I am a thrifter. I started going to thrift stores about 5 years ago when I was a senior in high school. Then a few years later I started going to yard sales, estate sales and vintage flea markets and became obsessed with secondhand shopping. Everything I found was so unique and I loved the prices (obviously). Sometimes when I tell people I go thrifting or I bought something cute at a thrift store they tell me, “I’ve always wanted to go to a thrift store,” or “I wish I was good at thrifting.” To that I say two things: You should definitely check out thrifting. And you will have good days and bad days at the thrift store. This doesn’t mean you are “bad” at thrifting.
In the above picture I am holding 8 pairs of jeans that I purchased from various thrift stores in the past couple months. Whenever I find a pair of nice Levi jeans I tend to buy them because I can make them into shorts or do a fun DIY project with them. The problem with this habit is I tend to hoard vintage Levi jeans because I keep buying them. Not everyone is a perfect thrifter, including myself. If you are having trouble finding awesome items at thrift stores or have been debating checking out your local Goodwill, I have compiled a few tips I have picked up over the past few years.
1. Make a day of it – If you walk into a thrift store and look around for 20 minutes, I guarantee you will leave disappointed. To really be successful at thrifting I would suggest making a day of it. Thrift days are my favorite days. I wake up really early, get Starbucks, and arrive at the thrift store right when it opens. This is also a good tip because you will have first dibs of all the clothes if you get there before anyone else. Once I’m at the thrift store I take my time looking at everything and listen to music or a podcast. Also if you are asking yourself what day would be a good day to go thrifting, everything at Goodwill is 50% off on the last Saturday of the month!
2. Look in every section – This goes hand in hand with the first tip. Looking in every section will obviously take some time but it is worth it in the end. I have found some awesome old band t-shirts in the men’s section and even the kid’s section, so it is important to broaden your horizons and literally look at everything. I also look at clothes in all different sizes. You have to remember that these clothes have probably been washed before so they could have shrunk and not be true to size.
3. Wear your favorite pair of jeans – Because things could be weirdly sized, I always try everything on. If you have a go to pair of jeans (or a skirt or shoes or something else you wear all the time) it is a good idea to wear that item when you go thrifting so you can see the outfit you would probably put together. I basically only wear two pairs of jeans ever. So when I’m shopping for shirts at the thrift store, I always wear my jeans because I will most likely wear any new shirt I buy with those jeans.
4. Don’t buy something you won’t wear – This is my biggest problem. Sometimes I see something that I could potentially wear and I buy it anyways because I think it is priced so reasonably. This could result in a major hoarding fiasco. To avoid this problem, set a realistic budget for yourself before you walk in. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the clothes.
5. Look for inspiration – Something I love doing at the thrift store is buying clothes that I wouldn’t normally buy for full price to try out new styles or trends. When I see something with potential, I have my Lookbook app handy to see how other people are wearing it. You don’t have to copy what you see directly, but just seeing a completed outfit on someone else can inspire you to come up with your own outfit!
Do you have any other tips for thrifting? Let me know in the comments below!
Bye for now!