Madewell's guide to thrift shopping

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Otherwise known as their spring catalog, now conveniently available online and breathing new inspiration into my commitment to thrift shopping my warm weather wardrobe.

There's something about finding a broken-in pair of jeans or a beautifully tailored blazer in a sea of unremarkable used clothing that is truly, deeply fulfilling to me. Not to everyone, I know. Maybe it was the years of hand-me-downs combined with hard-saved babysitting money that made me gravitate towards the practice of combing through castoffs to find Incredible Deals on things that No One Else Is Wearing.


Was I a cheapo with middle child syndrome? Sure, but it made me a perfect match for Paris where vintage stores are aplenty and my well-honed ability to sift through an industrial rack of hangers to locate the Most Perfect Pair of Tapered Silk Pants was indispensable. The best items in my closet were pre-owned, like a leather Gucci pencil skirt scored for $60 at a consignment shop in DC and a pair of eel skin cowboy boots from a vintage shop in Champaign, IL.

This love of beautiful worn things is something that makes me love Madewell. They have classic, wonderful items that feel like they've been part of your wardrobe for years when in reality you just ripped off the tags a week ago. If you're new to the used clothing market but interested in starting your investment, study the Madewell spring catalog for an easy to follow checklist of items to look for when trolling through thrift stores. Here's what I have on my short list (literally written on a crumpled yellow Post-It in my purse):
  1. Leather biker vest
  2. Worn in, faded high-waist jorts, a couple of sizes too big
  3. Oversize, super soft black tee with white letters
  4. A camouflage jacket (from Army Surplus)
  5. Faded overalls
Wearing any of these five items with your usual closet staples will take it up a notch, giving you that effortlessly cool street cred that Madewell sells but you'll find on the cheap if you just look hard enough.

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2 comments on "Madewell's guide to thrift shopping"
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