Tuesday, May 29, 2012

blogger interviews: ron

1) How did you first start thrifting?
When I first started reading style blogs I noticed that some of the best outfits had thrifted or secondhand clothes but I was too terrified to go into secondhand shops on my own. It wasn't until I started university and me and my friends wanted to find some cheap costumes for Halloween that we ventured into all the nearby thrift stores that we could find. In one I found the perfect pirate coat and went as Captain Hook. Ever since then I've been returning regularly.

2) What items do you advise to always thrift (as opposed to buy new)?
The most obvious is statement pieces. Big trends come and go very quickly and there's no knowing how long they'll last. If you thrift the trend (or DIY it) then you're less likely to feel guilty about having spent a lot of money on a statement piece that was only fashionable for a season.

Another item, and this is going to sound odd, is tights. The thrift stores I go to sort though all their items to remove anything old, torn or soiled (even if it smells a little they don't sell it) so their hosiery and underwear are all new or in perfect condition. Often it's brands of a higher quality than I would buy new. For example, I recently bought some children's tights, brand new in their original packaging, with an original price of £26 for only £1. A word of warning though, not all thrift stores are this picky and always examine, test and smell pieces before buying to avoid disappointment.

3) You work at a thrift store--how does it work? Any insider tips?
Thrift stores get a LOT of donations (seriously, mountains of the stuff) but not all of it is fit for sale, so we sort through it all to make sure the stuff on sale doesn't smell, isn't stained or torn and is actually wearable. The stuff that doesn't make it to the shop floor is recycled, it can end up in other shops or end up overseas but only the worst of the worst end up in textile recycling.

The best tip is to make friends with someone that works at your favourite thrift store, or volunteer there yourself! Make a friend who knows your style and they'll be able to hold items for you in the back room so that you get to look over them before they go on sale.

4) What is your favorite "DIY" project you've tried?
My favourite project in terms of the result is the simple adjusting of a dress. It's amazing how quickly a frumpy 80's dress can become cute and chic just by taking off or adjusting the sleeves and bringing up the hem. Other small adjustments such as adding lace or studs adds an air of intrigue to an otherwise boring item.

The most enjoyable project to do is to cover things in glitter. The results can be a little fragile but getting glitter everywhere is priceless.

5) What is something a first-time thrifter should avoid?
Going in to a thrift store with a defined agenda. Keep your mind open, you might not find that sequined maxi dress but you might find something else amazing. Also, if you don't find what it is you want, don't give up! Keep going back regularly and you're more likely to find everything (and more than) you need.


  1. Great interview I really enjoyed reading it!

  2. I've never bought anything at a thrift store before, but I do want to start, so thank you very much for your advice.
    My last project was cutting granny squares out of my old pairs of jeans and out of an old red, winter check shirt of my dad's that was torn. I mixed the red and blue squares up and sewed them into a large square. I then took my old dining room chairs and put my squares fabric over the cushion part to re-upholster them. My chairs looked as good as new, cheeky and charming.
    I also sewed up a pouch for my Tracfone LG500G smart phone, to protect the touch screen. I then cut up a giraffe profile out of an old red t-shirt and sewed it on the denim pouch. It looked really cool.
    Recycling is great if you can make something beautiful out of unwanted stuff, it's almost addictive.

  3. Great interview :)
    I also want to say I love your "profile" picture, its so beautiful girl :)

  4. Man, I never find tights in my thrift store!

  5. Great interview! I'm going to have to go check out her blog!


  6. Wait, stop. She works at a thrift store? What kind of goldmine job is that?? I'm feeling jealous.

    1. Yup, I do indeed. It is unpaid though, I'm just a volunteer.

    2. I've left this long enough but thanks so much for the interview, was great fun. I've linked to it from my blog now :)


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