Wednesday, March 30, 2011

thrifty tips #3: Scan by Pattern

Now that we’ve done all our prep work…let’s go inside the store.
(If you go back to thrifty tips #1
or #2 you can be updated on the list of the 8 types of stores where I like to shop for my thrifty deals.)

Imagine that you are in any of those 8 types of stores
(except for #6: the outlet mall or #8 the regular retail store clearance or end of season)
What do you see?
Racks and racks of clothes from every era, every age group, every body type and every style all mashed together…and usually poorly organized, I might add.

What happens then…do you turn and run because it’s just too overwhelming?
or do you dig in your heels and get to work?

You know exactly what I do…I dig and go!
If you’ve gone shopping with me, you know that a switch turns on and I turn into the ‘girl on a mission’…weaving in and out of isles, touching fabrics, searching for patterns and shapes of clothes that scream “take me home! I belong with you!” and scanning the racks for something special.
I scan so intensely that I usually leave the store with sore eyes. no joke. lame…I know.

Understand this: I don’t just stand there and sort through the racks…you can do that too, but I don’t have time for that.
So I’m going to do my best to show you through the eyes of my crazy ‘girl on a mission’ self exactly how I attack a store to come home with nice, sometimes vintage, well made, and otherwise expensive clothes…because, well, that’s what I like.

Just remember, these are MY opinions…
it’s okay for you to have different ones.

So, let’s practice scanning the racks. It’s a skill I think is essential to thrifting and one I truly believe can be acquired. 
This is our first lesson is honing those skills and training your eyes. Let’s start with patterns – they are the easiest to spot. 
You are in the store and you are faced with this…

2011-03-18 002
You scan this rack of patterned skirts…which one catches YOUR eye? Which one will YOU pick up?
I’ll tell you which ones I will take the time to look at…

Here they are one at a time… cheetah print + roses = pass.
2011-03-18 010
ooooh… what’s that? Vintage wool pencil skirt with a beautiful hounds tooth plaid print…definitely worth my time to pick up and check the size!
This is an expensive skirt and if it fits – a deliciously thrifty find!!!
2011-03-18 003
Supersize flowers…too big of a print for most people to pull off. Pass… 2011-03-18 009
2011-03-18 008
not my own personal style, but easy to pair things with and neutral enough…definitely worth a look see.
2011-03-18 004
no, I don’t think this is for me either.
2011-03-18 007
Okay, let’s practice scanning with another rack…
2011-03-29 002
What catches your eye? These catch mine…
Nice grey wool pencil skirt.
2011-03-29 003
Not my personal style, but definitely IN style right now…
2011-03-29 004
I guess I didn’t get a picture of the last one. A great black skirt with tiny polka dots…pairs with everything!

Okay, here’s our last practice. Take a quick glance at this picture and then tell me what you see…anything worthwhile?

2011-03-29 009
Definitely one beautiful skirt hiding in there…
Beautiful print… well made in a good thick fabric. Still with the tags. A PERFECT thrifty find!
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So I hope you got the gist of this scanning technique. Just know, you don’t have to sift through every article of clothing on those racks.
You don’t have time for that! You DO have time to find great thrifty deals…you just have to practice.

Start by going thrifting with something particular in mind.
For example: Go on a day when all skirts or sweaters are 99 cents…and JUST hit those racks.
Practice scanning.
Remember, if you approach it right, you don’t have to be overwhelmed.


DeNiel said...

Thank you so much! I might be able to go thrift shopping now without becoming overwhelmed.

Bingham family blog said...

Heather-I totally want to go with you. You make it look so easy and fun.

David, Sara and Natalie said...

These are great tips! I have always been one who would LOVE to have nice things, but I HATE to shop! I could only see the pictures in the first half of the post, however. The rest have an exclamation mark. I don't know if that's from my end or yours, though.

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