A Fashion Guide for the Thrifting Skeptic

A style guide to why vintage clothes aren't only ethical, they're often the trendiest things around!


Is looking chic in the summer possible when you’re on a serious budget? The answer doesn’t necessarily lie in rooting around your nearest discount chain store; the quality of those items won’t last till next summer, and the business practices of those companies are often…less than ethical.  The better choice is going to a local thrift store, where some dedicated digging can reveal hidden gems that will be useful in your wardrobe for years to come.

Buying something from the 70s, 80s or 90s that’s still in great condition is absolutely possible in a thrift store, and recycling clothing isn’t only good for the environment, it lends a sense of history (and mystery) to the garment. Even buying vintage leather, suede and fur goods are definitely preferable, because you’re not promoting the company it came from, and thus promoting the creation of more goods made from animals. Instead, you’re supporting a humanitarian cause like the Salvation Army, or a small business. 

This season, we're seeing several trends that can be easily replicated using thrifted clothing.

* Sports Chic- Brought on by Olympic fervor no doubt, and supported by many designers' 90s throwback collections. Look for mesh, Nikes, track pants and neoprene shirts and skirts. 

* Mad Men- Ever since the Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 collection, there has been a resurgence of full skirted dresses, midi-length skirts, bustier tops and all clothes suited to a more womanly figure. These kinds of items abound in thrift stores.

* Long Live the 90s- They say that fashion cycles back 20 years every decade, and the 90s are still having their moment. Items like floral maxidresses, Spice Girls-esque halter tops, and anything Gwen Stefani circa No Doubt would have worn are in high demand. Many vintage stores charge exorbitant prices for these kind of things, but thrift stores can yield hidden gems. 

New Jersey has tons of excellent thrifting opportunities, including:

  • Jerry’s Antiques and Estates- 229 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
    • This location has vintage jewelry, furs and clothing (at really low prices), as well as furniture and home goods
  • Salvation Army Thrift Store- 417 Passaic County 662- Passaic
    • Tons of clothing, some home goods. Great selection.
  • Udelco- 210 6th Avenue, Hawthorne
    • Tucked away on a back street, this is a thrifter’s paradise. Basically a clothing warehouse with boxes full of clothing, separated into specific categories. A must-see.

Click here to see my Fashion/Lifestyle/Arts blog: http://cagedwonder.blogspot.com/

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Bethe Danon July 08, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Francesca - re-sale is the hottest trend, and you are spot on with your article although you forgot to mention Blackbird Lane at 219 Glenridge Avenue for wonderfully curated vintage finds. And soon, Montclair will have it's first designer buy/sell/trade store: swapXXchange. Located at 425 Bloomfield Avenue, it will be a frugal fashionista's dream with 2500 s/f of contemporary upscale clothing & accessories (and some vintage) at a fraction of their original prices. Stay tuned and be sure to visit the website for more details (www.swapxxchange.com). I hope to see you there in August!
Karen Banda July 08, 2012 at 09:30 PM
A dear friend of mine has been shopping in consignment stores for decades and taunting me with her finds. You've got to know where to go and shop often to keep up with new arrivals. She's done amazingly well with top designer labels for less than K-Mart prices. She's in FLA now and there are tons of stores who handle gently-used furniture the same way. Again, great finds at sometimes garage-sale prices.
mtc parent July 08, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Try the Goodwill in Fairfield on Route 46. Or the one in Paramus on17 south.
cindyella November 20, 2012 at 09:08 AM
http://www.louisvuittonoffi.com Louis Vuitton Official Website http://www.monclerjacketsoutletvip.co.uk Moncler Outlet http://www.goosevip.co.uk Canada Goose Outlet


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