Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Junction Tuesdays: True thrift shopping secrets, revealed

Finding treasures in a thrift store starts with you sifting through racks, hanger by hanger.  But it doesn’t end there.  There are tons of places to find hidden treasures while thrifting where you might not have thought to look.

One obvious place is the end of racks where people hang their unwanted items as they cruise the store.  Another spot is the off-season rack.  The store I frequent has a small leather jacket rack near the robes and military section.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve scored a sweet leather in the middle summer. 

There are also a bunch of not so obvious areas in thrift stores that I’ve incorporated into my shopping blueprint.  Here’s my list of top spots to check out.

  1. Kids' clothes section.  I’ve found some of the coolest vintage t-shirts in the boys section and raddest 80’s dresses in the girls section.  You can also find small and extra small adult pieces in these sections, often times mistagged by the thrift store.  I constantly see BCBG tops hanging on the girls rack.
  2. The floor.  I know this doesn’t sound too appealing, but I always check the floor especially under the hanging jackets, coats and long dresses.  There are always pieces that have fallen off their hangers, lying on the floor. And if you’re lucky, that dress on the floor will happen to be a 1970’s Christian Dior!  You never know.
  3. Inside long coats.  Some people will hide their finds inside a long coat in hopes of coming back to buy them when they go on sale.  Although it’s a bit tedious to look inside all hanging coats, it’s good to be aware of this trick in case you see something sparkly and fabulous peaking out of an extra large drab trench.  Definitely worth checking out.
  4. Men’s accessories.  My favorite Levi’s belt was found hanging in the men’s section.  And I’ve found some amazing silk scarves hanging with ties and ascots.  And of course, the coolest belt buckles are almost always in the men’s section.
  5. Lingerie section.  I’ve heard some people say “I’d never wear used lingerie.”  And that is understandable.  But when a slip and robe set bares a Pucci for Formfit Rogers tag, you better pick them up quick!  List them on eBay and you could make a cool $100! 

Check back next week to read up on vintage lingerie including top designers and my list of resources. 

-Shannan Fales is the owner of Junction at 1510 U Street NW. She shares her expertise in vintage and thrift each Tuesday.


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