18 Questions with Kiara Lopez

1. How much of your closet is thrifted? 

A: To be honest I think at least half of my closet is thrifted. It’s gotten to the point where I need to get rid of stuff to fit new thrifted items into my closet. 

2.What price is too high for a thrifted item?  

A: Hmmm. That really does depend. Never pay over $10 for jeans, that’s for sure. But there have been situations where I would tell myself that I shouldn’t spend a certain amount for thrifted items, but sometimes there are those very rare moments where they just fit you like a glove and in those moments I have spent over my desired limit, so I am guilty of that. Oh and If anybody plans on altering a piece of clothing (DIY), I recommend that they don’t spend too much on the item just in case you mess up or something and didn’t waste like 20 bucks on a crappy DIY. But for me, I’ve usually never spent more than $10 bucks on a piece of clothing from a second hand shop. 

3. What’s the highest you’ve ever paid for a thrifted item?  

A: The highest I’ve ever paid for a thrifted item has to be my LEE brown denim jacket and I paid about $14 bucks for it and I use it ALL the time. I really am a cheapskate when it comes to buying thrifted clothes. I don’t really spend a lot on just one item. I like to get my money’s worth. 

4. How do you deal with cleaning your clothes for after the purchase? 

A: You know, usually the clothes I get only smell like the thrift store itself. I’ve never gotten something with like a food stain or whatever. But usually just washing it in your handy dandy washer machine will do the trick. Put a little extra fabric softener or even those little scented in wash flakes will make them smell so much better. 

5. What’s the lowest you’ve ever paid for a thrifted item?  

A: My cheapest thrifted item actually was an Asos black bodycon/pinup inspired LBD for only $1 at goodwill as part as a deal they had going on that day. I was so shocked. Haven’t worn it out yet but it was definitely worth wayyyyy more than a dollar. 

6. When and why did you start thrifting? 

A: I started thrifting in high school. I remember I went on a woman’s retreat for some church event with my sister down in Ventura just to accompany her, and while she was doing her thing with Jesus, I went to go sightseeing around since it was my first time there and I walked into a thrift store and back then I was into the whole “Cosby” sweater trend (I know most of us have been there, done that) and I saw a really cool looking one and when I checked to see what the price was I was like really?! Damn, that’s cheap. I also copped a streetlight manifesto shirt. I walked out with a huge bag of clothes that day and regretted nothing. My thrifting obsession sprouted from that day on. 

7.Is thrifting a fad or a way to save money for you personally? 

A: When I had free schooling back in high school, I can see how it can be a fad, but it’s definitely not now. I go to college and work part time and live at home with my parents so money isn’t cheap. Honestly growing up I’ve never really had money or an allowance to go buy myself clothes all the time, or at least enough to keep up with fashion trends. My mom would be the one to choose the clothing she would buy for me (which I greatly appreciated, nonetheless). I remember I would always want to partake in trends back in middle school and early high school and wouldn’t have the expenses for it and I would DIY a lot of the stuff I already owned to make it look somewhat trendy but in my own way. You can literally find anything at the thrift stores. You want some mom jeans? Thrift store. Maybe you even want a wedding dress? Thrift store! There are even popular name brand clothing that would usually retail for way more than what the thrift stores sell it to you for. There are so many options that will help you build your unique wardrobe without having to spend so much money on just one piece of clothing at a retail store. 

8. Do you ever alter your thrifted clothes after the purchase to make them appear more modern? 

A: Of course! The other day I got some cool burnt orange high-waisted corduroy pants that fit me at the waist but had long wide legs that were way too big for me so I just turned them into shorts. I also cut dresses that are too long for me since I am pretty short and usually I run petite. 

9.What are some unexpected areas in the thrift that usually have really good finds? 

A: I like to check the men’s t-shirt selection for cool graphic tees. I’m a sucker for t-shirts with cool fonts. 

10. Do you ever have trouble finding things in your size? Do you have any tips on how to avoid or fix size issues?

A: Usually pants that are a little too big for me are an easy fix with a cute belt. As for shirts, I like to tie a knot in the front to make it looked more cropped, instead of cutting the whole shirt up. It’s easier to fix a bigger sized clothing item than it is to solve one that’s smaller. 

11.Who are your fashion inspiration?

A: Most of my inspiration comes from and are not limited to Velma and Daphne from Scooby Doo, Yeha Leun, and Kat von D, 

12. Are you inspired by other things?

A: Music: Dirty art club, Tame Impala, and Corners

13. What’s more important to complete a look; make up or accessories?

A: Oof, that’s a tough one. I think I’m going to have to go with makeup. You can dress up or down with a makeup look.

14.What items do you splurge on?

 A: I definitely splurge on shoes more than anything. Used clothing over used shoes always, for me. I think quality is a very important factor when it comes to buying shoes. Or maybe I’m just grossed out by other people’s feet? Mmmm, yea. 

15. What are your favorite brands and stores

A: One of my favorite brands at the moment would have to be Deandri. As for stores, I’ve been shopping quite a lot at Wetseal (super cute and cheap accessories), and Forever 21, although I feel shitty shopping at sweat shops, which is one of the reasons I prefer to shop at second hand stores. 

16. Do you use ebay, etsy, or similar inexpensive shopping sites?

A: I use Etsy, Depop, Ebay, and Alie Express. 

17. What was it that sparked you to become swank and trendy with the way you dress?

A: Honestly, it all began when I first started getting comfortable with my body. Like many people, I had insecurities. I didn’t like the way my arms looked in short sleeves, so I would avoid wearing them, even if it was 100 degrees outside. I didn’t like my legs so I wouldn’t wear dresses either. With great help and support from my loving boyfriend, I started feeling way more comfortable with my body and stopped limiting myself to certain styles, clothing pieces, and even makeup. I’ve always loved fashion, but I haven’t been able to express myself to the fullest up until now. It’s funny. I used to care about what I looked to other people. People who don’t even give 10 seconds of a damn about you before they change the subject. So I say go and wear whatever the hell you want because you’re the only one going to bed thinking about it. 

18. What are your plans for your future career? Would it be something in fashion? 

A: As of right now I’m trying to get done with my Associates in Business, but I am planning to either go to makeup school or fashion school. Hey, maybe even both! I’m still trying to find my calling but I know for a fact it will have to be something to do with fashion.

Check out more of Kiara's photos on her Instagram @gurlfartz