My Personal Guide to Thrifting
1. Take Your TimeThrift Stores are a bit overwhelming to those that are new to this arena. They aren’t as clean as your typical department stores, the lighting isn’t as bright, and isn’t as organized as most stores that you’ve shopped at. When you walk into the store, glance around the store to see where everything is. Prepare yourself to be looking through a lot of items.
2. Open-Minded Obviously, the thrift store is filled with stuff from your mother’s era, grandmother’s era, and even your great grandmother’s era. But they even have plenty of items that are current and even brand new. When looking through clothes, DO NOT look for name brands. Who cares?! Look at the article of clothing as a piece of art. Can you fit it into your style? Are you bold enough to wear it? Usually the pieces that I buy, no one would wear it, but many women love the idea that I actually would wear it. A lot of men and women are even surprised at how well my “strange” items look when I put them together in an outfit.
Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Katy Perry have really opened doors for people to express themselves through fashion. Don’t worry about what another person has to say about what you wear. Ignore the stares and snares. More than likely, you’ll get more compliments than negative remarks about your style. Trust me. I do!
3. Be Creative When you see something that you like, but it may have too much pizazz or maybe not have enough, try to imagine recreating it. Jean jackets for instance; you can add fabric, cut off the sleeves, or add some studs. Another example is pants; cut them and make your own distressed shorts. Add some studs and they’ll look like you bought them for much more than what you really paid for them. If a pair of pants or a skirt is too long, get them hemmed. Basically, get creative and make the item more interesting. You’ll have fun doing it and trust me, people will ask where you got it from or how did you do that?
4. Stay Away from Heavily Stained Items Although there may be stains on some items that you find, take a look at it closely. Can the stain be removed? Stains are gross anyway, but if you really like the item, invest in a great stain remover (my favorite is Resolve) and try to remove it that way. You can maybe dye the item an entirely different color to mask the stain. If all of this is too much for you, stay away from it.
5. Don’t Always Shop Your Size Like I said previously, the thrift store is filled with items that are from all different eras. The sizes from 20 years ago are not the same as they are today. For example, a size 14 back then is about a size 8 today. A size 12 back then is a size 6 today. If you are unsure of how things will fit on you, try it on. Although you may be used to doing it, DO NOT look at the number inside the article of clothing. That number isn’t always right.
6. Look for the CLEARANCE I know what you’re saying in your head,“What!? The thrift store has a clearance section?” The answer is YES! Ask the cashier where it is and head on over for your biggest savings. You never know what they may have in that section. There may be some hidden gems, so don't forget to take a gander.
7. MUST SEE in Thrift Stores If the thrift store is a new environment for you, and you have no clue what to look for when you go into one, here are a few of my “must see” areas in every thrift store. You are sure to find something if you visit these areas: