Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spots to Shop: More Treasure Island Flea

The sun was shining this past weekend so we ventured across the bay to our favorite non-thrift store thrifting destination, Treasure Island Flea Market.

Our favorite vendor was there, the "all clothes $5" tent. In terms of clothes they have the largest selection of any of the vendors, and more cutoff jeans than you'll ever see in one place. Most of the clothes are vintage, mostly from the 1990s, 1980s and earlier, which is great if you're looking to follow a trend that's a revival of a previous decade's fashions.

We'll be featuring all of our finds here eventually, but for now, check out Devon's awesome vintage floral skirt that she hemmed into a super cute short style.

Modified Vintage Circle Skirt
$5 at Treasure Island Flea
Full Price Equivalent: $78 at Nordstrom

vintage floral skirt before doubleminted

vintage floral maxi dress purple doubleminted

shortened vintage floral skirt
short vintage floral circle skirt
vintage a-line skirt with pockets
vintage skirt with buttons

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thrifting Tips Part 2: Getting Serious

All it really takes to get you hooked on thrifting is one really good find. Once you've brought that treasure home and started to enjoy it, you'll start to feel a pull to search for more treasures. But if you want to be consistently successful finding gems at the thrift store, you need to start paying attention to the details.

Here are a few more tips for when you want to go from casual browser to a serious hunter.

1. Pay Attention to Fabrics

One of the best parts about thrifting is that you can buy lightly used but very high quality clothes that you might not otherwise shell out for. Paying attention to fabrics is how you get the best bang for your buck. We don't think very highly of spending $5 on something you can get new at Forever 21 for $8. But keeping an eye out for quality fabrics means you could get for $5 what might cost $60 at Banana Republic or $90 at Nordstrom.

Use your fingers to examine texture and pick up the item to gauge its overall weight (many higher quality fabrics are heavier). Look for natural fibers like cotton over synthetics. The shinier the fabric, the cheaper it looks. Keep an eye out for worn out fabric. It is possible to use a razor to freshen up pilled fabric, but it's tedious, time-consuming work, so unless you're in love, skip it.

comparing dress fabrics while thrifting

pilling on a thrifted dress doubleminted

jcrew 100% cotton dress label

2. Is it really vintage?

Some thrift stores like Goodwill have actual vintage sections, but at most places you'll just find vintage items mixed in with everything else. If you're a fan of fashion from other eras, there are a few quick and dirty ways to determine if something is really vintage.

First is zippers. Plastic zippers, or even painted zippers are a relatively new phenomenon. A piece of clothing with a big metal zipper is more likely to be truly old (though we have seen this look coming back in a few contemporary pieces).

Next, smell the clothes! We know it sounds a little weird, but older fabrics tend to have a different smell. It may be the type of fabric, it may be how it was stored before it came to the thrift store, who knows, but vintage clothes definitely have a smell.

Finally, check out the labels. The style and printing of labels has changed over the years, so vintage labels tend to stick out as old-fashioned. If you don't recognize the brand, that can also be a big hint. Also, if you ever see a United Ladies' Garment Workers Union label you know you've got genuine vintage, because the union disbanded in 1995.

genuine vintage metal zipper

thrifted vintage clothes labels closeup

3. Don't pass something up because it's out of season

Thrifting is all about striking while the iron is hot. Unlike regular retail, if you find something you like you can't put it on hold or hope it's there next time you visit the store. So if it's January and you find a pair of sandals you love, go ahead an get them. There's nothing wrong with having them wait patiently in your closet until the right weather comes around. So think all seasons while you're thrift shopping!

thrifting summer and winter clothes

4. Explore! Thrift outside your usual neighborhood

Successful thrifting is all about giving yourself great opportunities, so don't limit yourself to the same few thrift stores near your house. We often take thrifting day trips around the Bay Area, from all parts of San Francisco to the East Bay (Alameda, Oakland, and Berkeley) to the North Bay (Marin, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and Rohnert Park). We've also been known to thrift while on vacation. Some of our favorite finds are from Lake Tahoe, Joshua Tree, and even other states.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Thrifting Tips Part 1: The Basics

Thrift shopping is such a different experience than regular retail shopping, it can be intimidating at first. But many of the things that make up that difference are what make it so worth it.

Your chances of finding something really special and one-of-a-kind are very high, which is a perk you'd have to shell out big bucks for in a department store or online. Plus, we can guarantee you that one of your thrifty finds will end up being the item you get complimented on most by friends and coworkers.

