I was surfing the internet aimlessly one day when I chanced upon this post about a guy from Vancouver called Joseph Knowles who made a name for himself as a thrift store fashionista. When I scrolled through his Instagram account @jknowl3m, the pictures made me go “wow, he got all of that from thrift stores?”.
That really inspired me to rethink my take on thrift store clothes. I decided to try it out for myself.
After work one day, I made plans to visit a thrift store that was near my place, Praisehaven Mega Family Thrift Store run by the Salvation Army. It is called “mega” because it sells everything. I am not going to go on length about the variety of its products, this post will tell you all you need to know.
I remember visiting it many years ago when I was still schooling. I wooed and ahhed at all the cheap things available but I wasn’t very impressed.
This time, I made a beeline for the women’s clothing section the moment I entered the store. The air-conditioning made this place a nice respite from the hot sun.
The women’s clothing section is a lot smaller than I remembered but there must be at least a few hundred dresses, blouses, pants and skirts all neatly hanged on racks.
After about an hour of browsing, I bought these three pieces.
When you shop at thrift stores, you really have to go through the clothes one by one, if not you may just miss out on a good find.
The nice lady at the cashier even gave me this MacBook Keyboard Protector for free!
I normally don’t really like shopping unless I really have to get something, but thrift shop shopping is really different. You never know what you are going to find, it makes shopping so much more fun. It’s like treasure hunting, in fashion.
Here are a few pointers from my first thrifting experience:
- knowing what kind of colors suits your skin tone will save you a lot of time. You can then dismiss all the pieces that are not the right color which is how I managed to go through hundreds of clothes in 1 hour.
- thin girls in their 20s will probably have way better luck than me (if they care to thrift shop, that it). Many of the pieces that I really liked are just too small for me.
- knowing the type of cut or neckline that is suitable for your figure is another trick. For example, through many trial-and-error, I have learnt that big-breast women like myself should go for deep V collars and avoid crew neck like the plague. Go figure.
- only shop at thrift stores that have fitting rooms, which basically eliminates thrift store Song & Song altogether because although their clothes are really cheap, none of their store have fitting rooms. This is my rule for all clothes shopping (and it should be yours too): never buy any piece of clothing without trying it on. What it looks on the model or how you envision it will look on you will be different from how it actually looks on you because we women either think too highly or too lowly of our figure. Only buy that piece of clothing if it really looks good on you after you have tried. Even through it is only a few dollars, it’s still money.
- if you know how to alter clothes, you will probably get more of thrifting that I will. I am too lazy for that, I just buy those that I like as-it-is pieces.
- good photography skills is important to showcase the beauty of your find. Now, that it something I need to work on …
It’s such a shame that Singapore is a tropical country and it’s so bloody hot all the time, even during the supposedly “monsoon seasons”. It limits my selection to only summer clothes and I have to say goodbye to all the beautiful coats.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my first thrift store shopping experience and I am going to try out the other thrift stores listed here.
Till next time, folks.