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Putting spring in wardrobe's step

Update your look for less with thrift, vintage shopping
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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It’s time to stash those sweaters and push the boots to the back of the closet. Now that sunshine and blue skies have decided to stick around for a while, local fashionistas and other snappy dressers might be assessing their warm-weather wardrobes and not necessarily liking what they see. Not too keen on the financial impact of a closet overhaul? Consider taking a second-hand approach to freshening up your look. “Overall, buying used and vintage clothing is a great way to save money, be green and be original,” said Sommer Naffz. “Personally, I love vintage shopping because you’re usually buying something that’s a one-of-a-kind piece.” Naffz owns Ramona Lou, a Downtown Auburn boutique that specializes in vintage clothing. She said a style refresher can be done without too much work or cash. “Vintage and used clothing are priced lower because they are, generally speaking, previously worn or loved garments,” she said. Virginia Kauk and Annie Holmes, volunteers at St. Luke’s Victorian Attic Thrift Shop, agree that there’s a certain thrill to second-hand shopping. “It’s like a treasure hunt,” Kauk said. “You never know what you’ll find.” It might take some patience to comb through the racks at a thrift store such as Victorian Attic, but the deals make it worth the work when you can find a pair of Puma sneakers for $3 or a purse for a dollar, Holmes said. “Even on sale at Ross you can’t beat our prices,” she said. “We do not sell stuff that needs cleaning, buttons. We pass it along. We’re the crème de la crème.” Holmes said the shop recently sold a Dior coat. She said the name brands end up being a good deal because when purchased used they’re going for pennies on the dollar. “Generally our things that cost more are the best buy,” she said. Thrift shops are also a great spot for accessories. “We have scarves, purses, belts that would brighten up last season’s dress,” Holmes said. Most of the aforementioned accessories go for $1 at Victorian Attic. Naffz also suggests focusing on the small stuff if you want to spruce up an outfit with minimal spending. “Adding that little pop of color or texture with an accessory can easily change your look without breaking the bank,” she said. Whether you’re looking gently used or brand-spankin’ new garments, there are few essentials you should bring home this spring, Naffz said. “To update your wardrobe for any given season, focus on a few key pieces,” she said. “For women, I always recommend having at least one amazing dress on hand that both fits well and feels great on.” A couple key garments will carry your wardrobe a long way, Naffz said. These are the pieces worth the extra cash, she said. For women, it’s the aforementioned multi-occasion dress, along with a perfect-fit pair of jeans. For the gents it’s all about “a classic light-weight blazer and a solid pair of dress shoes,” Naffz said. No matter how much, or little, you want to spend, if it’s time to buy some new duds, be sure to enjoy yourself. “Shop with an open mind and have fun,” Naffz said. __________ St. Luke’s Victorian Attic Thrift Shop 148 Lewis St., Auburn (530) 823-1532 Ramona Lou 923 Lincoln Way, Auburn (530) 885-0568