Monday, January 24, 2011

How to Buy Thrift Store Denim

Most Americans live in their jeans, but it can take forever to find just the right pair. Whether you’re on a mission for the perfect cut or color or you just want to try something new on the cheap, thrift stores are deal central.

Here are five tips for conquering the overwhelming racks of jeans:
  • By the Numbers – If you are lucky enough to shop at a thrift shop that segments by size, start here. Don’t be afraid to try on a pair that is a size or two larger or smaller than you typically wear. 
  • Which wash? – If your local secondhand emporium doesn’t sort by size, rejoice! Look for  your favorite wash instead. 
    • Do you love saturated indigo washes? Or are you all about the classic denim wash of a vintage pair of 501s? Relax and skim through the blues (or greys or blacks) until a wash catches your eye.
  • The Kindest Cut – Once you’ve found your wash and your size, check for cut. Skinny jeans go well with tunics and looser sweaters, while a wider leg style pairs with a more fitted top. 
  • Try it on – No buts. Especially if you are just starting out, nothing is more important than trying out each piece. Many thrift stores have policies that do not allow for exchanges.
    • Pro tip: As you’re trying each piece on, think about the way it fits on you and how it looks on the rack. Over time, you’ll build a visual understanding of what fits your body. You’ll still need to try each piece on, but you’ll be less likely to take duds into the dressing room.
  • Have fun! – Sometimes, you just have to give the bright red skinny jeans a shot. And at thrift store prices, you’re a lot less likely to regret your walk on the wild side.

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