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Tips to thrift like a Pro

Haven/t we all heard stories about someone finding some vintage treasure in the racks of thrift shops? In this story, we’ll help you become a part of that minority. Yes, thrifting for treasure takes time but with our tips and a few don’ts, you will surely get an edge over others.

So for those who live under a rock, and don’t know what thrifting is – in simple words, it is buying good quality used second-hand items at a very discounted price. In terms of fashion, you get clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, etc at thrift shops. What is amazing is that this gives extended life to clothes that are in good condition and prevents them from ending up in landfills.

But, if you have a really good eye, you can also find amazing high fashion designer pieces at these thrift shops. How do they end up there? Well, people who don’t need them anymore sell them to thrift shops that put them up for sale. So if you can buy clothes from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Zegna, or Dries Van Noten, don’t lose hope, chances are that you may find their clothes selling for just a couple of dollars.

Let’s see what tips will help you find exactly what you need –

  1. Know your style and match it with the store
Tips to thrift like a Pro

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It is advisable to spend some time doing research about the stores you are going to visit. You should also define your personal style and try to match it with the store to find good pieces. You subconsciously already know what your style is, but it is good to list it out.

Say, you are a college student and have more streetwear style clothes in your wardrobe, dig deeper in those racks at the stores.

Now you can also go with a particular occasion in mind, which leads us to our next point

  1. Know what you want.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed and lost by looking at the huge racks and piles of clothes and accessories. To avoid that, spend 10 minutes preparing a list of all that you need, so your shopping will be focused and time-saving. Once you realize you have the pieces you can leave the store.

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Listen, even if you have a list it will take a lot of time just to find good quality pieces, as there are way too many options for you to be able to sort through each rack. So take some snacks too much on, don’t rub your hands on the clothes though, take some friends and wear appropriate clothes in case the shop doesn’t have a trial room, you can try to measure it up to make sure they fit you.

  1. Get the clothes tailored
Tips to thrift like a Pro

This is a tip for the clothes you buy, but especially the ones you thrift in. You are shopping for clothes somebody bought that fit their body and that person may have had it tailored for them.

Many fashion houses are currently focusing on creating well-tailored garments to stand strong in the market. Clothes that fit you well look elevated, even if they are just a couple of bucks, and they make you feel confident, an attitude no amount of money can buy.

  1. Stay in the Good Books.

Most clothes are given to thrift stores for really cheap and working in retail is hard and tiresome. All you have to do is be polite, patient and not haggle for the already cheap pieces. It really doesn’t take much on your part but it really means a lot to them if you can make their jobs a little easier.

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If you get into the good books of the employees and the owner you can start asking for favors like getting insider information on restocking, any new exciting pieces, or even get extra discounts.

You can also create a good relationship by constantly selling or donating your old clothes.

  1. Material knowledge

If you want to check if a particular piece is by the original designer, you should learn to identify materials. Real cotton or blended fabrics, and if the fabric is durable or not. This only comes with practice and feeling the fabrics directly, no amount of youtube videos can teach this.

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Once you dive deep into the fabrics world you will realize there’s a lot to explore in terms of the varieties of wool, silk, etc. But if that is not your cup of tea, make sure you can easily identify a few fabrics at the least. This will also help you ascertain the accurate price of the garment.

Yes, most pieces are cheap but some are also overpriced for their quality, say leather boots for example. You need to check the quality and make sure you get a good number of wear out of it

  1. Buy less, visit more

Most of the time shops like Goodwill have new pieces coming in pretty quickly. You can buy 1 or 2 items a week but make sure you wear it for a long time and not throw it away after a few wears.

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This way even the owners realize that you are there for a long time and will make constant sales even if it is in fewer quantities and they will look out for you, reserve some pieces for you if you ask them too and help you out generally.  

And now for some don’ts to make sure your shopping experience is smooth –

  1. Don’t be in a hurry

This is a recipe for disaster. You should always make sure you have a good amount of time to devote. Look at all the seamlines, the stitches, the zippers and check the details. A lot can be determined about the quality of the garment by small details like this.

  1. Don’t buy certain items without trying

In case of tight clothes, bodycon, body-hugging garments make sure to try them on. And never buy underwear from thrift stores, they are not clean at all. In case of certain accessories make sure you can style them with different outfits in your closet.

  1. Don’t bargain

This is the last place you want to bargain at. Yes, the belt is used but you are getting it for much cheaper, trying to haggle is only going to annoy the employees which are best to avoid.

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8 Black-owned fashion brands to buy from.

The Black community has always been incredibly talented but has had to fight to get attention. Historically, the fashion industry (like most other industries) has not treated them correctly. Even though designers pulled references from Black culture and made it mainstream.

Even though the industry has been doing its bit for representation. It is only on the surface level, to get approval (and not get canceled). The actual representation has been missing when it comes to high-level decision-making teams and more.

The customers are the ones who have ushered in this change, demanding more and more. We need to keep this energy up in all fields. We have to keep the momentum going and not make it a “trend” for social media.

When it comes to business, fashion has always been dominated by white cis men. Now, we have Black people gaining more power and authority, creatively and business-wise too, rightfully so. We have compiled a list of Black-owned fashion houses you need to spend some huge coins at. Take a look at how these 8 menswear brands are changing the fashion landscape.

  1. Ahluwalia

Priya Ahluwalia was awarded and given the title of Leader of Change at the 2021 Fashion Awards held on 30th November, for her namesake brand.

