I've become a bit of a second hand shopper. I'm pretty obsessed actually. There is nothing like the thrill of the hunt. And the big payoff when you find that great dress/top/whatever for next to nothing! I mainly do my second hand shopping at Plato's Closet: it's close to my house, I have great luck there, and I can sell back some things that I don't wear anymore (a big thanks to SaidMelanie for encouraging me to give it a try). I used to be a big thrifter as well, and I have found that the same skills apply. So if you've never done any second hand shopping, or you get overwhelmed when you do, here are a few tips that should help you find some great pieces!
1. You don't have to look at everything. Some people look through item after item, one at a time. I never do this. I let my eyes do the work. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you look at everything.
2. Look for quality. In a sea of fake chiffon, real silk is easy to spot. That's how I found a beautiful, 100% silk top the other day for $6. Quality fabrics stick out.
3. Look for interesting patterns. You can really find unique things second-hand, and a crazy awesome pattern is easy to spot.
4. Limit what you buy. I usually only allow myself to buy four things at one time. If you buy too much, you aren't really getting good stuff. There is a lot of crap at a second hand store (usually). We're looking for diamonds in the rough.
5. If you are unsure, don't get it. This stuff is cheap, so it's easy to justify making a purchase. But there is no point in buying things you will never wear. The same rules apply when shopping second hand as shopping full price stuff. If you don't need it or won't wear it, don't buy it!
6. Quality, quality, quality! Buying second hand is a great way to buy quality items you normally couldn't afford. I've bought Cynthia Rowley, BCBG, Nine West and many more higher end brands all second hand. This is stuff I would normally never buy, it's too expensive. Don't buy a Forever 21 top second hand. Go to Forever 21 instead.
Any second hand shoppers out there? What are your tips? Oh and yes, this dress is from Plato's Closet! It's Cynthia Rowley and it was $12. Need I say more?