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   Charlotte, NC


I have been a thrifter for years now and while it's become, well I'll just say more mainstream in many ways, I still enjoy the challenge of creativity it affords when it comes to my style. Whether you are forced to shop on a budget or simply enjoy the uniqueness of a thrift or vintage find, I will always maintain that there is no price point, low or high, that can be placed on a wonderful style sense potentially cultivated by thrifting.

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Over the years, especially during my earlier thrift journey, I had a few friends and family who questioned my reasons for thrifting, citing "you do fairly well for yourself, why the need to shop second hand?" Interestingly some of those same people would be the first to compliment a thrifted piece I'm wearing and then ask where it's from. I always found the greatest delight in telling them it's a thrift find. The compliments have also come from those who don't know me. In fact I get just as many compliments from items I've thrifted as I do many of my far more expensive retail purchases.

Bottom line here is, it should not matter where something comes from, what matters is your individual ability to transform a garment of any kind into a fabulous expressive style that's your own. There really is no price point that can be placed on that.

I get it, thrifting just isn't for everyone for a number of reasons and that's perfectly fine. Some see it as outright junk and beneath them. Others have said to me that they've given it a try and just don't feel they have the eye for it. Then, there are many who find it unsanitary to wear secondhand, despite the existence of dry cleaning and washing machines. But hey, no judgement here - I have honestly had some of these very same hang ups at one time.

But now, especially being a person who is obsessed with all things fashion, I honestly can't imagine a wardrobe that doesn't incorporate thrift and vintage finds. The thought of it makes me gasp lol..

I often make retail purchases that may include current trends and will then sometimes wait a season or two to wear it, just to ensure that by the time I do it's not also seen worn by a ton of others. It's all about a unique style for me. Because of this, I find it refreshing to to thrift items that may be out of season or from another decade even because it offers a bit of exclusivity. Not to mention, many of the items out of season or from a few decades ago tend to signify levels of quality and craftsmanship that just doesn't always exist anymore - true sustainability.

You may ask, "why be an influencer if you prefer to not see what you're wearing worn by others?" And my response to this is, "it's not that I don't want others wearing what I'm wearing because that would be asinine in this space but I try to encourage style and beauty independence." I love nothing more than sharing my finds and products, and influencing others to try them, because the reason I do this is to help, inform and inspire. However, my hope is whatever I may wear, use or suggest will certainly influence others to try it but that they ultimately gain inspiration for their own individual style and what works best for them. Yet another reason why in addition to fashion overall, I especially enjoy thrift and vintage shopping so much because it can also get the creative juices flowing.

I must mention that there's a difference between a thrift or vintage look that reads dated vs. one styled timelessly chic. In fact some of my favorite wardrobe purchases are thrift and vintage finds that I've had for years and are still the most complimented to this day. What's more is, some of my favorite celeb style icons include thrift and vintage fashion in their wardrobes - simply fabulous!!!

The takeaway should be - thrifting does not have to look or be "thrifty!" It all comes down to developing an overall style sense that works for you! Even if that means thrifting just isn't apart of that style sense.

See my latest "Thrift With Me" video to see some of my latest scores!!!


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