We’re so excited to have Karla Reed on the style blog today! She is the absolute master of thrift shopping! If you were ever scared of the racks and racks you have to dig through or have dismissed the practice thinking it’s just not for you…Karla just might change your mind! With an amazing Instagram account filled with all of her fabulous finds, we had to catch up with her to hear how to conquers the thrift shopping game!
You don’t have a blog but your Instagram account has over 25,000 followers! How did that happen!?
Haha, good question…I’m not really sure! I’ve been posting my daily outfits in the same basic layout for over three years on instagram. So I guess I’ve worked hard to be consistent and honest in my approach to fashion. I post what I’m actually wearing that day. It’s not a staged photo shoot. The majority of what I wear is thrifted or I buy on sale. People really relate to that. There are hundreds of fashion bloggers out there telling you what you can buy at department stores so you can look like them. I’m more interested in encouraging people to think outside the box and to work with what they’ve got! I’ve been blessed to have so many people find inspiration through my posts!
What is your favorite part of thrifting?
I like that I have the ability to make my own style. It gives me freedom to play around and create. And, I love the idea that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look great!
What’s your number one advice for a thrifting newbie?
Be willing to dig! If you’re not committed to finding treasures…then you won’t. Don’t expect it to come easily. I actually have started getting a little annoyed when people say, “You’re so lucky! I wish I could thrift at the stores you go to!” It has nothing to do with luck; it’s hard work and you have to always keep your eyes open. It took me years to perfect it!
You’re an avid thrifter but somehow manage to always look cute and trendy…how do you do it?
I firmly believe every trend is rooted in something from the past. For instance, the high waisted jeans and skirts and the cropped tops we’re seeing so much; we’ve seen those before in the 80’s and 90’s! Well, the thrift stores are full of treasures from the past that are just waiting for fresh eyes and a little creativity. I am constantly studying up on new shapes and trends and seeing how they relate to the past. That’s also how you stay grounded and don’t get carried away with a trend. It needs to be grounded somewhere in the past to keep it classic.
What are some key things you look for when you go shopping?
I’ve been trying to get better at really searching for good basics… like jeans, a classic white button down, leather boots… things that will stand the test of time and trend. These are the things I want to spend my money on. For me, the trendy pieces and statement pieces tend to be easier to find while thrifting and on sales racks. They come more natural for some reason. But basics, you have to search high and low for the right fit, but they will go much farther.
What was your best flea market/thrift store find?
What’s your best advice on how to shop a clearance rack?
A lot of us get blinded by the amount of money we’re saving, and so we buy things we don’t need or things that require other pieces to be bought in order to make it work. I’m trying to be a smarter sales shopper! I try to ask myself, “Do I need this? Can I style this in more than one way? Would I want to buy this even if I didn’t know how much it cost?” It’s good to ask yourself these questions to make sure it will be a good investment.
Best style advice ever given to you:
Something I heard once that completely changed my idea of dressing for winter was: “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only inappropriate clothing.” After that I started embracing the seasons and buying things that were stylish AND comfortable. I’m a much happier person through winter now 🙂
Best style advice you would give:
If you love something and it fits you well, it works. No need to worry about being on trend.
I only wash my hair about every 5-7 days. When you wash it every day you strip it of the natural oils, and it causes it to become oily and damaged. I trained my hair back in college to go longer between washes and have never looked back. And my trick between washes is corn starch (works better than any dry shampoo I’ve ever used!) and top knots.
Can’t live without:
Concealer and mascara. I never leave the house without them!
Worst thrifting experience:
When I lived in Chicago the thrifting at this one particular store was VERY competitive. I turned my back from my stuff for a second and someone stole out of my pile a few of the treasures I had found; some of which were high end with the tags still attached. I was so angry, I searched the store for over 20 minutes trying to figure out who it was! I have no idea what I would’ve done if I would have found them though!
To see more interviews like Karla’s, head over to the style blog!