19 October 2012

Thrifting for Dummies

Over a catch-up sesh with a friend from high school, she learned that never in my life had I been to a thrift shop. In an entirely desperate attempt at distracting ourselves from studying, we headed over to St. Laurent street to a store called 'Eva B'.

With my mind running a mile a minute, excited and scared about what I was about to get myself into, I asked my dear old friend and thrifting expert Cassandra for some pointers on finding perfect second hand items. Here's what she had to say...


1. First and foremost, when walking into a thrift shop, one must go in with a clear mind, lots of patience, and absolutely no expectations. You're not going to find something unbelievable every time. Other times, you'll wish you brought more money. Thrifting is ultimately a hit or miss. You'll need a couple of hours to go through all the clothes... think Winners, but crazier! Have fun with it!

2. Try the items on. Ya, ok, so it might be five dollars. It might also have a broken zipper! Check out the items before you buy them. A loose seem or a missing button are easy and inexpensive to fix. When you're talking about replacing zippers and doing major alterations though, it can end up costing you more than the item is worth. If you really love it, go for it! If not, you can probably find a new piece for the same price.

3. Get to know the people who work there. The employees are the ones who stalk the shelves and fill up the racks! They know all about new items that have arrived! Make a friend or two and get them to help you out... if you need it :)

4. Know that most prices are negotiable. Bargain away! *I picked up a leather skirt that had no price tag on it. When I asked one of the girls who was working what the price was, she made one up on the spot. What might seem reasonable to them may not be reasonable to you. Work your bargaining magic! If you suspect that you're being over charged, you probably are. Put the item down and find a different store.

5. Carry cash! Most shops only accept moula! Don't go to a thrift shop expecting to use your plastic. Imagine the disappointment you'd feel after doing all that work and heading to the cash, only to find out that you can't buy the treasures you've found! 

My experience: After spending a couple of hours at Eva B, I can absolutely say that the world of thrifting is not only super fun and somewhat entertaining, but also an insanely good way to get your hands on pieces that you know no one else will have. I was so overwhelmed by "la piscine des robes" a.k.a. the pool of clothes (photographed above), and the dozens of racks of clothing, that I basically spent the entire two hours processing it all. Hoping to go back and make my very first thrifty purchase!

In case y'all are wondering, Eva B is located at 2013-2015 St Laurent Street, Downtown Montreal.

Thanks a bunch to Cassandra for the great tips and for the incredible experience! Looking forward to round two!

Mango Lamb Skin Leather Jacket
Free People Red Pants
Dex Clothing Sweater
Prada Glasses
Pandora Rings
Hush Puppies Manyara Moccasins
Longchamp Le Pliage Bag

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  1. Thrifting is great, and tips are always helpful! :) I absolutely adore your sweater, the print is so chic!
    Greetings from Finland!

    xo Viivi

  2. love the arty background of your first picture! Love the bright colours! :-) xx