Kimi Singer is a #girlboss, a young actress who is pursuing her dreams on screen while living in her hometown Los Angeles. When she’s not booking auditions and landing modeling gigs for eco-conscious fashion brands like Outdoor Voices, she hangs with friends and family, loves to eat out and thrift shops at some of LA’s best kept secrets. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Kimi and getting to know her top tips to thrift so you can #wearyourvalues in an affordable fashionable way
What’s your best thrift find of all time?
Last year I was looking for a dress for Valentines Day and found this absolutely stunning vintage Valentino black lace & silk slip dress. The reason it’s my favorite is because it’s so unique and it felt like fate. I mean come on…Valentino for Valentines Day? I love how the front lace panel is super sexy but still classy and the bottom of the silk dress cuts off and leads into 2 more inches of lace. And because it had a small but repairable rip in the front it was $20 bucks!
What are your favorite thrift stores in LA?
Buffalo Exchange on La Brea is my go-to. I found the Valentino dress there, I’ve found 2 pairs of jeans and a gorgeous blue sweater from Acne Studios there, Hermès wooden sandals, a leather Coach purse, countless denim and leather jackets…the list goes on and on. Practically everything I have in my closet is from that Buffalo Exchange. Yes, you’ll have to sift through weird DIY crafted shirts, but if you have patience you can find some incredible items.
I also am specific about the La Brea location because I think a lot of people who donate there are either fashionable folk from Melrose or just plain rich people who live around Beverly Hills and West Hollywood donating clothes they bought and then never wore.
Do you know when they put out the fresh delivery?
I wish I did. I go when I’m in need of some retail therapy.
It feels good to buy 7 items for $100 rather than buying 2 items at a fast-fashion shop for the same price.
Thrifting can be overwhelming. How do you keep it easy?
The people working the dressing room probably hate me because I literally go rack to rack and pick out anything and everything that catches my eye. I do it to avoid any FOMO…at least that’s what I tell myself. This is another reason I like Buffalo as opposed to other classic thrift stores. Buffalo organizes their racks by clothing type, not by color. I don’t know about you but I rarely go shopping thinking “Hmm, I really need something yellow and that’s that.” I’m usually like damn I want new shirts or I could use a cute skirt or a new sweater.
Any designers we should we look out for?
I don’t really look out for designers; I go for quality over name brand.
The only time I really care about brands or designers is when I’m thrifting shoes and denim. With denim especially, quality denim has such an incredible look and feel to it. Shoes matter because of this quote I saw on Tumblr when I was 15; “you’re either in your bed or in your shoes so it pays to invest in both.” I usually stay away from thrifting shoes unless it’s absolutely worth it because old shoes will inevitably fall apart. I did once get a beautiful pair of vintage boots from the 70’s at the Melrose flea market that lasted me 3 years but that was very lucky.
What materials do you recommend?
Honestly, I can deal with most materials. The only one I really can’t stand is chiffon….I CAN’T STAND CHIFFON.
How do you make sure the garment is in good quality?
I always double check for holes, janky zippers, rips, and stains because no matter how much you tell yourself you’re going to fix it, you’re probably definitely not going to. To test out garments I do a lot of dancing in the dressing room to see how it flows, haha!, I know that sounds a little odd but if I dance I can instantly tell how the garment moves, if I’m at risk of a nip-slip, if it’s too short, if it’s restraining.
Do you try things on before buying?
YES. You just have to. Something might look really cute from afar but when you put it on that’s when you know if it’s meant to be or not. I will try on 85 pieces that I pulled off the rack and end up only liking 10 MAX.
When I put on something it has to evoke this feeling of “I can’t leave here without you.” Otherwise it’s not worth it. My income doesn’t exactly give me a huge shopping budget so I really have to be picky.
Do you buy things and get them altered?
I almost never get items altered. To be honest, I just don’t have enough money to get things altered but if that’s an option for you, DO IT.
Why do you <3 thrifting?
I may be broke but people don’t have to know! All it takes is patience for you to find incredible pieces. Also my half Jewish gal side gets such an enormous rush of satisfaction from looking up the original price of the things I buy and comparing them to what I paid. For me, there is so much more gratification from thrifting than I get from buying clothes online or in a generic store.
I also love the fact that most of the things I buy are things that no one else has.
Especially with the age of Instagram, it seems like people dress identically so it’s fun to look in my closet and feel like it’s a reflection of my true self. It’s not like I saw a celeb wear something and then buy it on Fashion Nova the next day, no shade to those that do, I just prefer to go shopping not knowing what to expect and finding interesting clothes and accessories that speak directly to me.
Want to see more of Kimi’s Thrift? You can follow her on Instagram @kimixsinger.
Images: c/o Kimi Singer