Go-To Guide for Thrift Shopping for Clothing

Updated on December 1, 2018
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Learn how to shop in thrift and consignment stores. Easy tips and tricks to follow.

I LOVE clothes. Like far too much (if my closet could speak, it would tell you it's full). As much as I love buying a brand-new outfit, nothing quite beats buying a cute outfit for half the price. I absolutely adore thrift shops, second-hand shops, and consignment stores. Nothing quite like waking up early on Saturday morning to hit up all the local stores and see the fresh goods they put out on the racks. You can find the best things at thrift stores. Honest truth. However, thrift shopping isn't for the faint of heart. I'll be the first person to tell you that thrift and consignment shopping takes some skill and patience. That is why I am here to be your friend and give you some tips and tricks for navigating the world of thrifting!

  1. Evaluate You. What does that mean, you ask? I mean you need to evaluate your style, your current wardrobe, and what styles inspire you. This step can come with its challenges. Before you start shopping, you need to look at what you have already and what you think you might need. Knowing what you need will ease the feeling of being overwhelmed when you hit the racks. Know your personal style, because style is all about what you feel good wearing. Don't get caught up in labels and brands. Think about what you like wearing and what you think you pull off well. Now, this next statement might contradict what I just said. Think about the style and fashion that aren't you or you always consider trying but too afraid to. Yes, you want to be you, but the fun about thrifting is you can really expand yourself and your style.
  2. Discipline. Remember everything I just told you before. Do you remember? Make sure you keep all of what you evaluated in the back of your mind when going out shopping. When you finally decide to go out and look, it is so much easier when you have a picture in mind. When you have a set vision, idea, end goal, or look that you want to achieve, it can take out a lot of the pressure. You don't want to get off the rail and start looking at prom shoes and dresses when you really wanted to look for 90's vintage mom jeans. It helps to keep discipline when navigating the aisles of thrift shops.
  3. Be Picky. This is so crucial. When you pull something off the rack really give it that up and down. Pay attention to every detail of it. Is the material good? Are there any stains? Does it look too worn? Is it something you could potentially fix up or make into something new? Don't necessarily look at the brand or label. Although, if you get your favorite brand then that is brownie points to you. Keep your mind open, but don't go crazy and start pulling everything off the rack. If you think it is worth picking up, then follow the next step below.
  4. TRY IT ON! I'll say it again for the people in the back... TRY IT ON! Ladies and gentlemen, I can't stress this enough. I will be honest here. I hate trying on clothes. I hate putting piece after piece on. It gets tiring and frustrating sometimes. However, you can't just purchase the things you found without trying them on. Trying things on is worth the time and hassle. This is the time that you get to picture yourself actually wearing this and keeping it in your wardrobe. You might pick up on some flaws that you didn't catch when you were initially examining the item. You need to be completely honest with yourself during this stage. If you feel even the slightest bit iffy about the piece, then put it back. You need to feel confident and comfortable in it.

Thrift shopping can be so much fun. It takes a little bit of time, patience and practice. In the end, it is rewarding and you can really find the best things. Take the time to really find yourself when you are thrift shopping. Happy shopping!

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