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How To Thrift Like A Fashion Person

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    Photo: Courtesy of Christene Barberich.

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    We here at R29 are major proponents of thrifting — no surprise there, though, right? Not that we don't love a good high-street haul, but there's just an undefinable thrill that comes with uncovering an embellished vest from the '80s or stumbling upon a pair of '90s Pradas hidden under a pile of dusty steppers.

    But, we get that not everyone shares our love of carefully used wares. So, to impress and inspire a new crop of thrifters, we tapped two vintage aficionados — and self-described "style soulmates" — to demonstrate how it's done: our editor-in-chief Christene Barberich and stylist Dree Harper. The power duo set out for a weekend of thrifting on Long Island, and we tagged along for the ride in their Ford Fusion.

    Ahead, the two share their well-curated tips on searching for the perfect vintage goods. Click through to see Barberich and Harper's shopping game plan, and learn the tricks of the trade to find your own killer pieces that are cool circa now.



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  2. Photo: Courtesy of Christene Barberich.

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    So, we hear that there's a pretty fateful story behind how you two met...
    CB: "I met Dree on eBay — eBay! She sold me a pair of life-giving, vintage, black-and-white printed YSL pants from the '70s. She recognized my name and offered to shop for me personally after that at all her favorite thrift haunts down in Florida. And, when she came to NYC on a trip, she offered to bring a few pieces by to meet me in person. That was it — we've been great friends and style soulmates ever since. She's like a sister to me, and there are few people out there who can really shop for me better than she can."

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    Christene, we're plenty familiar with your love of boxy, oversized vests and well-tailored pants, but, for the uninitiated, can you describe your style?
    CB: "My style, like a lot of things in my life, is always a work in progress. For me, it's really just about tuning in to a feeling that seems to connect my insides with my outsides, and tapping in to that thing I love most about fashion when getting dressed."

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    And you, Dree? Those prints are incredible.
    DH: "In two words: global tomboy. It's a bit earthy and bohemian with doses of sporty and messy in the mix."

  5. Photo: Courtesy of Christene Barberich.

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    The first stop this weekend is Melet Mercantile, a Hamptons outpost for a vintage showroom here in NYC. Tell us about this store.
    DH: "Bob [Melet, the founder] is a true collector and has a strong sense of how vintage works in Montauk. His appreciation for that culture comes through in his curation, and I felt an instant connection. I know a good picker when I see one. The experience was calming with slow browsing and plenty of oohing and ahhing."

    Christene, everyone at R29 knows you today as a thrifting veteran. But, how did you first fall in love with buying vintage?
    CB: "Well, I was first drawn to thrifting because I was broke, and it was the only way to find things that were cool and innovative but didn't cost an arm and a leg. Thrifting started as a practical solve to save money, but it's ultimately become a practice and a hobby for me."

    And, what about thrifting excites you now?
    CB: "My favorite thing about entering a completely unfamiliar thrift store is the excitement over the possibility of finding anything. I mean, I've found Chanel for $8, a vintage Pucci purse for $10, a black Karl Lagerfeld jumpsuit for $3, and from all eras — those kind of gems don't just appear in a regular store."

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    This necklace is pretty major.
    DH: "Yeah, this feels very Hamptons-summer to me — bright and with woven details. I know I can wear it with a simple dress and let it shine, but [when I saw it], I instantly knew I would be hanging it on the corner of an abstract oil painting I have in my bedroom. I like to layer and display my finds around the home. Reminds me of my travels!"

    When you shop vintage, what are the no-brainer items that you always gravitate toward?
    DH: "I have my go-tos, like maxi-dresses, bohemian tops, and coats. Vintage accessories are my thing though. They make my outfits 'me.' Bold jewelry from the '70s and '80s, good leather bags, silky scarves, cool sunglasses — I'm always looking for lovely additions. Come. To. Mama."