I’ve known Tony for years via the Internets and I’ve always thought that he was on point style wise and I’ve tried to pick up a few pointers and gems from this brother whenever I had the opportunity. I’m down with the “Each one Teach one” state of thinking and I felt like Tony’s experiences and keen eye for style in the world of thrifting should be shared with the world so without further ado….
My father use to always tell me “It never cost much to look good” which sounds like a pretty silly philosophy in today’s age. I’m only 26 but I can remember for a slight period where tennis shoes still cost under $80 bucks, maybe not the Jordans. But as I got older I started to really live with that philosophy and ironically feel in love with thrifting. Mainly because I was broke and couldn’t always afford what was in Macy’s but mainly because of the thrill. Every time you step into a thrift store theirs no order, no rules or expectations compared to a department store. I’m sure once you go into a Macy’s or Dillard’s you’ll see clothes, shoes, and hats already put together that requires no thinking on your end. Not sure how that shirt looks with those jeans? No sweat, they have photos around the store with models wearing it to give you a better visual to eliminate the doubt you have. Everything is done and put together for you so you can spend less time thinking and more time spending. Maybe more then you planned. But the thrift store on the other hand is the wild wild west with no order. In fact in most thrift stores the only order you have is a section that says Women and the other Men and that’s it. Theirs no ads to show how to wear those boots, no catalogs, and sometimes no sales tags it’s just a room filled with clothes with a compelling story that comes with it. And that’s why I love it. But besides the love of the hunt, their are a few other convincing reasons why thrifting is something everyone should experience at-least once. I know the biggest obstacle and hurdle that holds most people back is the simple fact that you’re wearing someone else clothes. And in a generation where everything has to be the new and the latest that’s a hard pill to swallow. And that’s something I totally understand and can relate to-to a certain degree. But once you’re able to mentally get passed that I think you will be able to see more pros then cons. Thrifting is a passion that helped me find my style and ultimately helped launched my business that I do now on the side.
Exploring Your Style.
I tell anyone who is looking to change their style or even experiment with a look to start with thrifting. It’s the best way to really play with style at a low-cost and that’s what really allured me to thrifting. I came to a place in my early teens where I wanted to shop and create more of a signature style for myself without trying to look like everyone else. And the only sure way I could do that, was not shop at the same places that everyone shopped at. Because I was a college student and worked part time my funds was definitely not up to par with the lifestyle I wanted to live and that’s what led me to thrifting and the great vintage items I found kept me. One of the magical things about thrifting is you find new life in old clothes. Today most new items you get from a Forever 21 is falling a part by the time you get to the register, but that’s a topic for another day. The more I started finding these uniques pieces the more I enjoyed thrifting and the best part is that it all the clothes I brought I could afford on my budget! In fact it was so much in my budget I started being in the thrift stores way more then I should have. And over night I was able to change and really find my style from all the great pieces I found at a bargain, but I would be lying if I told you every buy was a win. I ended up donating or selling a lot of items when I first started just because they way I imagined they would fit and look in reality looked nothing close. But I never felt bad about the purchases simply because everything I brought was $10 or less so it wasn’t a major lost. Plus it was so cheap I didn’t have to worry about keeping the receipt going back to the store to get a refund or store credit and deal with all that hassle. But to anyone who is open to changing their appearance I advise you to first do your research and find what style you like. And with outlets like Instagram, Tumblr, and sites like Hypebeasts and Selectism it’s not hard to come across a style that catches your eye and the next move is to supplement and look for key pieces at the thrifts. Instead of really spending an arm and leg at boutiques or malls try to find the pieces at your local thrifts or second hands stores you can substitute instead of saving until you have the right amount to buy that leather jacket that can take weeks or months. Now granted you won’t get lucky every time thrifting but it’s a great place to start. And then once you find what you’re looking for wear it as much as possible. Break in your look until you feel comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing. Once I found a vintage motorcycle leather jacket at the thrift in NY I wore it almost everyday and in many different ways. It was great because I always wanted a leather jacket and it was even better because it was a vintage leather jacket that was already broken in and fit me perfectly, almost like it was meant for me to have. And I have a million other stories similar to this but the great things about thrifting is exploring style at a low cost.
In Part II will further discuss the pro’s on thrifting and how it benefited me.