Sydney is an instagram friend that I met through great hashtags, and I’m so glad that I did! Her instagram name, @ChicStripes, defines her style so well. She takes thrifted fashion and so eloquently styles it with modern finds, and the result is very chic. Let’s see how she creates her style!
Describe your first thrift store experience.
My first second hand shopping experience was going to yard sales with my mom. We would wake up early and she would pop me in the stroller and walk or drive to different sales in our neighborhood. I will always remember and love The Bargain Box, a small thrift store in my home town that’s run by a group of little old lady volunteers with the weirdest hours – think 2 – 5 PM Wednesdays – Fridays and 10 – 2 PM Saturdays. It’s actually pretty impossible to get in there, but when you do, they have the best stuff. My mom has since given up yard sale-ing (yes it’s a word) but she still loves The Bargain Box.
When did you fall in love with thrifting?
High school is when I started thrifting A LOT. It was the cool thing to wear a vintage t-shirt or weird skirt that you found while thrifting and it was our weekend activity. Over the years as my style and sense of self has matured, I fell in love with thrifting all over again, but as an eco-friendly, budget conscious, sustainable fashion way of life. In 2013, I made a pledge to only shop second hand (you can read that blog post here and the recap here) for the entire year – no malls, no Targets, nothing but thrift and consignment stores. I loved it and found out that I really didn’t even NEED to buy clothes. It’s been a few years since that experiment, but it has totally shaped how I now shop and interact with clothes. I still primarily use thrift and second hand for the vast majority of my wardrobe purchases and when I do purchase new, I am focused on making very conscious decisions about what I buy, where I buy it and try to shop with retailers and companies who have ethical and sustainable fashion practices.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start thrift shopping?
If someone has never thrifted before and wants to try it out, I would start with a Goodwill – typically Goodwill stores are clean, bright, airy and have dressing rooms. They are great places to break yourself into thrifting and carry a lot of quality items. If you uncover a love of thrifting, I would encourage you to branch out to other chains in your area to get a feel for their layout, the types of items they stock and eventually find your way to the hole in the wall, mom and pop stores.
What style(s) do you find easiest to shop for at thrift stores?
I can find pretty much anything at the thrift store – so when I go, I usually have a purpose. Some days I am looking for myself; others I am shopping for the online second hand store I have with my sisters: Genesis Clothing Company. So that dictates what I am looking for and what I find. I usually find it easiest to look for one item such as jewelry or shoes because it helps narrow down the search.
Where are your favorite thrifting spots?
I love any thrift store that is small, jam packed and kinda smelly. Those are usually where the true gems are hiding! I typically stay away from chain thrift stores as the inventory is usually more run of the mill or priced higher than I want to pay.
What is the weirdest or most fun thrift purchase that you have ever made?
Once I found a pair of orange Saucony’s for a quarter. Another time I found three, mint condition, vintage Salvatore Ferragamo shoes at Goodwill. I broke down and paid the $7 each for them.
What is your favorite thrifted item?
Hands down a maroon corduroy blazer that I found in the boy’s section at The Bargain Box that I talked about in question 1. I don’t even wear it as much as I used to, but it’s so soft and fits great. It’s also a perfect statement piece because, well, it’s maroon and corduroy.
You do a great job of combining thrifted, second hand and vintage items with current trendy items. What advice would you give to someone who wants to combine old and new fashion?
Keep a very curated list (on your phone, in a book book, in your head, whereever) of items you need (i.e. winter coat, dark jeans, striped top). When thrifting or shopping retail, look specifically for those items and only those items. Next, keep a curated list of items you know you love – for me, it’s vintage jewelry of any kind and vintage belts. While most of my wardrobe is thrifted, I will fill wardrobe holes with retail items that I know I need. For example, I do not have a white t-shirt. It can be hard, or just take a while, to come across that perfect white t-shirt at the thrift store, so I have one in my cart at Everlane (an ethical fashion etailer). Once I have that shirt, I’ll pair it with a thrifted leather skirt or jeans I bought at consignment. I also use my collection of vintage jewelry to liven up basic looks. Jewelry is a great statement maker and it’s one of the easiest things to thrift.
Promote yourself here – please tell us more about Sydney Page styling services.
I provide personal styling services to clients that includes closet clean outs, re-styling, and shopping. I work with every client to determine their personal style and focus on how I can help them enhance their wardrobe so that it is both pretty and fashionable while also being functional for their life. I believe strongly in restyling items and helping clients shop their closets (which means personal styling sessions actually saves money in the long run!) and do a lot of sessions where we mix and match items. I also do shopping for clients – curating online shopping carts or doing in-person sessions. It makes it easy for the client because I know when/where to shop and bring it all to them.
When styling your clients, do you ever use second hand items? If so, how, and how do they respond to it?
Of course! I always ask clients if they have an issue with second hand stores. Most don’t, so shopping second hand with clients usually just comes down to timing and what they want. For clients, I will usually stick with consignment stores that I know stock the style and type of clothing a particular client would like. I also usually do second hand shopping sessions with clients since rarely will second hand stores allow you to return pieces.
xoxo, dolls & dudes