My Introduction to Online Thrift Shopping
It is true, I am a huge proponent of online thrift shopping! It makes perfect sense in terms of sustainability and it can certainly be far more budget friendly! Also, often times vintage items offer superior quality fabric and craftsmanship which is something I value a great deal.
My hunt for a simple leather cross body bag (several years ago) served as my introduction to the idea of shopping second hand. The simplicity & quality of vintage Coach captured my attention during that search, and is still a favorite of mine today. Needless to say, this situation left me no choice but to thrift…and I did so successfully (in two colors). This positive experience opened my eyes to new and fabulous shopping possibilities.
Building A Blazer Wardrobe Thrifting
Fast forward a few years, and I found myself loving boyfriend blazers. Something about an oversized blazer & a tee or tank paired with great denim struck me as absolutely uniform worthy. The easy, effortless, always put together but not trying too hard vibe was definitely something I wanted more of. Grey, houndstooth, pin-stripe, plaid, black, camel….wouldn’t it be lovely to have one of each?!!! Yes it would, but not so fast. Considering the cost of a nice wool blazer these days, I would either have to win the lottery or perhaps realize this day dream in time for my 80th birthday. As I browsed the net doing my blazer research, I learned that not only are blazers an investment, but often times they are expensive and not even the best quality fabric composition. With the exception of Everlane of course. Everlane has beautiful blazers and the price points are excellent for the quality. If I were unable to find what I wanted thrifting, I would definitely invest in an Everlane blazer.
I did find exactly the blazers I was looking for by way of online thrifting. Over the past two years, I have thrifted four beautiful, 100% wool blazers online! My experience was so successful that I feel passionate about sharing what I’ve learned about this process with all of you.
Believe it or not, I have never thrifted in an actual store. My consignment experience is entirely internet based. As most of you know, I’m partial to online shopping in general. I find it far more relaxing to shop in the comfort of home where I can take my time, compare options… you know, basically behave as neurotically as I need with out the odd, questioning looks from shoppe employees. I know many people are very skeptical of online shopping, and I completely understand how it could be daunting. This is why I’m here to outline the upside and offer a plan to overcome the obstacles. Sound good?
The Most Compelling Benefit of Online Shopping
The most compelling benefit of online shopping, I believe, is the vast array of choices it affords us! Given my philosophy about creating our personal style & carefully curating our wardrobes, it stands to reason I do not enjoy being stuck with only the choices that proximity provides! Think for a moment about trying to build your ideal wardrobe with only the retailers or consignment shoppes you could conveniently drive to regularly. More than likely you wouldn’t be entirely satisfied or as happy as you could be if the whole world of style were at your fingertips as it is online! This lovely upside applies to retail and consignment shopping online. However, I do understand that the roadblocks may be greater with online thrifting than regular retail shopping, and this is exactly what I want to help you navigate.
A Few Tips for successful online Thrift shopping
- Know your measurements! If you are purchasing clothing or outer wear, especially vintage, you will want to know your precise measurements. Traditional numeric sizing will likely fall short when shopping second hand items. Keep in mind that vintage items tend to run smaller so knowing your measurements will help ensure the fit you desire.
- Be sure the seller accepts returns. You don’t want to be stuck with something you don’t love. No matter how good the price is…be sure you can send it back if you don’t absolutely love it.
- If you are shopping for a luxury item, make certain it has been authenticated! I recommended The Real Real for luxury online consignment.
- Always read descriptions carefully, and view all photos. Don’t be afraid to request additional info from the seller if you are unsure. Remember that items and colors can look different online especially if photos are not professional. This is especially true if you are thrifting on eBay, Poshmark or a similar site.
- Finally, be prepared to be patient. You will probably have to keep checking back and scrolling through what feels like an infinite number of items before you find exactly what you want. Lord knows, I’ve done this on eBay looking for something specific. Especially with blazers! Be very selective. Remember, thrifting won’t save you anything at all if you end up with pieces you don’t love! I recommend going into a thrifting session with very specific parameters on what you are looking for. For example if you are shopping for a blazer you must decide on exactly what you want regarding the fabric, fit, color of the lining, length, color of buttons. Trust me, these details are important and will make all the difference in your level of satisfaction! Also, knowing exactly what you’re looking for will ensure that you don’t jump the gun and compromise because you are getting a good deal or you don’t want to wait. If there is something small that you can fix with tailoring don’t let that be a deal breaker.