7.6.11

How To: Shop at a thrift store

For some living in Singapore since birth may be shocking to you to find out THAT THRIFT STORES ACTUALLY EXIST. I am not shitting you. And if you think that Salvation Army is just a charity, think again. Of course, there are other stores other than Salvation Army. I will leave that up to you to find out (because it is more exciting and fun that way, sharing with friends your secret stores. Some places are truly sacred, and should only be told to the ones you trust) what others exist. So this is just a little guide for those of you who are new to this concept of a thrift store existing in Singapore.

Firstly, What to wear:
Always, always, always try to wear clothing that is thin for you to try on clothing with ease in a store.
For example a very thin, breathable tank top/shirt with thin cloth-like material shorts/leggings. Try to avoid denim bottoms. Going to the thrift store isn't about looking fashionable, but if you can do it with those basics I recommended, then you are a creative one! For shoes, please, try not to wear shoes that take forever to slip your feet in and out-like Doc Marts for example. Flats, converse (if you're a pro to make them slip ons without too-tight laces), Vans slips ons..so on and so forth. Carry small sling on bags. You don't want to hold clutches or bulky bags that get in the way.

My example:

Flower crowns are, of course, optional.

How much to bring:
Depending on the thrift store you visit, it can range from $1 to $100. 
Also, what you intend to buy. If it's furniture, maybe $100 and a lil' more.
You can buy alot with just $50. 

What to expect:
So far, what I've seen in thrift shops here are the following-
-Tailored pieces from the rich people, which do tend toward the unique side (not necessarily Vintage. They may look it, but it may not be. So don't be too excited. Vintage means something dates 20 years back, just so you know.)
-Jeans. Loads of it.
-Overly shrunken shirts
-Ugly shoes and if you're lucky, nice ones.
-Foreign brand clothing
-Luxury labels (some are fakes, especially the bags. So be knowledgeable)
-Old lady clothing
-Fat people clothing
-Winter clothes (sweaters, knits, jackets)
-Office Blazers
-Interesting bags
-Jewelry
-Furniture/interior decor
-TOYS!!!!!!!!!!!! (usually dusty though)

So these are just some of the common things you may find. I've found and bought vintage 70s Cheongsams before, they were still in great condition. Keep your eyes peeled and read up about what's vintage and what's not. Don't let someone trick you into buying something that LOOKS vintage.
Please, do not overlook a section just because it's not "meant" for you. I found a child's dress that works as a babydoll dress and a men's vest both in their respective sections.

If you're just starting out, it's okay if you didn't get "extraordinary" buys from a thrift store. As experience grows, your eyes just tune in to the good stuff. Trust me on this one.

What to buy:
I have this section because I know of friends who go there and CLEAR THE WHOLE STORE (or at least, it seems that way most of the time) I've seen some ladies who try on every shoe (regardless of ugly or pretty) to see if it fits, and if it does, they just drop it in their basket without much thought. Now you, the newbie must never, ever, be like this. You are not only diminishing your talent for looking out for the good stuff, you also look like a compulsive shopper. Yes. The place to be compulsive: A THRIFT STORE. Because everything is sooooo darn cheap. Like I said, you get a lot with $50. But think about it, if you buy so much stuff without actually considering, and you bring these stuff home, realize that there was a phantom stain or perhaps you didn't really like it at all, NO ONE'S GUNNA BUY IT ON YOUR BLOGSHOP. Especially if it's...well, ugly, or not in style.

Some steps to make sure you don't turn into the people I mentioned above....
1) Look at it for at least 30 seconds. THINK. DO.YOU.LIKE.IT?
2) THINK AGAIN
3) Why do you like it?
4) Is it worth your money?
5) Will this go with the other stuff in your closet?
6) Check for stains/rips/tears-there is a reason why it was thrown out.
7) Lastly, CAN YOU WEAR IT? (this is where the convenience of your thrift outfit comes in)

For stains: Only if you are teh master of stain removal (like my mom is), buy it. Not all stains are created equal. Unless you can identify what stain it is and use the appropriate remover, probably don't buy it.

Missing buttons: remove all buttons and sew a new set yourself. There are youtube videos for these.

Tears: in the right places are easy to fix. If there is a hole in the middle of your freaking clothing, pass.

Okay that took forever. Right, with this guide, I hope I have created less compulsive shoppers. Back to writing my essay (50/4000 words achieved)......If this was graded, I would get an A++.

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