Thriftspiration: Vintage Girl in a Modern World

Posted On Friday, April 26th, 2013
Filed Under: Thrift Stores, Thriftspiration

Thriftspiration is a weekly series that puts a spotlight on readers who share their secondhand shopping tips and fun ways to style thrifted finds. 

Name: Sammy Davis
Location: Harlem, New York City

When and why did you start thrift shopping?
I started thrift shopping in high school. As soon as I got my license and discovered my local Salvation Army, I was hooked! Moving to Philadelphia for college (I went to Temple University, like Patrice!) introduced me to an entirely new world of thrifting at consignment stores and vintage boutiques. I loved exploring the city by way of secondhand shops!

What three words describe your style?
Fun. Fancy. Free

vintage fashion, online vintage fashion

How did you style your outfit {above}?
This ‘80s does ‘40s dress has potential to look atrocious as a standalone piece! So here’s what I did to create a cute girl-next-door look perfect for a summer’s day:

  • I created a waist with a wide pink ‘80s belt. I chose pink to “pop” against this grunge floral motif {that would have looked like ugly wallpaper hadn’t I added the belt}.
  • White ankle booties “streamline” my frame, since the color almost blends in with my skin tone and the pointy toes further elongate.
  • I went with a “bigger is better” thrifted bag from Housing Works. A smaller purse would have made the look too girly.
  • Smaller accessories on top  {pearls and a dainty bow headband} were a must to balance the look.

What’s your best thrift store score {a standout garment or accessory you absolutely love or a cheap designer find}?
I’ve had two phenomenal “accidental” designer purchases: a ‘90s mint Hermes scarf from Salvation Army, and a J. Mendel cashmere princess coat from Housing Works. The scarf was .50 {valued $175+} and the coat was $3 {a few thousand dollars original value}.

What do you wear while thrift shopping?
Why, I wear a black catsuit! The tighter-is-better approach is my way since I can easily throw on whatever I want in the aisles, without having to find a dressing room.

What tips would you give to new thrifters?
Go into it with an idea of what you’d like to shop for first. Thrift stores can be overwhelming, so it’s good to have a focus. Want a dress for a night out this weekend? Then stick with the dresses first. Maintaining focus will quell frustration and promise successful shopping.

how to wear vintage fashion, vintage shopping tips

For more on Sammy’s vintage style and tips, download her e-book The 100 Best Vintage Shops Online, which helps every woman learn to navigate the world of online secondhand shopping. And check out her article on clothing care supplies for easy ways to care for your thrifted clothes. Of course you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Interested in being the next Thriftspiration candidate? Don’t be shy! Share your tips, best outfits and inspire your fellow thrifter. For a submission form, email Show us what you’ve got.

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