Thrift Like a Pro With Pinterest

Pinterest is the rising star of social media. Everyone is talking about the social pinboard network, speculating whether it heralds the switch from searchtodiscovery, what its popularityamongwomen means for Internet marketing, how it may potentially change ourpurchasinghabits, and debating digitalcopyright.

The major brands are hoping to use Pinterest to influence your purchases through sleek integration of their products, but the network is also the best tool for buying and consuming less. Before hitting the local thrift store or a swap meet here’s how you can use Pinterest to thrift shop like a pro, save money, and live a little greener in the process.

1) Start a Personal Style Board

The first step is simple: create a personal style board where you pin anything and everything that feels related to your own style. When you finally decide to hit the thrift store circuit you will know exactly what you want. Not sure what your style is? Just start browsing and figure it out as you pin.  

2) Follow, Follow, Follow

Following a lot of users is essential for figuring out what you like. You may be inspired by the traditional outlets on Pinterest—like LuckyMag and KateSpade—or want to pin specific spring 2012 trends. Following popular style blogs like Refinery 28 or ShopSweetThings may be more your thing. Or perhaps the ever popular craft site Etsy is where you inspiration lies. There are also a great deal of unlikely boards for style inspiration, like TheNewYorkPublicArtandPicturecollection which features a great board dedicated to the MadMenera, the atmospheric textile designer AmySia, or curated vintageandhistoricalephemera.  Inspiration for style comes from a wide range of people, places, and things. So follow, pin, repeat.

3) Pin High, Buy Low

The best motto is to pin what you’d imagine wearing, not what you’d actually buy. You’re going to be buying second-hand anyway, so who cares if these items cost more than your rent? You might fixate on a pair of pricey brightgreenshoes or a one-of-a-kind geometricprintdress, but of course you aren’t going to buy them, so each item becomes a visual cues in terms of color, design, and print when you’re actually browsing through your favorite second-hand store. Forget the price tags, pin what you find visually stimulating, and remember what qualities draws you. That way when you’re lost in the racks, you know exactly what you’re looking for.

4) Crafts and D.I.Y.

Pinterest is a Mecca for craft tutorials and do-it-yourself guides, both of which are perfect for learning how to alter a wardrobe. Now you can learn how to maketshirtyarnoutofoldtshirts, sewingjeansintoskinnyjeans, or turning a mensshirtintoadress. Knowing how to do it yourself may be what you need to take the items you already own or the things you’ve picked up into perfect items for you. Plus, you get to learn some new skills in the process.

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