Interview with a thrift store buyer: Fall fashion

It hardly feels like it at the moment, but fall is quickly approaching and that means editing your wardrobe. Start preparing now and you won’t be scrambling for the perfect outfit the day the weather flips. A buyer at a local consignment store gave us the low-down on the trends they are excited for, must-haves for every closet and how to make it all work for you.

The name of the game this season is back-to-basics, with a smattering of club-kid style. Colored denim in dark shades of green, purple and red is also making a real comeback as an alternative to the standard jean or khaki.

“What’s selling a lot right now, at least for men, is colored denim,” said Amelia Kent, a buyer at a local thrift store. “I never would have guessed, but I notice a lot of guys reaching for them and buying them in these crazy droves. Maybe for the guy that wants something a little more fun than a chino.”

Buyers are also seeing an increased interest in bold micro-prints for men and women, with cheeky accents like pineapples and squirrels. Mockneck and turtleneck tops are on the rise and can easily be accessorized to dress up or down. Do not be afraid to personalize your look: layer and mix patterns. Style is all about taking the trends you are interested in and making them your own.

Kent said investing in a few key wardrobe pieces should be enough to fashionably carry you through fall and winter. Low-heeled ankle boots, premium denim and a minimalist wool coat are must-haves.

Kent said Herbivore is a great option for high-quality vegan leather pieces and emphasized checking Buffalo Exchange for leather boots. She said bargain hunters will likely find them in gently used condition at a fraction of the cost of a new pair. Any style of low ankle boot will prove a versatile staple, wearable for everything from walking to class to a night on the town.

While finding fashionable bargains is key, keeping your purchases looking great over time is also important. Kent said to never dry denim, as doing so will quickly break the elastic in the fabric and cause bunching around the thighs. Instead, wash in cold water, towel dry to remove excess moisture, reshape and lie flat to dry. A great-fitting pair of jeans never goes out of style, and if properly cared for, they can easily last you 10 years.

Accessories can really take an outfit up a notch. Simple bracelets look fantastic stacked and are a great opportunity for your outfit to tell a story. They don’t need to match, so stack away. Leather accents are everywhere from backpacks to hats. A thin leather cuff can be rocked with any outfit. Beanies adorned with words are still seeing the light of day, but this year they are frequently seen stitched in the same color as the hat, making them a little more discreet and tongue-in-cheek.

Ladies can bring those cropped and distressed jeans into the chillier weather by layering with colorful tights, or pairing with a sheer, patterned sock. Try coordinating with a ballet flat or smoking slipper for a comfy, polished look.

If you need to make some space in your closet and want to sell for cash or store credit, Buffalo Exchange, Red Light and Crossroads Trading Co. are awesome options that are always looking for new inventory. Buffalo Exchange is an excellent go-to for selling or buying everyday wear and good condition vintage.

“We buy the best of every season, but we are always looking for larger sizes and men’s shoes. Sneakers and loafers go quickly,” Kent said. They also offer a wish book service, where you can leave your contact information and something specific you are looking for and they will get in touch if it comes into stock.

Crossroads Trading Co. generally does not buy vintage, but they have a great denim section and an array of career-wear. Red Light carries a zanier selection, with soft, vintage graphic tees and costumes being top sellers.

This year, quality, simplicity and comfort are all the rage. Basics with pops of fun color or print will take you far, and so will putting your own spin on what you are seeing in the streets. Invest in quality this time around and you won’t have to next year. Most importantly, if you feel confident and comfortable in your clothes then any outfit is complete.