I’ve done my share of thrifting in my life, having been to every Goodwill in my city at least 100 times as well as smaller resale shops (which are the golden places, I might add). It is one of my favorite ways to shop because of the challenge it gives me. Sure I might not always walk out of the store with a few gems in my bag, but when I do…I remember why I do it.
I see thrifting as have two major benefits. First (and most notably), you can find some really cheep clothes. I always find it so surprising when the cashier rings up my total at thrift stores because it is always so much cheaper than I expect. You can walk out with a huge bag full of clothes and spend less than $20!
The second benefit is the unique pieces you may find at thrift stores. I can often find at least a few really high quality pieces at thrift stores for only a couple dollars. I am also able to diversify my wardrobe. I can take a step back from all of the trendy things and really find some unique pieces that no one else has, and that’s the most satisfying thing.
Bellow are just a few of my tips for thrifting, for anyone whether you have never been to a thrift store or if you’ve been going for years.
Use Your Imagination
A lot of people find it difficult to thrift because they have difficulty finding anything they like. What I like to say to you is, use your imagination. There will be a lot of outdated and odd things at thrift stores, but who says you can’t buy them. I have come to realize that nearly everything I purchase at thrift stores is cute, but definitely on the verge of ugly. Recently I bought a cream sweater that is definitely from the 70s or something that Bill Cosby would wear, but I think it’s cute. It’s very soft and comfortable, and super different. Walk into a thrift store and challenge yourself with everything you look at. Maybe it looks weird on the hanger, but can you actually make it look really modern and cool with different accessories or other pieces? So, challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone of fashion and walk in with an open mind
Section Off A Portion of Your Day to Thrift
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “quick thrifting.” You really want to section off some free time of your day so that you aren’t rushed. You want to be able to really thoroughly look through all of the items because the real gems are usually hidden. It’s something you can’t rush. You can’t to have time to be creative and really look at all of the pieces and imagine how you would wear them. Trying on items is always necessary too because you want things to be comfy, so just prepare yourself.
(For Women) Shop the Men’s Section
I use to walk into thrift stores and only shuffle through the women’s clothes, but I have found the whole new world of men’s clothes. For a lot of gender neutral pieces like flannels and t-shirts, I have found some really amazing and nice quality pieces in the men’s section. For example, I found a classic fourth of July shirt by Gap (you know the kind that your mom probably made you wear when you were little), and I am in love. It feels so sentimental and a great throwback. The oversize trend is alive and well, so take advantage.
Visit Multiple Stores Multiple Times
You have to accept the fact that you might spend an hour walking through a thrift store and not like anything you see. That’s totally fine. That’s why I recommend visiting several different thrift stores. People are always donating new things to thrift stores, and no single thrift store is the same. I know I have several locations around me, and I go to each of them so I have more options.
Go to the Thrift Stores in the High End Parts of Your Town
I have found this tip to work really well in the suburbs I live in, so I’m not sure if it applies everywhere but you might as well give it a go. In the nicer parts of town, the items that are donate to thrift stores tend to be a little higher quality because the residents living near their buy more expensive items. This gives anyone the perfect opportunity to snatch up some really nice pieces at the thrift stores in the area. I know my brother has found several Ralph Lauren pieces at thrift stores in nicer areas, and I have found really high quality jeans too. Just take a look at the area because that is a good tell for what kind of pieces the thrift store will most likely have.
Notice Donation Requirements at Stores
There are some thrift stores that accept anything they are donated, but there are also resale shops that are very particular. I know there is one store near my house that I like to go to that has specifications for the brands and types of clothes donated. Whens shopping at these stores, I tend to find things that are a little nicer and not just really cheap things people didn’t want. Things might be a little bit pricier at these stores, but no where near the original price.