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Ten Tips for Thrifting Newbs

What is thrifting, you may ask? Well, let me be the first to tell you that thrifting is the unique art of shopping at a thrift store. While this task can be fun and extremely rewarding, it can also be quite the challenge, so here are ten tips for the beginning thrifter.

  1. Forget about the organization: Anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a thrift store knows that there is no rhyme or reason to the shelves. Sometimes it’s the most random thing that has the most value. 
  2. Be prepared to dig: Thrift stores are packed full of stuff, and sometimes the best things get shoved to the bottom of a bin or moved to a completely different section. If you’re looking for a quick trip, thrifting may not be for you. It may seem silly to spend the time looking at each individual item, but it’s easier than you think to miss some cool items.
  3. Don’t even think about sizing: Thrift stores carry a large array of brands (old and new), each with their own sizing guides, so don’t be afraid to look outside your usual number. We all know sizing guides are some sexist bullshit anyway.
  4. Come with a gameplan: If you’re anything like me, you know it’s way too easy to get distracted. That’s why it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Make a shopping list if you have to, but coming prepared will save you money. Take it from someone with experience, it is surprisingly easy to spend all your money at a thrift store, two-dollar price tags add up very quickly, ladies and gents.
  5. Be realistic: If you just love the color on that dress, but it has a weird stain that looks a little too much like pee, maybe don’t buy it. There’s nothing worse than accumulating a bunch of stuff you don’t have a use for. I know it’s only ninety-nine cents, but you don’t need it. Now say it with me, I-DON’T-NEED-IT.
  6. Keep your expectations low: Yes, while there are many thrift treasures, they can be few and far between. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and walk out empty-handed. It happens. On another note, don’t be the person who walks into a Goodwill expecting to find the latest Gucci collection. When you have low expectations, you open up your mind to less expensive, but equally great finds. 
  7. Check out all the stores: If you didn’t find anything at your local Salvation Army, try another (*cough cough*) less homophobic thrift store. Make a day of it, plan a thrifting roadmap of all the stores you want to visit that weekend. Honestly, it’s a win-win situation here, you get out of the house, AND you get to shop some wild stuff without contributing to the capitalist agenda! And it’s even an eco-friendly method.
  8. Don’t be afraid of DIY: Projects are fun! Most of what you buy will need a little bit of patching up, anyway. There are tons of resources on the internet that will show you the basics of sewing for free. Investing a little time and energy into your clothes will be well worth it in the long run. Now go “borrow” your grandma’s sewing kit and stitch up that hole.
  9. Try things on: You never know how things are going to fit, so I highly recommend spending some time in the fitting room. I know they may be a bit nasty (where does that weird dust even come from?), but you would much rather brave the dressing room than buy something that doesn’t even fit.
  10. Embrace the weird shit: Thrift stores are full of some really weird stuff. Have fun with it. The whole point of thrifting is to experiment with new styles at a low cost. If you love something, go for it! Now go thrift your hearts out my lovelies.

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