When Thrifting Backfires

 
4546-_6A_0645.jpg

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of thrifting clothes (buying and selling), but sometimes the process doesn't go as planned. I recently spent an entire weekend sifting through my shameful plethora of unwanted clothes, crammed into my tiny Brooklyn closet, in order to (hopefully) make some money thrifting what I could and donating the rest.

Want to know how much I made from Beacon's Closet – my local Bushwick, Brooklyn thrift shop – which I was SURE would be a gold mine? -$25... Yup, you read that right, NEGATIVE twenty-five dollars...my plan totally backfired on me and I spent money at the thrift store.

The feeling of being handed back my giant Ikea blue bag of previously cherished clothing from the cashier can only be described as one word, rejection. Thoughts of middle school embarrassment rushed back to me. Wandering around the lunchroom, brace-faced with nowhere to sit. The cool kids giggling in the corner. When I snapped back to reality, I realized, I've come a LONG way since then. I then reminded myself, who cares what these people think? We have to learn from our mistakes to better our chances next time. 

I accepted the fact that thrifting is a lot harder than being a thrifter (my kind of hunting and gathering). It's a matter of opinion, surrendering your clothes to another's judgment and being prepared for the potential let down. However; I now know that there are ways of increasing your luck. This includes:

  • Familiarity: Frequenting the same store...never hurts to make some insider friends
  • Quantity: Bringing fewer clothes (without the Ikea bag) 
  • Timing: Presenting seasonal selections (no crop tops in winter) 
  • Trial & Error: Hitting many different spots to up your chances (and be patient) 
  • Research: Look at the brands and styles in the store and align yours with this

On the bright side of this unfortunate day, I ended up with this awesome Rebecca Minkoff, plaid pea coat, a new favorite in my wardrobe! Time to do some more research in my favorite shops. 

XOXO Alex 

Photography: Nat Belkov

 
 
4546-11A_0650.jpg
 
 
4546-18A_0657.jpg
 
 
4546-_8A_0647.jpg
 
 
4546-12A_0651.jpg
4546-16A_0655.jpg
 

Shop my look (not exact items due to vintage)!

 

Thrill of the Ride

 
BikerFashionStayGoldy1.jpg

After walking back home from my usual Saturday morning workout class – I would actually call it more like hobbling – I passed by the most discrete and intriguing vintage store I’ve ever seen. It’s called Raggedy Threads, situated in an old bakery (old signage never removed), resembling a speakeasy, minus the alcohol (sadly). BUT, my mysterious new vintage find completely made up for it.

I immediately spotted the most incredible brass biker belt buckle...holy alliteration!!... in the shape of Harley wings and snagged it. After taking it home and scrubbing the tarnish off with my homemade potion, the words “motor” “cycles” and the initials “BF,” inscribed on the back, came into focus.

BikerFashionStayGoldy4.jpg

 

After doing some research, I discovered that the buckle most likely came from the 1940’s and was part of a company who sold them to different bike manufacturers who would then add their company name between “Motor” and Cycles.” Looks like I ended up with the all-encompassing buckle, one with no name but some mysterious initials to make up for it.

I also realized that I needed the actual belt to go with it, so I popped into my local shoemaker and asked him if he sold used leather belts – I told him I’ll only buy vintage leather since I’m a vegan. I don’t know if the old Greek man had a soft spot for me since his name was also Alex, or what, but he sold me his only used belt. He handed me HIS personal belt that he told me he’s had for 20 years and even custom fit it to me.

WHAT A THRILLING DAY IN VINTAGE HEAVEN.

To complete the look with some updated pieces, I had a beautiful Laura Siegel tunic I’ve been dying to wear, and paired it with distressed denim shorts and over-the-knee, open toed booties. And there you have it, I was ready to RIDE through a fun Saturday in Brooklyn spent checking out local bikes at  and drinking some wine with friends.

Photography: J Goldberg Productions & Jeff Malo

Top: Laura Siegel 

Boots: Guess 

 
 
BikerFashionStayGoldy5.jpg
 
 
BikerFashionStayGoldy3.jpg
 
 
BikerFashionStayGoldy9.jpg
 
 
BikerFashionStayGoldy2.jpg
 
 
BikerFashionStayGoldy7.jpg