Black Friday ready: how to take the most of the biggest sale of the year

Black Friday ready: how to take the most of the biggest sale of the year

In the world where you get bombarded with sales and promotions urging you to buy-buy-buy, it can be quite difficult to stay sane and not to overspend. I mean… I’m not trying to be “the wise one” and pretend that I’ve never fallen into the marketing trap. Especially when the world of online shopping available to you 24/7 from anywhere makes buying so easy. Come on guys – we’ve all been there and done that!

When I just moved to the Netherlands, I was actually amazed with accessibility of online shopping which was still not always the case back in Moscow (at least, not to the same extent). I was so overwhelmed.. and -boy-oh-buy did I make my dozen of mistakes buying stuff on sale that seemed like a bargain but was clearly not something I needed. When you are a student on a budget, it hits you really hard, but you also learn fast.

I think everyone by now is acquainted with a phenomena of Black Friday – at least, to an extent that it’s the day when you can get discounts for pretty much anything. Initially it originated in the United States as the fourth Friday of November that followed after Thanksgiving that also kicks off the Christmas sales season in the US. In the Digital era, we then got a Cyber Monday that added on some online bargains. Seeing the commercial success of Black Friday, companies across the world quickly picked up the trend and now you have Black Friday pretty much everywhere. This year it started to become not just a day, but more like a week or the whole month of discounts – et voila! – you’re already running around, or intensely scrolling through the websites spending your cash. However, do you want to be smart while doing that?

For that, I prepared for you 5 Tips to make Black Friday/ Cyber Monday a success.

  1. Make a list of items you actually need

Sounds a bit obvious, but… you should actually try doing it and see how many unnecessary purchases you can prevent this way. Start noting items that you need and would buy anyway, regardless of any discounts – it will keep you focused and less overwhelmed when you dive into the whole buying exercise.

2. Based on the list of necessities, create a concrete wishlist using favourite function on the websites, Pinterest, or already put the desired items in the shopping basket

Ideally you want to already know what exactly you want to buy and where rather than search for the desirable items when the discounts kick off. This will save you time, money, and stress. Plus you will be more likely to buy what you want because as it often happens in the heat of sale – things get sold out at a lightning speed.

3. For fashion purchases: focus on are high quality basics and/ or on-trend items

Black Friday is a good opportunity to get one or a few high quality basics made of natural materials – the kind of investment you are unlikely to regret. Alternatively, if you would like to expand your wardrobe with some trends – go for it! This would be a safe way to try something new with a minimum damage to your wallet, given you follow the previous points too 🙂

4. When assessing the items in your basket, ask yourself: “Would I buy it for the full price?”

This is a good way to distinguish a necessity from junk that you pick up just because it’s cheap, which not only saves money, but also space in your house. Win-win, right?!

5. Get ready with the discount codes

Do your discount code hunt well: check the accounts of your favourite bloggers, your mailbox for some promo-emails from your favourite brands, or simply use the power of Google. Having this list ready for check out instead of trying to find the promo codes last minute will once again save you some nerves and decrease the chance the your desired items will be sold out before you know it. 

Girl in an oversized blazer looking at her watch

Sounds like quite a bit of work, but trust me it will pay off with less stress and some money savings. And now… are you ready for Black Friday?!

top 5 dupes that made it (too?) close to the original

top 5 dupes that made it (too?) close to the original

In the world of fashion you cannot always afford everything you want to have. Simply because the majority of us makes X amount of money each months, we have bills to pay apart from fashion bills, and we all need to eat (this is probably my other passion outside of fashion). On top of that – there are many luxury items out there that are very far from being affordable anyway. 

Naturally, these are known facts that lead us to the simple truth of modern world: demand creates its own supply. If there are many people out there wishing to get designer items (or even medium segment) they cannot afford, there will be brands and producers that will make something similar to those items at a fraction of the designer price. This is where dupes, and copies, and fakes come into play. 

In the past couple of months I came across a few really interesting ones which I would love to share with you. Just as a side note – all the items I list here are highly on trend, so, even though I only mention pairs, you will easily find something very similar in pretty much all high street brands.