So if you're ready to dive in and give thrift shopping a try, we have put together some tips based on our experiences. We've done some of the trial and error for you, so you can concentrate on finding some seriously fashionable upcycled styles to add to your closet.

1. The ideal thrifting outfit
Comfort is key, but so is flexibility. We recommend jeans or leggings for bottoms because they'll help you gauge the wearability of tops you try on. A tank or camisole allows you to try on tops outside of the fitting room, if needed. Flats or other slip-on shoes are convenient for trying on shoes and staying comfortable. A cross-body purse keeps your arms free for browsing the racks.

ideal thrifting outfit doubleminted

2. Give yourself plenty of time
This isn't like running a quick errand to the grocery store, it's and adventure! So make sure you have blocked enough time to enjoy the experience and visit all the racks and stores you hoped to. A minimum of half an hour is a good place to start for an average sized store, but budget more time for big thrift stores. You don't want to miss something because you're in a rush!

three thriftstore watches one arm

3. Patience and persistence
Thrifting is like hunting - you might feel like you're burning a lot of time, but sticking with it can mean a big score. Sometimes when we're looking for a specific item or trend, we will visit up to 10 thrift/vintage stores in one day! (Ok, so that's our record, but it definitely paid off!) If you feel yourself fading, stop for a snack or coffee.

searching thrift store racks doubleminted

4. Search outside your size rack
Thrift stores are rarely as organized as they appear to be. Sizes are sometimes a matter of opinion of the clerks and constant browsing customers tend to mix things up. And clothing from different eras and different countries follow very different sizing standards, so don't always disqualify something because of the tag size. It might be a European, British or Japanese size.  If you're striking out in your size section, venture on to the next bigger or smaller rack!

thrift store extra large sizes

5. Don't be afraid to play dress up 
One thing we guarantee is you will find some ridiculous clothing. The kind that makes you exclaim "Who would ever wear this?!" But that's part of the fun. And sometimes you'll find a big fluffy pink 80's vintage prom dress in your size that is just begging to tried on. Go for it! (We're guessing you still won't be the weirdest person there.) Just be careful, you might fall in love with something unexpected and have to take it home!

playing dress-up at the thrift store doubleminted

Friday, March 13, 2015

Put Together: Pretty in Pastels

Continuing with the pastel trend, here are a few more of our recent thrifty finds. With these two looks we're getting ready for more 70-degree San Francisco weekends. These pastels are like pieces of sunshine on their own. Can't you just imagine us sipping mimosas outside one of the city's ever-popular brunch spots in these outfits? And with all the cash we saved getting these styles thrifted, the mimosas can keep on coming!

Devon's Pale Yellow Free People Dress
$17.50 at Buffalo Exchange
Full Price Equivalent: $128 from Free People
Crochet flats: $20 from Target

pastel yellow free people dress doubleminted

pastel yellow lace dress doubleminted

pale yellow free people dress doubleminted

boho lace pale yellow dress doubleminted

crochet lace pastel yellow dress

Brittany's Peach Chiffon Blouse
$7.50 from Goodwill
Full Price Equivalent: $38 from Francesca's
Necklace: $3 at Goodwill
White Shorts: $5 at Thrift Town
Tribal Print Espadrille Wedges: $14 from Ross

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thrifty Finds: Thrifted Sweaters for Spring's Pastel Trend

The last time pastels were a hot trend for spring feels like just yesterday. Then we stopped and thought about it, and realized that it was probably back when we were in high school. But we are loving this trend just as much this time around!

Pastels can be ultra-feminine, but also super chic when paired with structured neutrals. The only problem with the length of this particular fashion cycle is that it makes pastel shades that much harder to find in a thrift store. They're not impossible to find, by any means, but it can be difficult to find pieces in the shade you're looking for that don't scream, say, backyard barbecue circa 1999.

Hunting this trend took some dedication! But we got lucky and found some adorable thrifted sweaters in cozy pastels. Sweaters tend to be in amazing abundance at thrift stores, so these weren't even the only ones we found, simply the ones that inspired us most without causing closet repetition.

Brittany's Pale Yellow Angora Crewneck Sweater
$10 at Thrift Town
Full Price Equivalent: $28 on Etsy
H&M Skinny Jeans: $4.50 at Goodwill
Retro Wilson Sneakers: $15 at Goodwill
Periwinkle Purse: $40 on JustFab.com

Devon's Peach Heather Slouchy Sweater
$4 at Goodwill
Full Price Equivalent: $78 at Nordstrom
Lucky Brand White Jeans: $9 at St. Vincent De Paul
Nude Heels: $9 at Goodwill