National Secondhand Wardrobe Week was first mentioned in 2017. Prior to this, I really don’t remember too much talk about secondhand shopping. Of course, consignment stores, Goodwill, and thrift stores have always been around. The world of thrifting at one point had a negative connotation. Thinking back to when I was younger, it was not cool to shop at Goodwill. As a matter of fact, the only people I knew that shopped at Goodwill or thrifted were those that were either really poor or had big really big families. But in recent years, thrifting has become trendy. Not only because of the frugality of society but because of the vintage finds that allow individuals to showcase their style in ways fashion trends overlook. A silk pants set was at one point, a staple in your grandma’s or auntie’s closet. Not in 2022. With the right accessories, a silk pantsuit is now a hot commodity in these streets. I love sequins and a silk jacket, but I am a true novice in this arena. So I enlisted the help of my good friend Jazamine Davis to dive further into the world of thrifting.
Jazamine is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and an avid thrifter. She was first introduced to thrifting around 2005 while pregnant. Jazamine was a young mother and was not trying to spend all her money on maternity clothes, so she started thrifting. But this is not when the passion started. As a matter of fact, Jazamine did look back at thrifting because she was working in retail at various stores so she was getting great discounts. But in 2012, she stumbled into a thrift store and found a lot of cute clothes that could be interchanged between church and work. And from there she was hooked.
Jazmine describes herself as having an old soul. She loves soul music and some of her favorite female icons are Dorothy Dandridge, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Diahann Carroll to name a few. Because of this love for vintage music and movies, her sense of style is based on vintage fashion.
The reason Jazamine chooses vintage fashion is due to the quality of the fabric and the fit for her body type. Her second reason for choosing vintage is because a lot of the designs are eye-catching and colorful. Vintage pieces are great conversation starters and are actually what got Jazamine started doing personal shopping. She prides herself on being able to help her clients evolve outside the box to find what makes their signature style.
When going shopping, Jazamine has a few tips that will help make the process seamless and fun.
-Don’t go with expectations. Do not walk into a thrift store and shop like it s a regular retail store. You will be quickly disappointed and frustrated.
-Follow the vibes. Let the thrift store tell you what you need.
-Don’t get stuck on labels and sizes. Vintage sizes run small, sometimes extra small. Don’t let the number on the tag scare you.
-Dress comfortably. You will need to try on your items.
-Have fun and build relationships. Especially if it is a local store, befriend the store associates. That how you find out when the new inventory is put out and they may even put items aside for you.
-Start in your area and then branch out. Also, certain stores (Goodwill and consignment) have inventory based on the neighborhood. The more upscale the neighborhood the more high-end items will be available.
-Research the stores. Some are better for home goods while others are more for fashion.
-Build relationships via social media. When Jazamine travels to other cities to reaches out to local thrifters to hit the local thrifting scene.
-Do not sleep on estate sales. You will be able to get more for your money here.
-Steam clean and/or sanitize the items you find using sanitizing fabric spray and wash on the delicate cycle. You can also purchase an at-home dry cleaning kit for more delicate items or just take them to the cleaners. Read the labels for care.
On a good day, Jazamine can go to an estate sale and leave with 80 pieces in 1 bag for only $100. With that, she can do a live on her re-seller/personal shopper page and make $420. Personal shopping and re-selling can be very lucrative but as with anything it takes time and dedication.
This year for National Secondhand Wardrobe week be sure to check out your local thrift store and follow the vibes. You never know what you may find.
Jasmine is a native of Chicago and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a B.A. in Political Science. Jasmine started writing in 2018 as just a hobby. Since then it has grown into a passion. Jasmine considers herself to be a lifestyle and fashion blogger, a social medial manager, and a social media strategist. She can be found on Instagram at @jas_is_peculiaroyalty.