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$20 in My Pocket: Celebs Also Hit the Thrift Shops

…hard times for a rock star

“I’m gunna pop some tags Only got $20 in my pocket”

Looks like Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are not the only one who is shopping at thrift shops… (ABC News)

thrift-storeDebbie Harry loves to search for unique items at thrift shops, but sometimes the Blondie frontwoman had to do it because times were hard.

“At various times in my life (it has) been really necessarily to shop like that,” she said in an interview.

Harry, 67, said she also hit up thrift shops to fuel her creativity when deciding what to wear to an event or photo shoot. Her favorite used item? A silver 1960s Betsey Johnson jumpsuit.

“Let’s face it, when you don’t have a lot of money and have to dress cool, it’s the best way to go,” she said.

The singer says she loves thrift shops in Florida and that as a kid her bargain shopping annoyed her father.

“My dad was horrified when I was in high school and I would come home with something from Salvation Army,” she said. “He was terrified that I would be bringing a large population of bugs.”

She also enjoys thrift shopping because it’s somewhat of an adrenaline rush.

“In a way it’s a sense of adventure too because you’re not walking in and seeing a rack of clothing,” she said. “You have to go in and hunt and it can be very entertaining.”

We shop at thrift stores all of the time.  It’s not because we are looking for cool vintage clothes, it’s because it makes sense financially to buy some of our clothes, especially for growing boys, at super discounted prices.  My wife goes to the 2 or 3 different thrift stores in our area once or twice a month hunting for good stuff.  She even comes home with a t-shirt or two for me once in a while.

There are some tips and tricks to hitting the thrift stores, here are a few to get you going if you have never hit the thrift store circuit.

Be prepared — Find all the stores in your area because you’ll likely have to hit a few to find what you want. Check out Thrifty Planet or The Thrift Shopper to see where stores are located near you.

Know your budget —Set a budget before you go so that you don’t end up spending more than you meant to.

Cash is king — bring cash because a lot of thrift stores don’t take credit cards.

Load up your friends — bring friends who can help you keep perspective on what’s a good find, and what looks cool only because you’re in a hip thrift shop.

Looking for cool? — If so, bring magazine clippings that show off the styles you’re hunting for. They’ll help you keep perspective, and keep from buying items you’ll never actually wear.

Adults only — leave the kids at home because “thrifting” can be a long process and kiddos get bored.

Make a day of it — be willing to look, for a long time, through a lot of stuff. Thrift stores have great finds, but great finds mean diligent hunting.

Put it on — try it on or at least do a rough measurement. It’s better to get something too big that can be tailored than something too small that can only be sewn into something else or given away. Think creatively because everything can be altered, layered, or turned into an entirely different piece of fabulous clothing.

Brand names — look for brand names as these are items that are usually high quality and made to last. Examine the item carefully for stains, rips, holes and other defects. It doesn’t rule the item out, necessarily, but you want to know what you might need to repair.

No retail prices — haggle or at least try. Be open to haggling or bartering for a better deal. The worst they can say is no.

Pass on some things — don’t buy bike helmets, boots or shoes that have already been worn, backpacks that aren’t in excellent condition, socks or underwear. …especially underwear! For safety, physical comfort, and health reasons, these are typically no-no’s unless you find them brand new.

Wash, wash, wash — wash everything before you wear it. Usually thrift stores do this with donations before putting them on the rack but you don’t know who tried on what just before you bought it.

Get some, give some — to keep your wardrobe from overflowing, practice “one item in, one item out.” Donate what no longer fits or you’re tired of, in your closet to the store you just purchased from!

So if you only “got a $20 in your pocket” of you just want to find some great deals on great stuff, start checking out the thrift stores, you never know what you might find

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