  1. Checkered blazer

Sandro

Price tag: 385

Material: 64% viscose / 20% wool / 12% polyester / 4% polyamide

Sandro checkered suit

H&M 

Price tag: 79,99

Material: 64% viscose / 20% wool / 12% polyester / 4% polyamide

H&M checkered suit

Here we go with my favourite dupe couple: blazers from Sandro and H&M. What do we see here? Two checkered blazers that come with matching skirts. The amazing thing is that checks are identical and so is composition! The only difference is in fit – Sandro’s blazer comes double-breasted, while H&M is single-breasted with two buttons. The question is – is double-breasted fit worth 300 euro difference?..

2. Snakeskin ankle boots

Acne

Price tag: 700 dollars (300 on sale)

Material: real leather

Acne snakeskin ankle boots

Zara

Price tag: 99,95 euros

Material: real leather

Zara snakeskin ankle boots

If you missed out on Acne snakeskin ankle boots when they just came out, or you just didn’t want to spend 700 dollars on them – Zara will happily provide you a decent alternative. In this case you can clearly see the difference in the heel design and the front of the boots, but you can also easily see how much inspiration Zara got from Acne, including the colour of snakeskin. With a slightly higher heel (8 cm in Zara boots and 7 cm in Acne) and a significantly lower price tag, you can get a great and oh so on trend alternative!

3. Leopard print midi skirt

Realisation par

Price tag: 180 dollars

Material: 100% Silk Satin

Realisation par leopard skirt

Loavies

Price tag: 29,99 euros

Material: 100% Polyester

Loavies midi animal print skirt

Let’s be honest this Realisation Par skirt became a real it-skirt of the season, so, of course, many other more affordable brands came up with something of their own (e.g. I’ve got mine from River Island). So why have I picked a skirt by Loavies as a not-so-subtle dupe? Mainly because of the product name, which is “Realize me” – I really liked this pretty obvious reference, even though the colour and the pattern differ from the original. In addition to that, here we are also talking about different materials, where 100% silk will always win over polyester which will be obviously reflected in the price. However, if you’re looking for a trendy piece that you would not want to invest in… you know what you should do 🙂

4. Crossbody saddle bag

Loewe 

Gate bag

Price tag: 1700 euros

Material: real leather

Loewe brown leather bag

Looks like summer

Nina bag

Price tag: 175 euros (87,99 on sale)

Looks like summer brown leather bag

I think bags are the most frequent candidate for copying – not many people can afford designer bags while many want to own one which opens a niche for producers of similar (or very similar) designs. When the Nina bag from Looks like summer popped up on my Instagram, I was very surprised, to say the least. Let’s put it this way – it is difficult to say that it was just inspired by Loewe. However, there are differences in colours that these bags come in and the finishing – Loewe Gate bag come with more of a matt finish, while Nina bag is made of more glossy leather. You can also spot a difference in shape despite a very close resemblance. But, all in all, both are real leather bags with a very similar unusual design and a significant difference in price (just think of 90 euros versus 1700!), and for the rest – you can decide whether you feel like it is fair or not.

5. Letter pendant

Celine* 

Price tag: around 300 euros (as seen on Vestiaire Collective)

Material: Gold plated (?)

Celine alphabet pendant

*Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find the letter pendants on sale anymore which probably makes sense now that a new creative director Hedi Slimane is out and about. However, you will be find them on resale sites, like Vestiaire… if you’re quick enough 🙂

DesignB London

Price tag: 13,99 euros

Material: Metal

DesignB London letter pendant

The original Celine pendant is one of the last pieces made while Phoebe Philo was still a creative director of the brand and it quickly became a must-have with many influencers featuring it in their accounts. As per usual this has become a trigger for others brands to come up with more budget alternatives. For this pairing I picked a letter pendant by DesignB London which is not a straight copy, but most certainly makes a reference to the original. Both pendants are gold, with the one of Celine actually being gold plated and DesignB London – just simple metal which you can expect for the price. 

 

And this concludes my list of dupes that I picked from some of this season’s favourites! I would love to hear from you: is this topic interesting for you? How often do you buy dupes and do you ever specifically look for them if you like a certain design? 

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

how to be a fashion declutter guru & sell, donate & recycle like a boss

Hi everyone,

The holiday season is over, and I am now fully back – it is not easy to blog frequently when you have a full time job, but I will do my best to improve this 😉

A while ago I mentioned on my Instagram that I often buy second hand clothes and also sell, donate, & recycle my own. It is kind of inevitable if you are into fashion and want to follow (some) trends – and with those trends changing all the time, fast fashion brands having 6-12 collections per year, it all becomes way too easy to just keep on buying. It is also inevitable that some clothes get worn out, don’t fit you like they should, or you just fall out of love with them.

