Trail Blazer

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It’s officially a City Boy summer and the temperature is rising here in NYC. In the summer months I usually opt for less clothes, but every now and then I desire a more dressed up look so I got inspired to begin looking for a summer blazer. Summer blazers are made of light weight, breathable fabrics like linen or woven cotton. When searching for a summer blazer you want to stay away from heavy fabrics like wool, corduroy and velvet.

As I embarked on my summer blazer search I had a few items on my wish list. I knew that i wanted a beige blazer because I envisioned myself wearing it with a pair of shorts to rock a monochromatic vibe. I also wanted to explore the oversized blazer trend. To be quite honest I was afraid to try the oversized blazer look because I don’t typically think that oversized items compliment my frame but I was open and optimistic.

I am an advocate for thrift shopping, in fact I have been thrifting since before it was cool. The benefits of thrifting include a lower price point than retail, unique pieces that tend to be higher quality than fast fashion and thrifted items tend to stand out because you cannot typically find a replica item.

I found this Vintage Giorgio Armani linen blazer at the Goodwill West Village location . The jacket was priced at a whopping $15! This blazer fit all of my criteria and exceeded my quality expectations. It fits like a dream with a slightly oversized fit and it is the perfect neutral beige tone. The fabric is tightly woven to give it structure however not too thick.

For the outfit pictured above I styled the blazer with a white uniqlo t-shirt, black and white striped shorts and sneakers. I am so glad I found my dream thrifted blazer but if you are new to thrifting or looking to build your second hand shopping skills, I am have provided 3 tips below that will help you level up your thrifting.

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I am a thrift shopping lover but even with my love affair with second hand fashion, thrift stores often have a large inventory so in order to make my experience more focused I go thrift shopping with specific items in mind. Doing this helps you narrow in on specific colors, styles and articles of clothing so that you are not aimlessly wandering through the store feeling overwhelmed. Before you head out to your thrifting adventure, take an inventory of your closet to see where you have essential item gaps. Jot down the items that you are looking for and shop with tunnel vision!

I will be the first to tell you that If you don’t love shopping, you will not love thrifting. Thrifting is a very time consuming task that is compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Unlike retail spaces that sell new merchandise, thrift stores are not meticulously organized and designed for you to easily find items. Patience is key. For the best results you should aside 1 .5 - 3 hours to shop. Once you are at the thrift store, take your time and look through every item in a section that you are interested in. Every single item. Yes I know that looking through every item on every rack in a certain category sounds daunting but just trust that it is worth it. I cannot tell you how many times I have found a beautiful item that was misplaced according to the labels.

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There is nothing more disappointing than discovering what you think is the perfect item at a thrift store only to realize that it has a stain, hole, missing button etc. To prevent this unfortunate circumstance, inspect each piece before heading to check out. Take the time to look for stains, rips, discoloration, missing elements…essentially any type of damage. This inspection process allows you to decide if the item is worth purchasing. keep in mind that second hand items are not expected to be in perfect condition so you have to adjust your expectations. Also small alterations can be made to must-hate items. You can easily add a missing button for instance, but the level of damage that you are willing to accept varies from person to person.

Lonnie Woods III