How to thrift like a pro


Or: How to be a Thrifty Thrifter

Can I even be considered a pro? Who decides when somebody is a pro? Can you deem yourself a pro? Oh well.

Thrifting is one of my favorite pastimes, and I’ve come to enjoy finding me some great wardrobe pieces or household items for a couple of bucks. Aaaand it’s great for the environment! Thrifting is a form of recycling. Think about it: Buying that white button-up at Goodwill means one less new one has to be produced. Clothing production is costly to the environment. If you’re interested in reading more, here’s a good article that breaks it down.

So many of my friends tell me they try to go thrifting but either a.) can’t find anything or b.) don’t even know where to start. Here are some tips to help you get started!

+Go prepared

What on earth do you mean ‘go prepared’?! Isn’t this just a big room full of used things?! Yes, yes–no need to get your panties in a wad. But it always helps to do a few things when you go thrifting. First off, never go when you’re on a time crunch. Thrift stores are far too large and overwhelming for people who only go with a certain amount of time on their hands.

Second, wear the right clothes! When trying things on, it helps to be wearing something that’s easy to slip on and off. I usually wear a basic tee, jeans and sneakers or boots. This also helps you visualize what a piece of clothing would look like when mixed in with your daily wardrobe.

+Don’t stick to only one size

Thrift stores are generally, well…how do I put it nicely? A mess. A big huge mess. Clothes get put back in the wrong place, in the wrong size. It’s always worth it to check every size. This is especially important in thrift shops because things tend to shrink over time.

+Try everything on!

And I mean everything. Just because that brown pullover sweater looks perfect on the hanger doesn’t mean it’ll look perfect on you. In fact, it may even make you look like a frumpy hobo from the 90’s…not that I’m speaking from experience.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about thrifting, it’s that things will always, always always look different on you than on the hanger!

+Don’t only look in one section

This is why it’s so important to go when you’ve got a lot of time on your hands. Thrift stores are full of hidden gems. So if you set your mind on only one type of item, you may miss the perfect sweatshirt, or cookbook you’ve been eyeing, or even pair of trendy heels that you couldn’t convince yourself to buy brand new since they’ll likely be out of style come next year. Obviously you shouldn’t just go when you’re looking for nothing in particular, because then you’ll find everything. And next thing you know you’ll have a kitchen cupboard full of hand-wash-only mugs that you’re too lazy to clean. I have a few places I hit up every time I go thrifting.

+Those ‘can’t-miss’ sections

Let’s talk about some of my favorite sections in thrift stores.

  • Of course you’ve got to stop by the shoes. You just never know when you’ll find that pair of Doc Martens you’ve been wanting since you were 6 (you 90’s child, you).
  • The bookshelves always have some of the best reads! And they’re cheaper than Amazon. I’ve found a few favorite cookbooks in the book section myself.
  • Purses. You can never, ever have too many purses. Jk, you absolutely can. And I do. But I’ve found some of the cutest lil vintage purses in the bag section at my local Goodwill stores. I once found a beautiful, like-new Coach bag! Like I said, hidden treasure.

Those are my Goodwill shopper’s tips. I’d love to hear some of yours. Feel free to comment down below!



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