I hope by now I have convinced you of the many benefits of thrift shopping. Not only can you score great pieces for low prices, but you’re also doing your part in helping your community by decreasing your environmental footprint. But where or how do you start? Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of thrift shopping.
Bring a friend along – it’s always good to have a second opinion, and who doesn’t like shopping with friends?
Try things on – sizes are different for every brand and therefore, what the tag says on the shirt may not be very accurate. Don’t be afraid to try things on because if you don’t, you might buy something that just looks good on the hanger, but not on you.
Wear a simple outfit that is easy to take on and off – in order to be able to easily try things on, make sure you go thrift shopping in a simple and comfortable outfit that won’t be too annoying to take on and off. That means no tight shirts or lace-up shoes. Also, stick to wearing separates instead of one pieces, that way when you try things on, you can see if they go with the clothes that you already own and know fit you, instead of having to go find some bottoms that you don’t really like just so you can try it on with the top that caught your eye.
If you won’t wear it, don’t buy it – sometimes we may get carried away by the cheap prices that thrift stores offer, however, you’re not saving money if you buy a shirt for $5 if it will just end up sitting in your closet.
Don’t be fooled by designer labels – don’t get carried away by a fancy label. Buy something because you like it. Yes, you may be lucky and find some designer clothing at extremely discounted prices at thrift stores, however, like the previous tip, don’t buy it if you won’t wear it.
Examine each item thoroughly – although you may already do this even when shopping at a department store, but it’s extremely important to check if there are any faults with the shirt before you buy it from a thrift store because unlike most department stores, you can’t exchange once you’ve bought it!
Be creative – found a pair of good quality jeans but you’re not entirely happy about the design? Get a little creative and change the design yourself by transforming them into a cute pair of shorts!
It doesn’t have to be perfect – If you find something amazing but it just happens to be the wrong size or missing a button or two, buy it and have it altered! However, just make sure you know what can or cannot be fixed. Some easy fixes would be basic tailoring like bringing up the hem, shortening sleeves or bringing in the waist. Medium fixes would be replacing buttons, zippers and other hardware or fixing rips in the fabric. Hard fixes would include mending damaged embellishments or tailoring heavily structured pieces like blazers. Some impossible fixes would be making something bigger that is too tight and repairing broken leather or fur.
Think layers – you can create some pretty awesome outfits by layering. You may find a shirt that has a great collar for layering underneath a sweater, but has a stain on the sleeve. If the stain doesn’t come off in the wash you could still wear by covering the stains through layering!
Wash your clothes – whatever you buy from the thrift store, make sure you put it in the wash immediately when you get home.
Check washing instructions – don’t pay $5 for a silk blouse if you are never going to dry-clean it.
Take your time and have fun – thrift stores are not usually as organised as department stores, so don’t be afraid to rummage through piles to find the right piece of clothing! Thrifting can also be loads of fun, especially with friends! And it’s also a great way to kill an afternoon on a weekend.