Whatever the reason is – you don’t want to hoard all the clothing you accumulate over years, because – why would you clutter your personal space (unless you live in a huge house and you don’t care about it 😉)? But what do you do with all those unloved treasures (or call it junk if you like)? And how do you make sure you keep a “healthy” balance of old and new in your closet?

One might say: “Just stop buying so much!” And it is true in a way, but this is a topic for another post. Here I want to focus on what you do when you have already accumulated lots of clothes.

I usually do a closet clear out twice a year – when I switch from Fall/ Winter to Spring/ Summer, and vice versa. This way it helps you to rethink your old clothes, think of what you would like to add to the wardrobe for a new season, and it is frequent enough to keep your closet in order. I do get rid of some more things occasionally throughout a season, e.g. when I try something on and realise that this is not quite me anymore, something is wrong with the fit (I shouldn’t have washed that handwash only viscose dress in a washing machine, I know), or it is just worn out. These are general rules I follow when going through my wardrobe in one of the big clear outs as well. Probably one more rule to add to it though – if you haven’t worn something in the last 6 months to a year, even if it’s a new item with tags – have another critical look at it and get rid of it – it must have been not your thing, even though it might have looked good on a hanger.

So, once you have a pile of things that you don’t need in your wardrobe in your life… what do you actually do with them? Putting them in a rubbish been doesn’t count – it’s not very sustainable and can be mentally difficult, especially if you’re getting rid of a brand new item… As an (almost) a pro in this, I’m happy to share some ideas & pointers  to make your life easier. Disclaimer: as I live in Amsterdam, some apps & places are location specific, but you can definitely get the general idea and add your local spin on it.

In short, you can do three things: sell, donate, recycle. But how do you decide what to do with what?

 

Selling

What: This is a category of things that is actually worth reselling, i.e. new/ good-as-new clothing, shoes & accessories that didn’t get enough love in your closet. These are also usually the most pricey items.

Where:

Online: United Wardrobe app, Marktplaats, Facebook marketplace, Facebook groups (Buy & Sell Amsterdam, ISN Amsterdam Online Market, Amsterdam Expats Online Market)

Offline: King’s Day in Amsterdam, NDSM flea market, Secondhand stores (De Ruilhoek,  Mooizo), garage sales

What do you need: good quality photos, energy to take those photos, some time/ money reserved for posting items or meeting up with buyers, patience to wait till someone buys whatever you’re selling

 

Donating & Recycling 

What: These are items that you were not able to sell, you don’t think they are worth the effort to try to sell, or you just want to do the right thing and instead of reselling donate them to those who need clothes more than you do.

Where: your friends & family who you think might like your stuff, Zara, H&M*, &other stories* (these stores pick re-usable items and donate to different charities, or recycle), various charities directly (some examples here), containers around the city that say “Kleding/ Schoenen”, or just check here.

What do you need: time to go to drop off the bags** with your old clothing at one of the stores or charities

 

*By donating your clothes there, you get a 10-15% discount voucher for your next purchase.

**Actually, if you order something at Zara & indicate that you want to donate some clothes as well, you can have a courier who delivers your purchase also pick up your bag with donations.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of options out there to keep your fashion adventures under control, and you can choose whatever suits your preferences and moral standards (except for throwing clothing away – please opt for recycling instead). My personal scheme here would be: declutter -> let my niece choose whatever she likes -> sort into sell, donate & recycle piles -> post things from the sell pile online & give away the donate & recycle pile -> if cannot sell everything online, try to sell the remaining stuff offline -> if that doesn’t work either, donate!

 

P.S. if you want to know more pros, cons, and tips on selling your clothing & accessories on different platforms, be on the look out for my next post!

 

summer in the city – how to spend staycation in style | the style part

summer in the city – how to spend staycation in style | the style part

I hope I got you a bit inspired about spending your summer in the city  – really curious to see though what ideas were your favourites? Or did you already try any of them? Please leave your comments on this 🙂

As you could notice, I called the post “how to spend staycation in style”, but I didn’t quite cover the style element. So, I’m making up for it guys! 

What are the things that come to your mind when you think of summer? 

What clothes you imagine when you think of your dream summer wardrobe? 

Hey, you know what – there are no wrong or write answers here, because we are all different and the season cannot fully determine your style. You should do you. However, there are some things that are universal (& a bit of a common sense) and there are things that can help you shape your summer style, but not determine it. So, let’s dive into this summer [in the city] style guide!

Some universal summer rules:

Let your body breathe

You want to wear natural/ breathable materials like cotton, linen, silk – heat can be already quite stressful for your body, why increase it by overheating in polyester?

Open up in moderation

I know in some cities it can get so hot that you would want to wear as little as possible, but what can be appropriate at a resort or by the beach, does not always work in a city setting. For instance, a. this can bring across a wrong message to your fellow citizens, b. you risk to burn in the sun, c. there are so many other ways to stay cool & stylish at the same time!

Sun protection

Everyone is talking about the harmful effects of the UV on our skin, so make a sunblock your main summer accessory.

Check the weather forecast

A bit obvious, but it helps you to determine how many layers to wear. That’s why when I create my summer looks, I think of both possibilities – options for both hot and more chilly summer days/ nights.

Optional:

Summer trends

If you are into fashion, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what is trendy this season and cherry pick the trends that fit your personal style. More on how to deal with fashion trends in my older blog post.

 

I really believe that you can find your style only through experimenting – so take advantage of the summer weather and go for it! And to put you on this creative styling wave, I’m sharing with you some of my summer outfit ideas – maybe it’s something for you, or maybe it’s completely not your thing – let me know in the comments!

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summer in the city – how to spend your staycation in style

summer in the city – how to spend your staycation in style

It is summer time and we are getting bombarded with tons of vacay images everywhere we go – we watch our Facebook friends going to Greece and Italy, our Instagram inspo bloggers going to Ibiza and the Caribbean, the work places are buzzing with what-are-your-holiday-plans talks… 

But what if… you do not have anything planned – for whatever reason – do you have to feel like you are missing out? Hell no. For all those of us who are spending summer in the city rather than chilling by the blue waters of Maldives, there is a staycation. In fact, it is now almost as trendy as going overseas – and I really love the idea! 

Indeed, why not rediscover your own city and surroundings and have fun instead of feeling low about staying home for summer? Believe me, this can be just as exciting and can give you just as many positive emotions and cool photos.

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, canal

Here are some things I love doing when on staycay:

  • Go on a free walking tour

This is a really great opportunity to meet some new people who are visiting your city, learn something new (because usually every tour guide has their own twist to a city tour), and get some exercise – walking for 3 hours ain’t easy!

  • Buy a guide book for your city and explore your city as a tourist

If walking tours is not your thing, this could be a good alternative. Sometimes we are so involved in our daily routine that we stop noticing cool things around us – looking at the city through the eyes of a tourists can be quite refreshing! Additionally, good guide books usually have inspiring pictures and list some new city hotspots.

  • Go to a cafe that you always pass by

Do you have a cafe that you pass by almost every day and think “Ah it looks like a nice place – I should go there some time”, but you never actually go there? Then the time has come. Arrange a meeting with someone there or just grab a book – the one you always wanted to read but never did – as your companion.

  • Explore a neighbourhood you have never really been to or go on a day trip to a nearby town

You might be surprised what you might discover there – and , if in doubt, use a guide book for some advice. Traveling is easier and cheaper than you might think.

  • Have a spa day at home or get a deal elsewhere

What yells “holiday” more than a relaxing spa day, right?

  • Go thrift shopping

If you read one of my earlier blog posts, you know that I love shopping at vintage stores and discover treasures at flea markets. Items that have a story also give a real travel vibe.

  • Take a new tram/ metro route that you don’t usually use

Treat it as an adventure and don’t be afraid to get lost – GPS will always save you 🙂

  • Have a picnic

Find a picturesque spot in your city and indulge yourself with your favourite snacks… Nothing else to be said.

  • Dress with a holiday vibe and get some photos taken

To be applied every day when you’re on staycay – you gotta save those memories (and show your style of course).

  • Go to a meet up (with strangers)

There are so many events you can go to these days – on Facebook, on Meetup app, on Instagram… Just pick the one with the theme that is close to you – maybe it’s casual drinks or maybe it’s a painting class – and go – you’re very likely to have a good time and discover something new.

  • Take a yoga class in a park

This is just very relaxing – especially in summer, so why not try it?

  • Go to a beach/ riverside/ canal 

Depending where you are and what is available in your area, spend some time by the water – it is peaceful, helps you unwind and can be combined with picnic (see above).

  • Take a bike ride through the city

This allows to explore some more remote areas in your city and burn some calories – to refuel on a picnic of course. 

  • Have some time with your girl gang (picnic, ice coffee date, cocktail night – whatever you can think of)

It is important to get some girls time – to share laughs and thoughts, to recharge – and the great thing is that you can combine it with any other previous tips!

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, city walk

picnic, Amsterdam, doughnuts, tulips, flowers, sweet life, inspo, summer, city, style, girl, brunette, smile, fashion, ootd, canal

What I’m wearing in this post:

Dress Must have

Red mules Topshop

Sunnies Givenchy

Hat New Look

Watch & bracelets Rosefield

 

(c) Photo credit goes to the photographer Alona Khlivitska

 

And what are your favourite to-do’s for summer in the city? And your favourite outfits?

 

 

my thoughts on [fashion] learning and impressions from Summer.Style workshop by Margarita Muradova

my thoughts on [fashion] learning and impressions from Summer.Style workshop by Margarita Muradova

If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that just about a week ago I went to Kiev, Ukraine. My main trigger for that trip became a fashion workshop “Summer.Style” by wonderful Margarita Muradova, or @greenteanosugar. Sounds a bit crazy, right? I mean, who would really travel to another country to attend a workshop? Well, here is the thing… nothing can stop you if this is your passion and you are eager to learn.

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist, ootd, outfit of the day

As much as I can remember myself I was a good student. You know how some people have talents – studying is definitely one of mine. That is probably why after finishing my Master’s degree  in Communications just as I turned 23, I realised that I was not just a good student, I was more of a study addict – I just kept craving more and more. 

I also already wrote before that my fashion addiction started a long time ago – so long that I cannot remember how it really started. Growing up I was dreaming of being a fashion designer while making clothes from anything, from more conventional materials to newspapers & plastic bags (by the way, the newspaper outfit was… erm… interesting to say the least – I will certainly try to find that photo). 

Long story short (and many many years and useless & useful things learnt) my two passions, or addictions – you name it, came together. I took a personal styling course, graduated, started practicing and… continued learning! Books, magazines, additional courses, museums, events, etc. etc. … And the “Summer.Style” workshop has become a cherry on my fashion pie. Well, actually, not just a cherry – a top up of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles – basically a recipe for a heart attack in a good way.

The emotions that I went through that day cannot be compared to anything. As I walked in the Creative Quarter, my heart was pumping from excitement and, perhaps, from a speedy walk through the city center of Kiev, though I’d prefer to say excitement rather than admit that I’m out of shape. I looked around – and there it was, everything you could imagine for a perfect day with the girls: coffee & healthy treats, breathtaking view of Kiev, energising music, a make up stand from Givenchy, some cool hand picked clothes by Sandro, Maje, and Zadig & Voltaire, lots of laughs and smiles… It felt really magical!

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

I got to my seat and looked around again – when I saw Margarita and went to talk to her, I got so nervous as if I was at the most nerve-wracking job interview, or the most important exam in my life. I never knew how I would react if I met anyone YouTube/ Insta famous in person, but trust me, guys, I would never think that I would be that lost for words.

However, apart from all the cool things, great atmosphere, and meeting your fashion teacher, the best part of the workshop was the workshop itself. I didn’t know what to expect exactly, because you can interpret the main topic “Summer. Style” in many ways. However, having already taken a Personal Stylist course and knowing how extensive and highly professional Margarita Muradova was with all the study materials & lectures, I could sense that it would be special. And oh yes, it was. 

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

We didn’t just talk about the fashion trends for summer 2018, we looked at how we can bring across a certain message with the way we dress, how this message can be life changing for some or, if not life breaking, but obstructing in one or another sphere of life. We discussed how trends can be brought into your wardrobe and how you can pick the trends that would still reflect your mood and communicate that right life-changing message. We laughed, we talked, we practiced how to apply this knowledge… We really had a blast! 
If someone asked me if I’d repeat it or if I’d participate in another workshop – hell yes! Not just because I’m fashion crazy or because I have extra money to spend, but because I believe that if you found your passion, you should just go for it! There is nothing more satisfying than learning about something that you are truly interested in and something that you love. 

greenteanosugar, fashion workshop, summer style, margarita muradova, fashion event, creative quarter, Kiev, lecture, margarita muradova, stylist

(c) Photo credit goes to Roman Yeremenko

how to master thrift shopping & stay cool

how to master thrift shopping & stay cool

I always think of vintage and secondhand shopping as treasure hunting: it takes time and energy, it can get overwhelming, you can end up digging out some garbage or leave with nothing because you were looking in the wrong place, but if you do find your treasure you will be generously rewarded. This definitely brings new shopping excitement that is gradually getting replaced by efficiency and easiness of shopping online which allows you to search items by size, trend, colour, style and whatever other parameter is necessary. And don’t get me wrong – online shopping can be also pretty challenging and overwhelming with the amount of choices we get, but it certainly lacks the charm of vintage shopping. 

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam, ootd, secondhand

Whenever I stop by a store with pre-loved items, I can totally get lost and disappear there for hours – and sometimes the result is oh so worth it!

vintage, shopping, store, thrift shopping, accessories

So, why do I love so much about vintage and secondhand when there are so many other alternatives for shopping? Let’s dig into it:

Quality & price: if you look hard enough you can find some really nice natural materials like linen, silk, real leather, suede – and for a fraction of the price at a regular store or online.

It’s unique: Even though the pieces from a vintage shop are not unique by their nature – you can obviously find similar items and maybe even same items – the chances are you will not be twinning with a colleague/ friend/ random stranger on the street.

Fashion with history: Another fun part of buying pre-loved clothes is that they have their own history. I like imagining who could have owned a certain item before and how it ended up in a store – makes it quite special to become a new owner 🙂

Brands: You may get lucky and get some branded clothes in those shops as well. If you are extremely lucky, you can get some real gems: Burberry trench coat is one of those.

It challenges your imagination and creativity: It requires some creativity to style pre-loved items  in modern looks (if that’s what you’re after). And it’s super rewarding.

Trends: Fashion repeats itself. It won’t be a surprise for you if I say that many new things are well forgotten old ones. Use this knowledge & abuse it! Vintage shops will help you find not only timeless classics but also modern trends’ predecessors.

Sustainability: By buying secondhand you can make your small contribution to the environment. I know it’s baby steps, but eventually they will have impact.

Fun: I just love the atmosphere in the thrift shops and take every secondhand shopping as a fashion adventure.  

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam, high heels, hats, colours

“So, what is the trick?” – you may ask. If vintage stores are so so amazing why doesn’t everyone just shop there? As everywhere else there are downsides: it takes energy and time, you may end up buying a lot of unnecessary junk that seemed like a good idea at the time, there’s a risk to get a too old-fashioned (not a bad thing, but not for everyone as well)… Or some people just don’t like the idea of wearing clothes that were worn by someone else before. Moral of the story: thrift shopping is not for all – and really nothing personal here! 

If you do want to give it a crack, I’m happy to share some of my tips and tricks.

Not all vintage & secondhand shops are equally good. This is something that you’ll have to find out through trial and error (or skipping trial and error by reading online reviews). 

Pre-visualise what you would like to find there. This is a rule applicable to any type of shopping: decide what you actually need/ want to buy. This will always help you to not get too overwhelmed by the amount of clothes and not to get completely lost. Think of: type of clothing, style, colour, material.

Think of current trends. This will guide you through the shelves and railings of things and allow you to pick the items that are fashionable today. Think of: floral wrap dresses, sailor caps, boucle blazers, polka dot anything, kimonos, and many many more.

Forget about trends – look for classics. It’s always a good idea to check out if the shop has some of timeless classics: LBD, trench coat, structured bags, vintage Levi’s, etc. You may be pleasantly surprised what you are able to find.

Choose natural materials over synthetics. This is one of must-do’s while secondhand shopping. That floral shirt may be super cute, but if it’s full on polyester – you take your own risk here.

Check the stitching and overall quality. A no-brainer: you don’t want to buy something that has holes or will fall apart after one day. End of story.

Take a friend with you. Treat vintage shopping as an adventure and take your friend on it. If neither of you buys anything in the end, you can always go for a coffee & a cake afterwards. 

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam, sailor hats

All the photos are taken at Penny Lane Vintage in Amsterdam – if you happen to be here, I highly recommend to check it out! This place is definitely one of my personal favourites with an amazing clothes selection, cool interior and great atmosphere. 

Address: 11C Eerste van der Helststraat, Amsterdam

vintage, shopping, retro, store, thrift shopping, Amsterdam