I did a little poll on Twitter not too long ago and most of you said you’d like to see a post sharing some of my tips for shopping at the thrift store, so here it is!
Honestly, I’m a huge fan of thrift store shopping because I love a good deal. I’ve found so many awesome things at the thrift store, most recently a brand new faux fur vest, one that usually goes for $40+, for less than $10!
Shopping at the thrift shop can seem really overwhelming though, I mean you’re literally searching through thousands of second-hand items, of course it’s going to be hard to find what’s worth it and what’s not. Hopefully, with a few of my tips, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for!
Put aside some time to hunt
You will most likely never, except those few lucky times, find exactly what you want or exactly what you’re looking for as soon as you step into the thrift store. Although usually organized by type of clothing, (long sleeved tops, jeans, vests, etc.), thrift stores are not organized by size, brand, or color. That means you’ll have to search through hundreds of items that aren’t your size before finding some that are, which means thrift shopping takes lots of time.
If you’re looking for something specific or you’re trying to find amazing deals on vintage or designer items, (which you can often find at the thrift store), make sure you set aside plenty of time to hunt. I usually head to the thrift store on weekends, days where I don’t have work or anywhere else to be, that way if I need to spend a couple of hours there, I can do so worry-free.
Classic, timeless pieces
The thrift store is a great place to find timeless pieces such as; basic sweaters, sweatshirts, plain t-shirts, and jeans. These pieces are pretty much always in style. I recently picked up a few basic cardigans, (one being designer), last time I was there. The thrift store is not always the best place to go if you’re looking for something trendy, since styles and trends constantly change you’re more likely to find trendy clothing from the early 2000s then what might be trendy now.
However, you may get lucky and find pieces that are in style now. The thrift shop is pretty much always going to be a mystery before you walk inside.
Search for items in neutral colors
Whenever I shop at the thrift shop, I try to only buy items in neutral colors. Just like with style trends, color trends change too. A few years ago everyone was wearing bold, neon colors and now more muted colors are in style such as; blush, mauve, and sage. Thrift stores tend to usually sell older items, and if you buy older items in neutral colors you’ll be able to wear them whenever, no need to worry about something being in style or not because neutrals are always in! Just think black, white, grey, brown, beige, cream, and any other neutral you can think of.
That being said, don’t expect to find exactly what you’re looking for
It’s easy to think that the thrift store will have that random extra piece you need for a costume or any other specific article of clothing that you may need seeing that they usually have hundreds of items, but never go into a thrift store expecting to find exactly what you’re looking for, always have a back up plan.
Another thing to take into consideration is if you find something that you like, but you’re not sure if you should buy it or not, don’t decide to wait and come back. Once it’s gone at the thrift store, it’s gone. You’ve gotta make the decision right away.
But the thrift shop can be the perfect place for specific items
I know I said that you may not always find exactly what you’re looking for at the thrift shop but the thrift shop could also be the best place to search for a specific item. If you’re looking for something to add to a Halloween costume, a vintage item for a photo shoot, or maybe even a dress for a play, the thrift store might be the best place to look. You’ll get a great deal on something you’ll probably only be wearing once.
It might feel like if you find something at the thrift store you need to snatch it up immediately, but it’s so important to check everything before you buy it. Even though most items at the thrift store are cheap, it still sucks to buy a shirt for $4 only to come home and see it has a hole in it or stains that won’t come out.
Check for rips, tears, stains. Make sure to check every inch of the item, and definitely make sure you check the seams so you don’t end up with a shirt that rips after the first time you wear it.
Remember that clothing may be stretched out
Most items at the thrift store have been worn before and you never know how often it’s been worn. Just because you find something in your size doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to fit you. You may find a shirt in your size that’s been stretched out from washing and wearing. Take a good look at everything before buying that way you don’t end up buying something that won’t fit.
Wash everything before wearing
Most thrift stores only accept clothing items that are clean but most don’t wash items before selling them. Thrift shopping isn’t dirty or disgusting though, however, you should still make sure you wash everything before you wear it.
Those are my go-to tips for shopping at the thrift shop! Are you a fan of thrift shopping? If so, what’s the best thing you’ve ever found? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!