I’ve been thrifting long before Macklemore brought the cool factor to your grandpa’s clothes. What came out of necessity has turned into a passion and maybe somewhat of a hobby. Why spend outrageous amounts of money for stylish clothes when I can get them on the cheap gently used?
Thrifting Success; 9 articles of clothing for $40
It’s easy to mix in more expensive, investment pieces with my trendy or fun finds from my local thrift store. For the necessary, but not expensive (i.e. t-shirts, leggings, tights, etc.) items I pick them up from a discount store like Marshall’s or Ross, or grab them on sale from Target or Forever21.
The constant refrain repeated by friends when we talk about thrifting is, ‘I just don’t know how you always find great things’. I find things, because I look. If you never set foot in a thrift shop, you’ll never know the potential. Once you do step in, here are 5 tips to make it worth your while.
1) Know what types of things you need (Be prepared) I have a mental list of things I need. As the weather perks up, I want more summer dresses. Pants are something I always can use more off. If you’re someone who loves a good button up–start there. Shop for the types of pieces you like to wear. Don’t buy a skirt if you hate skirts. You’ll never wear it. (And then you can skip the skirt aisle.)
2) Know your colors (what looks good on you) Blues are easy for me, which is why my closet is full of thrifted blue pieces. I had to put a moratorium on black, and now I might even have to do the same for blue. Don’t buy that neon jacket, if you never wear neon. If you’re looking to add new colors outside your palette, start with accessories. By knowing my colors I can easily visually bi-pass the items that aren’t in my wheel house.
3) Know your schedule (what events will you want something special to wear) I have an auction to attend later this month, and the theme is sparkle. You can bet each trip I’m on the lookout for something shiny. Do you have an upcoming wedding, or big birthday bash? Save yourself the tears and frustration the week of the event and plan ahead. BUT don’t buy for that event you may never have. If you don’t need a formal dress, move on.
4) If possible skip the weekend. (busy, crowded and often picked over) Try to find a day that works during the week. Even better if you can go during the day. I’ll sacrifice a lunch for a run to the thrift store. If your local store changes their sale during the week, trying going then. The sale items won’t be picked over. If you must go on the weekend, go in the morning, or when there is a big event. (Football season means Sunday afternoons are often a perfect and uncrowded time.)
5) Join the loyalty program. (you’ll get special discounts and know when the sales are coming) One of my favorite stores gives loyalty members access to discounts a day ahead. I get to skip the craziness and still snag a deal. Loyalty memberships give you a chance to talk more with the staff–do so. They know everything, and will share when that store restocks.
Thrifting is about patience. Know your brands, what types of clothes make you feel good and all of this will be easy. Thrifting can be fun and I’m sure you’ll think so after you bring home your first ‘find’.
Already a thrifter? What has helped you along your way?