thrift shopping

The Fine Art of Thrift-Shopping: How to Make It Work

Karishma Rajani

Purple Peeptoes

Earlier this week I was having dinner with a friend, whose style, influenced by international fashion blogs, has undergone a drastic transformation. Pinstriped shirt tucked inside checkered pants, secured by a tan-hued Hermès belt – he is what you would call an urban dandy. His ensemble, complete with Giorgio Armani brogues and a pair of bright-hued socks, paints a portrait of Milan street style, right in the middle of bustling Bombay.


That night, to my bewilderment, I learnt most of his luxury purchases were made from bargain stores abroad. Wardrobe essentials – the work of a reliable local tailor.

Suffice to say, the conversation got me thinking about the varying degrees of "thrifting" (or thrift shopping), and more importantly, the art in itself.

“I noticed a pattern in the lifestyle of most of the bloggers I followed,” he revealed. “Prompted by the lack of funds, they turned to thrifting, only to emerge as icons of the sartorial world.”


I was instantly taken back to my days in college. With a limited budget and an insatiable need to express myself through fashion, I began frequenting flea markets, vintage shops, garage sales and bargain huts – embarking upon what I would call an unending affair with the thrifted.

Now, a few years later, as a writer who enjoys the perks of a regular pay cheque, I venture out to both boutiques and high-street stores. Month after month, I religiously deposit a sizeable portion of my salary to the shrines of high fashion. Swanky window displays, full length mirrors and access to international trends have me under a spell. Judge me if you must, but I like Zara very, very much.


But does that diminish the allure of entering a chamber of secrets that could reveal just about anything – from a fringed jacket that dates back to the '70s to a Benarasi weave that would make even your grandmother happy? The glimmer in my eyes will tell you another story.

Acquiring one-of-a-kind pieces continues to be an obsession. Who can deny the sense of complacency it brings with it? While thrifting typically conjures up the image of hand-me-downs and lacklustre goodies, I assure you the process uncovers standout pieces and designer creations as well – as is apparent from my friend’s lust-worthy collection. And whether or not your thrift finds hold fort on their own, they promise to add an interesting element to your existing wardrobe and pair willingly with high-street finds.


Button-down maternity dress!

Even today, some of the most revered pieces in my wardrobe have, in fact, been procured from thrift stores. A black, button-down maternity dress (let’s keep this a secret, shall we?), nipped and tucked by the tailor downstairs, multitasks as a maxi, along with a scarf and a cape. The Mandarin-print kimono I pair with a tank top and a pair of acid-wash jeans once belonged to the waiter at a Chinese restaurant.


Mandarin print kimono

Should you need another reason to go thrifting, take a closer look at my ensemble in the picture here!



The denim blouson, printed skirt and platform heels evocative of a Sicilian summer have been acquired from the bylanes of Bombay.

Images courtesy: Drishti Das

MUST-READ: Karishma Rajani of Purple Peeptoes Joins The POPxo Blog Network 

MUST-READ: 10 Blogs, 10 Fabulous Women join the POPxo Blog Network 
Published on Sep 05, 2014
POPxo uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website More info

Discuss things safely!

Sign in to POPxo World

India’s largest platform for women

Start a poll Ask a question
Trending Now
Subscribe to POPxo Buzz