fabric crop top.
You can also add to a thrift find. Maybe some fringe is needed for a Western feel, or some intricate beading or sequining will turn a sheath dress into the life of the party. If you have a sense for fashion, and an open mind, you will see far more potential than your average thrift store shopper.
In conclusion, instead of seeing rows and piles of horrible patterns, mom jeans, and sweaters that you wouldn’t even wear ironically, see them for the sparkling gems they are. With a little tweak here and there, an additional layer, or even a silhouette-changing belt, you will have unforeseen treasures that few would recognize at first glance.