Today marks the first day of a fun adventure I’m calling Thrift Month. A month I’m dedicating to purchasing and shopping only second-hand items.
Each week I will be sharing interviews, going on weekly thrift trips, and featuring the newly resurrected items I find towards the end of the week.
Now I’ve got an amazing interview I wanna get right into with Alyssa on her knowledge on thrifting she’s gained over the last decade, but I wanna share some back story on why I’m doing this first! Ya with me?
So here’s how it all started…
I was combing through my closet a few weeks back and realized that I felt frustrated and limited by the options I had in my closet. The frustrating feels were compounded by the fact that we have also been designating less money to clothes the past couple of months so I couldn’t purchase much of what I had on my “wants” list on top of that.
I felt creatively frustrated and stuck on how to fix it. So… whenever I get in that place I always try to take a moment to sit back and reflect for a second because it’s not the attitude I want to have.
So that’s what I did, and I’m so glad I did because I remembered one very important thing.
When I got into this whole blogging world I decided that I was gonna document my journey exactly where I was at. I was gonna focus on styling the things I had in the tighter times, and in contrast, show all the new things I was excited about when it was time to spend or revamp.
I wanted to have a blog that was balanced, relatable, and most importantly a blog that would inspire anyone following along with me that they too could embrace who they are, feel amazing, and have unique personal style no matter where they were at in life. And quite honestly remind myself of this along the way as well.
So it hit me! I thought – I’m gonna do a full month of purchasing thrifted items only, to get me back to the heart of why I’m doing what I’m doing. This concept checked all the boxes of what I was wanting to focus on in this place and time.
- Creativity with a restricted budget
- Raising awareness on textile waste and being a part of alleviating it
- Learning to see a designer look at thrift stores
- And incorporating vintage into my style as well
It also felt like something that was incredibly inclusive. So no matter where you are at with your style, thrifting skills, spending habits, and on I could go – I hope you follow along and find something encouraging for yourself in these next few weeks!
And with that, I think we should jump right on into the first Q&A with Alyssa Cates, what do you say??
Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Dallas based photo + video creator with a passion for creating beauty in every outlet of my life. I strive to encourage people to be fully and wonderfully themselves – through friendships, inspired style, music, photos, and video.
Fun facts: I’ve been with my boo (and very best friend!) Daniel, for 10 years, married for 4.5 and I am 100% obsessed with our rescue Pomeranian, Marble. Oh, and I drink my coffee black. Also Freddie Mercury 4ever.
What got you into thrifting?
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I didn’t always thrift! Crazy right?! It’s my absolute jam now and I am so passionate about crafting a wardrobe perfectly for you – and on a dime. So the backstory is – there was a 70’s inspired dance at my high school my senior year and I remember shopping with my friend at our towns local thrift shops to find the perfect vintage outfit. I instantly fell in love with the curiosity of it all and the fact that I had no idea what I would find! And for a few dollars?! How had I missed out on this all this time?! Since then, I’ve always loved finding unique pieces to build a custom wardrobe for myself but I won’t lie, I do have a pair of target jeans and old navy leggings. #keepingitreal
What would you suggest in terms of finding good locations?
- This is tricky because it’s not always common people are rating or reviewing thrift shops. So, unfortunately, you may have to just go check them out yourself. Or ask a friend if they have a favorite spot! You never know if they also have an interest in thrifting. Also, don’t forget hitting up the next city or town over… especially if it’s a “nice” neighborhood!
Do you feel there’s an initial learning curve or feeling you have to push through to get to the good stuff?
- Yes and no! Honestly, for me, I feel super comfortable thrifting. However, I love to go by myself and some people may hate that! I love to zone out and let whatever speaks to me, find me. So yes if you are getting outside your comfort zone. And hey, it happens to me on the occasion I check out a new location! But I have found a local fave thrift shop that never lets me down.
What do you do to incorporate your thrifted pieces into your wardrobe?
- All the things, ha! I mix them with big box chain pieces, vintage pieces, DIY’d pieces, you name it. I wear a fully thrifted outfit more often than not. But I also don’t only buy super dated pieces at the thrift store – I’ve had a lot of luck finding brand name pieces in amazing conditions – and even some designer!
And most importantly, what are your top five tips for thrifting newbies?
- Go in with a mission! It can be super intimidating when you first start thrifting. Give yourself a task of what you’re looking for and challenge yourself to find it! No pressure if you don’t, but you’ll feel confident walking in and out since you were looking for something in particular.
- There are ~gems in the men’s~✨ Lol, thanks Mary Beth for this pun! But seriously – I’ve found some of my very favorite pieces in the men’s denim section and button-down section. Bonus if you score a rad vintage tee!
- Be okay with getting uncomfortable. Yes, that means to invite a friend, pop in your earbuds to some rad tunes, or give yourself a time limit – just go for it. Once you get into a groove of doing your own thing and realizing that no one around you cares and is hunting for deals just like you, you’ll be able to focus on finding treasures.
- Take a look through the “sleep” section. Aka there miiiiight be some “lingerie” however it’s usually just slips and robes! I’ve found several cool silk camis and long kimono style robes in this section.
- Look for textures and patterns you like – but do it all over the store! I neverrrrr stay just in my size section. You might find something misplaced, an oversized shirt dress or even a vintage pair of trousers that will fit you perfectly even though they are a size up or down.
And that’s a wrap on this q&a my friends – I’ll be taking Alyssa’s tips with me to thrift this week so be on the lookout for a haul great or small to come!
So thankful to Alyssa for sharing her skills with us – she always looks amazing and has such a talent for making people’s once treasures cool again – it is truly inspiring to see her in her element!
And as always tell me your thoughts my thrifting queens, or thrifting newbies!? Do you find these tips helpful? What would you add to the conversation?
Until next time,