The thrifting world is a wonder. Not only does it allow the patient shopper to build up a unique wardrobe on a budget, it taps into a more conscientious lifestyle by recycling clothes to give them a new lease of life.
We caught up with Stella Vomb (she/her? of Vomb Vintage to get her top tips for thrifting at Europe’s largest flea market, IJhallen
TIP NUMBER 1
“Wear covering and compressing workout clothes – I always go for a gym bra and leggings. If it’s hot, I wear a slip dress instead to pull on pants underneath. With leggings you can try pants out over the top. Gym bras give you the option to try on shirts and tops without anything bunching so you see if they really fit.”
TIP NUMBER 2
“Always bring a bottle of water and some kind of snack. IJhallen is a ferry journey away from Centraal Station and there aren’t too many food spots around inside the market.”
TIP NUMBER 3
“Bring a backpack, tote bags and even extra tote bags. Bring one more than you think you need – most vendors either won’t have bags to give you or will have run out. It also saves on plastic bags, so it’s just a solid sustainable practice in general.”
TIP NUMBER 4
“Bring a smaller bag or fanny pack for vitals like your phone, wallet and keys so it’s all in the same place. That way, when you’re pulling out cash, it’s always from the same spot.”
TIP NUMBER 5
“Get an idea of price points before you start spending. Some stalls at IJhallen will have signs that say ‘everything €1, everything €5…’. The market is huge, so if you see prices you’re happy to pay at the start of a row, the rest of the stalls tend to be about the same.”
TIP NUMBER 6
“Barter. If an item is €10 or more, push to cut it in half because the vendor may go lower than you expect. It always pays off. Keep small change and coins. If you see something you think is overpriced, or really can’t afford, then you can pull out the change you do have to show the vendor. From experience, they might not want to carry their items back home and be willing to hook it up. They usually hook it up.”
LISTEN TO STELLA’S STORY
In TQTB podcast 004, Marie-Anne interviews stylist Stella.
A native New Yorker living in Rome with a sixth sense for sniffing out a bargain, Stella talks about her favourite Amsterdam spots for unique thrift finds, top tips for flea market success and – of course – takes on a styling challenge.
Will Stella deliver and find a vintage triple denim outfit?