Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Thrift Tip: Jean Sequence

Over the years I've learned that jeans are probably the hardest thing to acquire in a thrift store. Part of the issue is that many thrift stores don't have fitting rooms. The other part of the issue is that I have some freakishly long legs. But the latter is my problem, and I hope to pass on some of the things I've learned along the way:

Prep: Before you go to the store, check out the jeans you already have in the drawer. If you've got 3 pairs of Gap Long and Leans, then they must fit you pretty well. And if you just want a few more pairs for rotation, you can be safe grabbing your size in a particular brand and style off the rack. You don't have to try on a pair if you know they'll definitely fit.

Brands: Unless you can try them on, don't buy a pair of jeans unless you've worn the same brand before. Otherwise, you might get stuck with that awkward back gap that you can never fix with a belt. Buyer's remorse is the worst when all sales are final.

Experimentation: If you feel more comfortable trying on styles but know the store doesn't have a fitting room, consider it a good day to wear a skirt, leggings, and Uggs. Don't forget to wear socks, since you probably don't want your bare feet all over the floor. It's common to see women and men at the end of aisles, clumsily trying on items over their clothes or trying to sneak them under what they're wearing. There is no shame here. Just try to make it easier for yourself.

Designers: You can sometimes find expensive designer names at thrift stores. But if you want a piece of the action for a fraction of the price, do your research first. Nothing's worse than getting excited about a $30 pair of Sevens only to later find out that you spent $30 on a brand that isn't even close to being "for all mankind." (I'll admit it, I just did it myself. Oops.) Find out how to tell a knockoff from the real thing. Google will guide you.

Happy hunting!

In Other News: BlackBook Magazine has a chart of the 7 Types of People Who Shop at Thrift Stores. It's good for a chuckle. And if you're curious, I'm definitely a fine blend of the hipster, the college student, and the party-goer.


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