As you prepare new goals and resolutions for 2012, everyone should also be cleaning out their wardrobe and finding new gear for the New Year. Fashion forward individuals have relied on thrifting for ages to keep their wardrobe updated without breaking the bank and in today’s economy the art of buying vintage and used clothing is something that all should be comfortable with. For the majority living in major cities, events and parties happen often and finding new clothes for every public appearance becomes costly. Turning to thrift stores to find unique pieces will not only help you stand out, but will also help your checking account and credit look just as great in the process.

While the art of buying used isn’t always easy, finding good bargains can be done with three simple tips.

One, It’s All In The Name. It’s important to know the difference between vintage and consignment boutiques and thrift shops because that difference affects the price. Vintage and consignment boutiques usually means a higher price. A vintage or consignment shop is where your favorite socialites and stylists shop to find handbags, belts, suits, gowns and dresses by top designers. While shopping vintage is great for special occasions, vintage boutiques aren’t always great for finding steals and bargains.

Some shops do have great vintage looks at affordable prices, such as B.O.R.N. boutique in Harlem.

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  • Lauren

    My name is Lauren and I’m a thrift-a-holic. After finding a BRAND new COACH bag (yes a real one) at the Salvation Army for $3.99 I am completely hooked. I have found so many awesome skirts, dresses and Jackets from thrift stores. Everyone compliments my clothes and nearly faint when I tell them my whole outfit, shoes included cost less that $15.
    I really don’t want any one else to pick up thrifting, that would be less goodies for me? LOL. I think I am going to the Goodwill today! I haven’t thrifted yet this month :)

  • I am a thrifter for life! I like combining vintage thrift with discount clothing. I get compliments all the time,and people never know (unless they are close friends) where I get my clothes.

    I have scored some awesome deals:

    A pair of The FRYE Co. chunky wooden heels (brand new, this season) $5
    A vintage Burberry trench coat (snapped it up this weekend) $25
    Calvin Klein wedge heels (this season, brand new) $10

    I usually go to Goodwill, hate St. Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army (poor organization, and I am by no means an organization slob). I disagree slightly with the article’s point that better neighborhoods have better stuff.

    Most people think that, and go there for that reason. But I’ve found the best deals at “off the beaten” path places in some of the not so best neighborhoods. Yes, you may have to filter through a bit more junk, but there are usually more gems. Everyone goes to the more affluent neighborhoods and so there’s less good stuff at times, and I’m usually always surprised by what I find thrifting.

    The deals are there, as long as you are willling to look and don’t have a phobia about wearing others’ clothes. I have gotten and seen brand new clothing — with the tags still on them — from places like White House, Black Market, Target and H&M. I refuse to pay super high prices for some of the now in “vintage” clothing when I can go to Goodwill and get it for much less.

    I’ve seen a Michael Kors bag in Goodwill ($150) and a pair of Loubies ($125), Michael Kors suede shoes (last season) for $25.

    Check out my blog for more tips: