High-end fashion on a budget? Yes please! Media personality and street style queen Faye de Lanty travels the world searching for sustainable style, ideas and inspiration to share on her site Fashion Hound. Faye believes in re-using, recycling and reinventing fashion to create high-end looks that don’t cost the earth or the bank.
Rescu. caught up with Faye de Lanty to unearth her top tips for successful thrift shopping and creating high-end looks on a budget.
RESCU: Is it possible to find high end and on trend looks in thrift stores?
Faye de Lanty: Absolutely! This is my specialty. I am constantly surprised by whats on offer in thrift stores. Especially with retail charity destinations like Red Cross Shops. They have strict quality standards, alliances with brands like Country Road and the edit and aesthetics of the stores are fantastic. Colour coded, organised and very eco fashion chic. Being a Fashion Hound I enjoy the hunt but these days thrift stores definitely make it easier for the consumer.
RESCU: We love your looks, where do you get inspiration for your eco fashion chic?
Faye de Lanty: I am a huge fan of taking inspiration pics with me to thrift stores of celebs outfits I love, or key trends I am feeling and copying the look. I aim to set myself a budget of $100 or less (sometimes I exceed this for a really special piece) and I can always pull the look together pretty bloody close if I do say so myself! So find the looks you love and hit the thrift stores to copy the looks too! Sometimes I find it all in one go or other times it takes a few trips/hounding around to find what I am looking for. I also do a lot of DIY especially to get the boyfriend jean look.
RESCU: What are your top tips for successful thrift shopping?
Faye de Lanty: I always look for textures, fabric and cut. It’s a game of senses, thrift shopping…Feel the clothes, look at the quality, check the structure. Hold it up to the light and look for flaws. Check zippers and hems. Make sure it’s a piece that will still go the distance.
Even when I am not searching for a particular look I apply this rule. You can always tell a beautifully cut jacket or a one of a kind vintage tee. I try not to be ruled by fashion but rather by feel…what am I drawn to, what works for me and is this a fundamental fashion piece that would be a great addition to my wardrobe? The streets are a great place to look for inspiration. I look at street style pictures, see what’s trending and then hit the thrift and vintage stores to source the items or I will embellish or recreate them with some DIY.
RESCU: What should we expect to spend when thrift shopping?
Faye de Lanty: Expect to pay anywhere between $10-$50 for a great black jacket. I found a brand new Saba jacket (never been worn) in Vinnies for $30! Rock tees are generally around $10-$20 but sometimes they can be as low as $5. I found a killer vintage Harley tee in NYC for a fiver. Dresses – depending on the label start at around $20
Think outside the square too – vintage fairs, school fetes, clothes swapping parties. I was just at a vintage fair in the Blue Mountains and I found an awesome Paul Smith collared shirt for my man for $2! They had YSL for the same price too!
RESCU: Are there good and bad days/times of the month to shop for thrift store bargains?
Faye de Lanty: Everyday is a good day to thrift. Stores have new donations and deliveries all the time so I am always popping in to my locals to see what’s on offer.
RESCU: What are your best tips for updating and re-inventing thrift store pieces?
Faye de Lanty: Always give them a wash and air them, get friendly with a good tailor for any adjustments you may need and also get into DIY and customising. I have Scissors, garlic graters, sandpaper, natural dyes, feathers and embellishments on standby. I read books, look at websites and follow the trends and collections so I can see what can be recreated. I am so in love with the recent Marc Jacobs LV Spring 14 Paris collection and i have set myself the challenge to see how I can recreate it with thrift. A lot of the trends employ fashion fundamentals like Marc has with his looks of denim, black, feathers and embellishment so things can definitely be recreated!
Faye de Lanty’s Key Wardrobe Staples:
- A black tuxedo or suit jacket
- A few cool rock tees as well as a classic black, grey and white one
- Boyfriend jeans
- LWD (Little White Dress)
- A classic skirt, pencil or an a-line piece is fab
- A leopard print scarf, as well as a black one
- Chic black pants
- Good quality leather belts
- Glam clutches (vintage glomesh, coloured silks and beaded pieces are so worth having, they make everything look special no matter what your size)
Check out the video and gallery below for more fabulous thrift shopping tips: