I started thrift shopping my sophomore year of high school and didn’t know where to start. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by endless amounts of clothing racks and tile floors, don’t stress! Here are my tips on being a successful thrifter and finding the best pieces.
Make a Day Out of It
Thrift shopping is an exploration and in order to find the best pieces, you need to commit a good chunk of time to searching the racks. The thrift store chains such as Goodwill or Salvation Army have thousands of clothes and it takes awhile to search through every rack. Not to mention, if you have multiple thrift stores in your area, it’s definitely worth giving each a thorough visit! Thrifting is like a giant treasure hunt and the more time you spend looking thoroughly, the better pieces you’re going to find!
Look Through Every Section
As I mentioned above, always take time to look through every rack because if you skip through you might miss something you would have loved! Not to mention, if you’re a lady, look through the men’s section and guys, you never know what you’re going to find in the women’s section! Separating by gender is overrated. I’ve found some great sweaters, flannels, and more in the men’s section. Don’t forget to check the children’s section too! Some of my favorite thrifting pieces have come from the children’s section. And because children grow out of things so quickly, a lot of the clothes in that section have barely been worn, still have the tags on, or are in really good condition.
If You are Indecisive, Just Try It On/Buy It
There’s been many times where I see an item of clothing on the rack and I can’t tell if I like it or hate it. When it comes down to that, just try it on! It’s never a waste of time to see if something works for you or not. Try to style it with other pieces in the store to see how you might use it if you bought it. And if you’re really struggling on whether or not to get it, just get it! Odds are whatever you found is pretty cheap and you can always donate it again if you don’t want it. Otherwise you’re going to kick yourself for not grabbing it when someone else does!
Keep an Eye Out For Discounts/Sales
Many thrift stores have days of the week where certain clothes are discounted 50% off or more. Before you shop, check the store’s website for details so you can get the best deals for your shopping trip. Another thrift store benefit is many stores give student discounts if you show your ID at the register. If you’re in high school/undergrad/grad school, use that to your advantage! You could get up to 20% off on your purchase!
Size Doesn’t Matter
When I shop (especially in thrifting), I disregard size. Sizing only matters depending on the way you want to style what interests you. I’ve used shirts that were way too small for me as crop tops or overbearing sweaters as dresses! It all depends on how you look at it.
Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover
I’ve been to many a thrift store where the outside looks grungy or the inside has unflattering florescent lighting, dirty floors, and clothes scattered everywhere. Don’t let the store fool ya! It’s usually places that haven’t been combed over by high end consignment shops that have the hidden gems. For example, at the grungy thrift store by my house I ended up finding a brand new $60 Topshop shirt with the tag still on for $6!
Make an Inspiration Board
Thrifting makes it easy to spend money on clothing that you never end up wearing. To make sure you have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, make a mood board or inspiration board from pictures on Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram. That way you can have a vision in mind and find potential in pieces that you would usually overlook.
These are my tips for finding the best pieces in thrift stores! Good luck on your next thrifting adventure, may you find the best bargains! xo, Brynne