Her sustainable brand pulls inspiration from her upbringing in London coupled with her Indian-Nigerian background. She makes use of deadstock fabric to tell contemporary, powerful, and compelling stories.

Take a look at her Autumn Winter 2020 collection ‘Frequency’. Her looks are artistic and very wearable at the same time.

  1. Off-White.

Virgil Abloh is one of the greatest designers of our generation, without a doubt. He has created and ushered in a completely new style into the world of men’s fashion.

Heading Louis Vuitton and Off-White, Virgil has been successful in creating a huge fan base all around. For his 2021 RTW show, Vogue noted that while talking to him backstage he said – “ If I were to look at my body of work, I think I’ve grown up the most in the shortest amount of time. I think it’s rebelling against the younger version of myself. And that’s the first time I’ve actually said that.”

  1. Mowalola

Nigerian-born London-based designer Mowalola graduated from CSM, is known for working with materials leather and PVC.

Her work is an eye-opener and will make you think about how society treats black people. Her iconic pristine white suit with bullet shots and blood dripping print, a commentary on the rising number of innocent black people killed by white people, is one of the most powerful garments in fashion.

Lil Nas X donned the suit for his SNL performance adding another conversation of the unjust treatment of members of the LGBTQIA community. 

She is appointed as a creative director for Kanye West’s Gap collaboration.

  1. Pyer Moss

Pyer Moss has been an advocate since day one. Kerby Jean Raymon made his stance by having Black icons as his primary source of inspiration for his collections. And he places this inspiration right in the center of the collection so it’s undeniably recognized.

For his Haute Couture show, he decided to let the world know the designs and inventions that we use as everyday items were made by innovative Black people who were not given proper recognition. His RTW looks, like the ones below, also have a theme of empowering Black creators of incredible knowledge.

His talent has made him a star and it will not dim anytime soon.

  1. A-Cold-Wall*

A-Cold-Wall* was started by Samuel Ross as an extension of his research process. He was inspired by the British class system, the designer has a rich background of references to get inspired by. A-Cold-Wall looks closely at the codes of social construct and the aesthetic and language of high-end, modern, luxury menswear.

Just this last season, Samuel Ross, wanted to explore abstract ideas and modern architecture and turn them into shapes that cover the body almost like a cocoon. Even though he took a conceptual turn with the silhouettes, he described his clothes as “steeped in functionality.”

  1. Fear of God

Jerry Lorenzo’s brain Child Fear Of God started as a streetwear brand. He started without knowing much about the industry and its workings and is now one of the hottest names in the industry after having a creatively innovative brand and working with Kanye West and Justin Beiber and collaborating with brands like Ermenegildo Zegna.

Now, Fear Of God has donned the garb of luxury. The house has now incorporated strong tailoring, knitwear, and accessories like shoes, backpacks, etc.

For his seventh collection, he released lookbook images, take a look at a few of our favorite looks from the collection.

  1. Come Back As A Flower

CBAAF says they make “high vibrational” clothing, meaning all their clothes are ethically made, with recycled cotton and hand-dyeing techniques. And no, it’s not just buzzwords thrown together, CBAAF has proved their mettle with their amazing creations.

It has a kind of nostalgic yet contemporary and a very homely feel to it. It makes you feel like an art student in a cute rustic town in Rome.

They make wearable clothes and focus on high-quality essentials that you can flaunt.

  1. Denim Tears

Tremaine Emory’s collection released in September of this year was based on the unjust treatment of the British colonizers. He beautifully translated it into clothes, he showcased his take on the British flag as a huge chunk of their history is the senseless violence against generations of Black and Asian communities.

In an interview with The Face, Emory let us know that “A big part of this collection for me is inspired by Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series”

His signature is funky tees, hoodies, tracks, and jeans with vivid iconography on them, like this Black Maddona tee. His jeans also have a strong story to tell.

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Why Louis Vuitton is trending after BTS airport appearance, explained.

BTS, the K-pop sensation has taken the world by storm once again, and no, this time it isn’t by releasing a chart-topping song. While we are still dancing to the bop that is Butter, BTS was papped at the airport. They are flying down to New York to represent their country at the UN General Assembly.

This is the first time ARMY has seen them at an airport since the pandemic broke out and all the members look impeccably dressed for a long flight. All of them donned the best of Louis Vuitton, getting the brand trending on Twitter. Call it the BTS effect, perhaps.

Have a look at what they wore.

Looking extremely dapper in a light blue LV monogram button-up paired with brown LV monogram trousers, V definitely made a few thousand fans swoon.

RM, the leader of the band stepped out in a grey LV hoodie and pants, a very practical fit for a more than 14 hours flight.

Jungkook turned the party up in this black tee styled with co-ord tie dye LV monogram jacket and cargo denim pants.

Jimin made heads turn in an all black outfit, LV tee shirt and pants. His LV Petite Malle bag is what we’re living for! He also added a little bling with his LV Volt One pendant and Vendome FLex Chelsea boots.

Jin kept things casual in this End Goal LV Crewneck and LV x NBA Flared Denim. But what ARMY is obsessed with is the cute RJ Baby Silicone Keyring on his LV green Litter Bag.

Suga looked comfy in a LV Cuffs Cashmere Crewneck with Damier Knit travel pants.

J-Hope pulled off a look which not many people would dare to wear. SHowing off his legs in a GoodBoy Golden shorts with a LV x NBA Zip hoodie and LV Petite Malle bag in the classic LV monogram.

Garnering millions of likes, tweets and sales for LV is a side effect of their charismatic personalities and unbelievable talent.

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