The 5 Rules of Threadcrumbing

One of the biggest dangers of thrifting is a feeding frenzy, in which you are the shark and threadcrumbs are the chum. Here’s what happens. You go in the store and take a nibble at scarf here, a taste of a shirt there, and then BAM! You love EVERYTHING. Suddenly your cart is piled high with all sorts of AMAZING items you just CAN’T live without!! You wonder why no one else is realizing how many gems there are to be had, but are secretly glad because it means more for you! You just can’t believe how lucky you have been while thrifting!!!

And then you get home and wonder how you ended up with a moonrock necklace, a broken watch, a pair of knit tube socks, some bowling shoes, and one hundred less dollars in your pocket.

Alas, feeding frenzies are all too common in the threadcrumbs realm, and if this has happened to you, you know it can put a real damper on your thrifting enthusiasm. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid the feeding frenzy and come out of a thrift store looking like that Macklemore song.

Behold, the 5 rules of threadcrumbing:

KNOWYOURSTYLE (2)

This rule is a biggie, and the best place to start. There are millions of threadcrumbs to be had, but you will be most satisfied sticking to the items you will actually use. Always wear flats? Probably don’t need a pair of vintage pumps. Always wear neutrals? That neon seventies jumpsuit will probably end up buried in your closet. Before you shop, hop on a sight like Pinterest and see what trends stand out to you. Look in your closet and take note of the items you feel the best in. Understanding your personal style will allow you to enjoy all of the fun threadcrumbs out in the world, but end up with the ones best suited for you.

2

Any threadcrumb expert will tell you that setting a budget is one of the best tools you can have in your thrifting arsenal. Having a set amount you are willing to spend forces you to really step back and ask, “Are these items worth it?” Take cash so that you really stick to it. Starting your trip with a concrete budget forces you to really look at each item individually and decide if it is worthy of joining your wardrobe. Whether its ten dollars or a thousand, set a price and stick to it.

3

Try it on, try it on, try it on. In the world of threadcrumbs sizes are SO relative. A 6 in the fifties is not a 6 in the eighties is not a 6 today. There is no real way to determine if something fits you well unless you put it on your body and look in a mirror (bonus points if you have a friend with you for feedback!). Shop the entire store, smalls to larges, and let the try-on make the cut. The fitting room is where dark horses rise and favorites fall by the wayside.

4

Alright, I’m going to be honest with you. There’s a lot of crap in thrift stores. I love them, but there’s no way around it. Some stuff is just straight garbage. You do not need last season’s Forever21 tank top. You are not going to fix the unicorn coffee mug with no handle. Leave them be. Instead, seek out items made with quality fabrics from brands intended to last more than one season. Older clothes are usually better made and withstand time better than more modern clothes. Remember, you are thrifting for a bargain on quality items, not to purchase the clearance rack from Target.

5

If you fall for an item and can’t imagine leaving the store without it, ignore all other rules and snatch it up! Buy it, wear it, rock it. ‘Nuff said.

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Thrifting & Character

You know that hobby you have where you casually start it at noon on Saturday and all the sudden its 8pm and you forgot where you were and you haven’t eaten all day and have 15 missed calls because you were just SO INTO IT? Yeah, that’s thrift shopping for me.

If you did not already realize from this blog, let me break it down for you.

I. Love. Thrift shopping.

I love the way old clothes smell. I love that no two items are the same. I love finding a Milly shirt for $5.00 and wearing culottes that are actually from the seventies. I’m not too proud to admit that I even love the smugness I feel when my anthro-clad friends ask me where I got that “amazing dress”, and I get to smile sweetly and say “oh this? Goodwill.”

But here’s the thing I love the most about it: the clothes have character. They have a story to tell.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a normal clothes hater. I will buy the crap out of some non-thrift clothes. No discrimination here. But lets be honest, when is last time you went to Gap and thought, “wow! I bet that neutral colored sweater has really been places”? Chances are never. Because while new clothes can be bold and beautiful and inspiring, they really can’t tell their story yet. And it’s not their fault; they can’t help it.

It’s just that character needs time to develop.

Every time I buy an article of clothing from a thrift store, I can’t help but wonder about its journey to the rack. Was this the shirt someone fell in love in? Where was this dress when Kennedy was shot? What have you seen? Who did you belong to?

