When you consider what it means to live in New York, you never think about how it will affect your clothing budget. Mainly because you are thinking about the people, the art, the nightlife and well of course the fashion. As a small town, low income girl shopping not only breaks the bank but as a shopaholic it is also second nature. Growing up in a low income household as soon as you got money you either hid it or spent it. If you left your money to collect it would only give someone reason to ask for it. I mean you have money to just let it sit around. (Re.1 creating generational wealth in these communities is hard to do because of this exactly.)
So I had to learn how to finesse clothing, safety pins, sewing, accessories, etc. Anything that would make it look like I was wearing the latest trends. I have kept those skills with me and they have come in handy on more than one occasion. Here are things I have learned and found while visiting the thrift shop.
Smell is not a big issue, you can easily change the smell of clothing. Also, you should be washing things you get from the thrift store as soon as you get them. If there is a stain, it depends how deep and how long the stain has been there, your call on weather it is worth it. I bought a very nice, form accentuating nightie that I have worn out before. When I first got it the lace was yellowing, but I washed it with all my whites color-safe bleach and it came right out. Remember if you are up for it, you can change the condition of any piece.
Venture into the bougie neighborhoods, the best finds are at those second hand stores in wealthier areas. One time while visiting a thrift store in the Upper Eastside, I found a pair of all leather chelsea boots. These boots became my staple for Europe and they are still in great condition. So don't be scared to go into those stores because I promise you they do have some affordable gems.
Which brings me to my next point, DO NOT SETTLE. If there is something you really want and you see it in a store for a overtly high price do not buy it. I saw a friend once buy a trench coat for like $100, but when we went to the next spot something exactly like it was $45. Just because you saw it at that one store doesn't mean it won't be at the next one. There are buyers at all these stores that follow trends and try to buy clothing accordingly.
Bringing us to a cardinal rule to shopping. Try on all the shit before you buy it and I will admit I do not always abide by this rule. I cannot tell you about the countless items I have bought that do not fit me. This beautiful collared striped backwards button down I found in Greenwich I have yet to wear because my tits are too big for it. (A common issue I run into being a small in my everything except chest *DM me if you interested in this top.) My roommate asked me if I wanted to try it on and I said no. Now I have this top I am going to have to sell back because my breasts do not fit in it. Try on your clothes peeps.
Last, point I am going to make is buy what makes you feel good. I am a self conscious being and I feel that does affect my style at times. My best purchase was a light pink American Apparel swimsuit that has lips all over it. Kinda out there I know, but literally one of my favorite pieces because it is so me. I had matching sunglasses for awhile. So be yourself, live freely and make sure your clothes represent you.