This blog was created to try to organize my pop culture opinions, but mostly it gives me an outlet to write. And I know there have probably been thousands of posts about ‘how to thrift shop’, but I was in Goodwill this past weekend (plus job interviewed at Crossroads last week) and thinking about my strategies when thrifting.
Have an idea about what you want (know your style).
This is my personal number one. Thrift stores, especially the ones the size of a warehouse, can be overwhelming. It’s too much all at once, so don’t feel obligated to take it all in. Know what you want or you’ll probably come out feeling empty handed and dejected (it’s a lot to pick through!). You can always branch out after if you’re still up to the challenge.
For most people, thrift shopping isn’t the easiest way to nail down their own style, so figure out what you like; window shop at stores and blogs and see what trends and classics you are drawn toward, pay attention to similarities of passersbys whose style you covet, mix and match.
And since fashion trends are circular, thrift stores are good places to get trends cheaper. Right now they’re good places to find overalls, crop tops, and denim blouses, among other 90’s trends making a comeback. A few years ago when I was scouting for rompers, I found my favorites on the cheaper side at thrift stores.
Personally, I have the best luck with items like pencil skirts, blouses (sleeveless and long sleeved), sweaters, and shoes! Sweaters are tricky because they can show their age easily (see check for damage). You can also find some great colors and printed items.
(I’ve also noticed Target dumps items to my local Goodwill, but often you can find them at better deals in Target clearance.)
Play hard and fast with sizing.
Since women’s sizing is so damn unpredictable, and only gets more complicated when shopping within different eras and fits, try to branch out of the sizing concept.
Don’t be afraid to say no, even if it’s only $2.
Items can add up quickly (for your wallet and closet space), so don’t just buy something because it might work all the time. Be as discerning as if you were shopping at a department store (okay, maybe a little less).
Check for damage!
I’m guilty of not double checking items as well as I should. You never know what wear and tear that affect the longevity of a piece.
With stores like Target, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, plus curated local vintage shops and secondhand stores like Crossroads and Buffalo Exchange selling fashionable items at lower price points, it’s not really necessary to go into the second hand bins for a good deal, but for me, it’s a fun adventure and a feel-good accomplishment. Most of these shops (Goodwill, Salvation Army, and your local church thrift shop) are non-profits, investing profits into programs servicing the less fortunate.