And maybe a lot of these clothes just sat in a closet and collected dust and smelled like mothballs. Maybe their story was short and brutal, small and ordinary. Maybe. But I like to think that’s not the case. I like to think the small stains, missing buttons, and unraveling threads are clues to the extraordinary lives they lived; little snippets of who they were before they ended up here.

And when I think about what’s come before me, it makes me really, really excited to be a part of their story, to contribute what I can to whatever life they’ve already lived.

So I urge you, go find a thrift store and listen to the stories being told. Maybe that scarf attended the march on Washington. Maybe that purse rubbed elbows with celebrities at Studio 54. Maybe that shirt lived a beatifully quiet life in Muncy, Indiana. Who knows. Point is, they all have something to say. And if you are lucky enough to have something speak to you, buy it. Live in it. Reincarnate it. Give it the best damn life you possibly can, because who knows? In 20 years it might be back on the shelf with someone else trying to listen to its story.

Retro Red

Guys, this dress is all that is good and right in the world of thread crumbs. I am in love. I came across this gem at the Blogger brunch on Sunday, and have tried it on every day since. I work from home, which if I’m totally honest means I usually don’t put on real pants from 9 to 5, BUT NOT TODAY. Today, I work in this retro masterpiece.

The best part about it? It was TWO DOLLARS. Yes, that is right. Two. Dollars. For all of you out there who feel timid about wandering into the thread crumb realm, this is where you start. Go to a vintage store, find their sale items (most usually have at least a $5 dollar section) and buy something that speaks to you. You could never wear it, or it could sit in your closet for a year before you find the right occasion to bring it out, or it could end up being a wardrobe staple, who knows? But at a price that is less than most Starbucks drinks, I think the cost is worth the risk!

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Earrings - $12.00 Buffalo Exchange
Earrings – $12.00
Buffalo Exchange
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Dress – $2.00                                                                                                                                                         Lone Star Vintage
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Belt – $4.00                                                                                                                                                           Humane Society Thrift Store of Vero Beach

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Overall Dress: $10.00 Height of Vintage Houston, TX
Overall Dress: $10.00
Height of Vintage
Houston, TX

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1. This dress is considered vintage…and its from the 90’s.

2. I can’t be positive, but I’m pretty sure it was previously owned by one of the daughters from Full House.

3. I firmly believe that you can throw a sweater over almost anything and it immediately becomes fall appropriate.

An Introduction

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Hi, I’m Lacey, and I’m really glad you’re here.

The purpose of this blog, first and foremost, is to share my passion for writing and personal style with all of you wonderful people. But before I get into that, a bit about me.

I am passionate to a fault. I am a lover of many, MANY things and people, and I am sure that as time goes on you will learn about quite a few of them. But one of these loves is the true focus of this here blog, so it is where I will start: Threadcrumbs.

What are these threadcrumbs I speak of? I’m so glad you asked. They are the pieces of clothing that are left behind for me and my fellow thrifters to scavenge; fallen soldiers in the battles of ever-changing trends, growing waistlines, and fickle owners who once loved and now have left them to hope that maybe, just maybe, another human will take them home and give them purpose again.

Yes, I know it is a bit melodramatic to give clothes feelings, but to be fair I already warned you about how passionate I am. Now, back to the blog.

Threadcrumbs is my documented devotion to thrift shopping. My hope is that, through interacting with this blog, you all will be inspired to go adopt your own threadcrumbs and give some lonely second hand clothes a loving home. I am- as with most things in my life- flying by the metaphorical seat of my pants when it comes to this blog, but here are a few things (I hope) you will see here:

  1. Awkward photos of me in thread crumbs.
  2. Beautiful photos of my wonderful friends and family in thread crumbs.
  3. Conversations about thread crumbs with above wonderful friends and family, and perhaps a few strangers.
  4. Conversations not about thread crumbs with above wonderful friends and family, and perhaps a few strangers.
  5. Musings, etc.

I will also be documenting my threadcrumbs love on Instagram (@threadcrumbs) so please feel free to follow me there as well. Want to be featured or have a really cool idea that would take threadcrumbs to the next-level? Email me at threadcrumbsproject@gmail.com.

Again, I am so glad you guys are here for the start of this adventure. Until next time!