Thrifting vs. Vintage Shopping
I get a lot of questions about whether I thrift all of the vintage jeans I curate. Of course, if I can, I thrift because it’s generally three times less expensive at thrift stores versus vintage stores. However, thrifting takes a lot of time, especially if you are looking for something specific. That takes me into the difference between thrift stores and vintage stores.
Some people see vintage shopping as thrifting, but my friend, it really is not. Vintage stores are like retail stores. They have a vibe; they have something they specialize in (for example, vintage Levis, vintage sequin tops, Hawaiian shirts), and they are there to make money. Vintage stores are highly curated and as a result, prices end up being much higher than thrift stores, like the Salvation Army and Value Village. However, it is much easier to find those special pieces through vintage stores, rather than finding specialized items at the thrift store. But, there are some tricks to find these gems thrifting.
When people say “I’m so bad at thrifting. I can never find anything,” you’re probably just spending time in racks and aisles you shouldn’t be. Here are some of my best thrifting tips for scoring the perfect vintage jeans.
- Skip the women’s jeans section and head straight for mens. A lot of the time the best vintage Levi’s are found in the men’s section. A lot of my favorite pairs come from there!
- Look for your preferred wash, rather than sorting through every pair. Picking through every pair is very time consuming and I often find I will buy pairs that I end up not liking after. I think this is because I see a brand name and make myself try to like it, haha. By only pulling out the washes that catch your eye, you will save yourself time (and money maybe).
- Next, look for 100 percent cotton! Vintage denim is always made with 100 percent cotton to achieve the perfect worn-in looks. You know they are also very high quality and very durable.
- Ignore the sizes. Vintage denim has been washed and washed and washed again. Over time, this changes the shape of the jean. So, ignore the size. If you like the wash and the style of jean, pick them up and try them on.
- A quick little trick to see if the jeans will fit your waist is the neck trick! Hold the waist of the jean and wrap it around your neck. If the two ends just meet, they will likely fit you. If they overlap, they will be too big, and if they don’t touch they will be too small.
- My last thrifting tip is to bring clothes to donate or look for sale days. At some thrift shops, you get a coupon for donating clothes. If your thrift shops do not have this feature, stay up to date on the sale days, as denim can be one of their pricier items.
Bonus Tip: head straight to the mens' tees for cool graphics and old Harley shirts ;)