Thrifting is obviously a great way to find unique and affordable clothing, home goods, and more. But it can also be a bit of a drag and even a chore for some. Here are 10 tips to help you thrift like a pro and maybe change your perspective that thrifting can be FUN:
Learn to love the dig. Thrift stores are not organized like department stores. You'll have to dig through racks and bins to find what you're looking for. I've read in an article study that psychologically, we believe we're getting a better deal if we find hidden gems within the chaotic messes, too organized would throw us off. Quoted from the study: “We found that when displays are messy and the seller has high inventory knowledge, hidden treasure perceptions increase." So the moral of the story is, embrace the chaos!
Don't forget to bring donations. If you're headed to Value Village, they have a donation bin in the front, if you toss a few items in they give you 20% off your purchase. It's a guaranteed coupon every time! I keep a big bag full in my trunk and each time I go in, I pull a few items from it, that way I always have it on hand.
Be patient. It may take some time to find the perfect items. Don't get discouraged if you don't find anything right away. I usually loop the store twice, the first one is almost a warm-up, lol.
Be open-minded. I always joke that I like "pretty ugly" clothes. Perhaps something you find is a fabric you like, but maybe not the length. Shortening it or altering in some way might make it your new favorite piece! If it's weird and odd but you gravitate towards it, that's your sign. Wear what makes YOU happy.
Hit up the small charity shops. Those little charity shops you see tucked away in random places might have less inventory but tend to have some hidden gems. I find a lot of vintage designer pieces at these spots! The ones I find are usually church organizations and talking to those sweet little old ladies is always so wholesome.
Check the condition of the item. Make sure the item is in good condition before you buy it. Look for rips, stains, shotty zippers, and other damage. There's nothing worse than getting home and realizing you've got something unwearable.
Wash the item before you wear it. Even if the item looks clean, it's a good idea to wash it before you wear it. This will help to remove any unwanted smells or bacteria. The only time I haven't done this is when I've been traveling and had no choice, otherwise, toss it in with some good detergent, you don't really know where it's been.
Don't be afraid to customize the item. I briefly mentioned this above but, if you don't completely love the way the item looks but see potential, you can always customize it. This could involve an upcycle like dying the fabric an entirely different color or changing the buttons. If it has potential give it a chance!
9. Be proud of your thrifted finds. There's no shame in thrifting. In fact, it's a great way to save money and be environmentally friendly. Be proud of your thrifted finds and show them off, and if anything you can show them to me and I will compliment your haul. I'm a big fan of thrifting and love seeing what other people get.
10. Have fun! Thrifting is my therapy. It's a great excuse to dress up a bit in that wild outfit you've always wanted to wear, grab a coffee, and just shut out the world while you peruse the aisles. It's a great way to find unique and affordable items. So relax, have fun, and don't be afraid to grab the pretty ugly pieces!
Here are some additional tips that may help you on your thrifting journey:
Go to thrift stores in different neighborhoods. You'll be surprised at the variety of items you can find.
Look for thrift stores that have a good selection of vintage items. You can find some really unique pieces at these stores so be sure to hit up local small thrift stores for those special items.
Don't be afraid to buy things that are a little bit out of your comfort zone. You may end up loving them.
Be creative with your styling. You can turn thrifted items into unique and stylish outfits that are completely one of a kind. I mean...do we all want to look like a walking brand ad? I love to find the balance between new and old in each outfit. Bonus if it's head-to-toe thrift like the one I'm wearing in this post.
Have fun with it! Thrifting is a great way to express your personal style and save money at the same time.
Link to shop my outfit is above and since my outfit is thrifted, it's similar pieces to recreate the look. Hope that's useful!
Here's my latest Vlog with a little thrift haul included!