Tag Archives: thrift store

Top Drawer Thrift

By Natalie Garza

I decided to visit a different kind of store this week. After supporting two friends who participated in the Hill Country Ride for AIDS this weekend, I wanted to do my own part in supporting the cause.

I stopped by Top Drawer Thrift  just before closing on Saturday. I ended up having a great time getting to know the Stephanie, the assistant manager, and Stanton, who has been a volunteer for 10 at Top Drawer for 10 years.

Top Drawer Thrift, managed by Karin Kokinda, funds Project Transitions, a local non-profit organization.  According to the website, “Project Transitions is dedicated to serving people with HIV and AIDS by providing hospice, housing, and support in a compassionate and caring environment. We have been serving Central Texas since 1988.”

Top Drawer sells men’s and women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, art, books, records, housewares, electronics, linens, and furniture. It’s a great place for people who aren’t used to shopping at thrift stores, especially larger ones like Goodwill and Savers, because it’s not very big. Another really cool thing about the store is that only three employees are actually paid. The rest are all volunteers, like Stanton.

The store offers really great deals on its items, especially the longer it’s been in the store. When an item is first put on the floor, it’s marked with a pink tag at regular price (which is still a thrift store price!). The more time that passes, the bigger a discount on the item, as shown on the board below. If the item is still in the store after four months, it’s passed on to be sold or donated somewhere else.

Stanton said, “Nothing goes to waste.”

Texas Swing is Project Transitions’ music festival and sideshow held the first Friday of every June. This year’s 16th annual fundraiser is held on June 3. According to Stephanie and Stanton, it’s sure to be a fun event that you won’t want to miss.

One of the most interesting and fun things about the store are the trannequins. That’s right; male mannequins in women’s clothing. Check out some of the best photos on the Project Transitions website.

Check out Top Drawer Thrift on Facebook.

A One of a Kind

Why vintage? Because it’s one of a kind! Styling is a form of expression and communication. One of many reasons why people choose vintage style is to show who they are through pieces they cannot find at typical stores in the country. For example, if I purchase a hoodie from Hollister, I see at least ten other girls wearing the same thing on campus.

One local store near UT campus is Buffalo Exchange. It is a thrift store located in many different states, but items you find is one of a kind! Though I do not find things that fit my style all the time, the fun comes from shopping through hundreds of clothings and accessories and finding an item just for me. Last year, I purchased a handbag that I absolutely love to carry with a various style of clothings.

(STEVEN from Steve Madden)

The quality is also decent. Items especially from thrift stores can be worn off and unusable. But anything ‘vintage’ is high in quality even through time.

Savers: Thrift Store Heaven

By Natalie Garza

 

I’ve always been a fan of shopping at Goodwill, so when I heard that Savers is even better, I was pretty excited. I went for the first time last Wednesday, which is my only free afternoon of the week. I figured I’d probably be there for at least an hour and a half. That’s the thing with shopping at thrift and vintage stores. You have to be willing to dig through a lot of stuff to find the hidden jewels, so it’s not usually going to be an in-and-out kind of deal.

My technique for shopping in places with a LOT of clothing is to pick up the items that my eyes are drawn to. Basically, I first look at colors, then I check the material and feel the texture, and finally I check the size. I try to imagine it with other things in my closet and if I can think of with at least two outfits, it goes in my cart. Yes, they have shopping carts!

If you’re lucky, you can find a vintage item at a thrift store. I didn’t find any on this trip to Savers, but there’s always next time. Keep in mind that the sizing is different and you’ll probably be about 4 to 6 sizes larger than your regular size. For example, I’m an 8 in modern clothing, but the last few vintage dresses I bought were 12’s and 14’s. I also get a lot of clothing, mostly dresses, altered to fit perfectly.

After trying on about 12 things, these are the items I bought:

I'm looking forward to wearing the tunic on the right with my white skinny jeans and some wedges.

Dresses are always my favorite finds.

This fur scarf will be perfect with cardigans next winter.

I got everything for $32. On Wednesday’s, students get 20% off each item. Just remember to take your ID!

Here’s a great tutorial about thrifting, written by a Elissa, a blogger I met at the recent Texas Style Council Conference. This is just Part one of the Dress with Courage Thrifting 101 series. She’s written nine!

Here’s a great blog post about shopping for vintage clothing.

Why I Love Vintage & Thrifted Clothing

By Natalie Garza

There are a lot of reasons, so I think this might be better explained in pictures. In all these photos from my style blog, I’m wearing at least one vintage or thrifted piece. These are definitely some of my favorite outfits of all time.

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As I’ve become an avid vintage clothing lover and thift store aficionado over the past few years, I’ve seen how it’s transformed my wardrobe and style. I love mixing my modern Target and Forever 21 clothing with my thrifted and vintage treasures. Being able to express my style in such a unique way is not only fun, but also rewarding. I get such satisfaction from finding an awesome vintage skirt and then realizing that the GAP blouse already hanging in my closet will go with it perfectly. And this top from H&M will look good with it, too. And this one from Old Navy! And my denim jacket!

You get the idea. I’m slightly obsessed.

I’m often asked where I buy my clothes. I really only have a handful of places I shop at regularly, mostly because of lack of time. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at Cream Vintage, Goodwill, and Savers. I’ve also recently become hooked on visiting online vintage stores such as Market Publique. I’m hoping that through this blog, I’ll be exposed to a whole world of vintage and thrifted clothing here in Austin.