Sometimes, it can be difficult knowing what to look for when thrifting and vintage shopping. There’s usually so much junk, it can be overwhelming trying to find any true gems in a sea of… well, not gems. In order to not get bogged down by all of the chaos that is a thrift store, my favourite technique when thrift shopping is to identify some key pieces I’m interested in and go on a scavenger hunt for only those pieces (tunnel vision, baby). With that being said, here are three staple pieces to look for when thrifting and vintage shopping:
- Wool Coat
Every year around this time, I feel the urge to purchase a wool coat. Everyone I see around campus wearing one always seems so put together.
So last year I went to Aritzia (because nothing screams, “I am a classy gal and have my life together” more than Aritzia clothing). Sure enough, they had a very large selection of beautiful wool coats that I absolutely swooned for, but I just could not justify the hefty almost $400.00 price tag.
However, a couple of weeks ago I went to my local vintage shop Darling Vintage, and found the most beautiful grey and white wool coat for only $70.00. Aside from the huge savings, the best part of all of this is that the vintage coat is likely better quality than the Aritzia ones, as it was made in Italy.
I always want to make sure my wardrobe staples are of good quality, as it ensures their longevity, given the fact that they are worn so frequently.
- Leather Trench
Last year’s “it” wardrobe piece made an ode to the 90s, with leather blazers and trenches. Models Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber were constantly photographed donning this wardrobe essential, and every time I saw another photo on Pinterest, I only wanted this coat more. I likely spent upwards of a cumulated 15 hours online searching for a leather coat of this style, to no avail.
However, this year after watching High Fidelity and seeing Rob in her iconic leather trench, it became my number one mission to find this coat.
Then one day I stopped by the trusty Darling Vintage and sure enough, hanging on the leather rack, was the “perfect” leather trench for $75.00 (jaw drops to the floor).
To say this coat was a steal is an understatement. It makes me feel so frickin’ cool and I’ve had multiple people on the street stop to tell me they like my coat. I’m not exaggerating when I say everyone needs one.
My favourite way to style this wardrobe essential is to pair it with leather platform heeled boots and smaller framed sunglasses for the ultimate Terminator vibe.
- Tennis Dress
I never appreciated the wonder that is a tennis dress until this year. They are so versatile — you can wear it on its own or (my favourite way) you can throw an oversized sweater over top and have the little collar of the dress peek out over the sweater.
Tennis dresses are probably my number one favourite item to look for while vintage shopping/thrifting, as you can never have enough of them. They are all so different and come in so many different colours.
Second-hand tennis dresses are one of those items that I feel always come with their own unique backstory. For example, I got this adorable white tennis dress with green detailing off Depop from a girl who purchased it while thrift shopping in Nice, France.
I cannot recommend enough thrifting/vintage shopping for these three pieces, which otherwise would be next to impossible to afford on a student budget. Each piece has truly become an essential to my everyday wardrobe and definitely elevates every outfit.