Thrifting can initially look extremely overwhelming. You’re in a room with hundreds of stacks of clothing everywhere, there are people all around you trying to find the same things as you, and the only sound you hear is the plastic hangers moving back and forth. But, it’s not all bad! In fact, those satisfying moments when you find exactly what you were looking for or are taken by surprise are so much fun.
I recently made a thrifting trip with my friend (masks and gloves were involved, please take safety measures before going out!) and it truly was the best thrifting experience we both ever had. I typically bring one tote bag for both of our clothes, but this time we filled that up entirely, plus three other plastic bags (these will be reused). So in today’s blog post, I’m going to be sharing with all of you some of my tips and tricks for making your thrifting experiences worthwhile. All pictures in this post are items that I purchased in this thrifting trip. Hopefully, after reading this post, you’ll be able to thrift in a much quicker and easier way. Remember, thrifting is all about patience and sometimes, just pure luck.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Have a List of What You’re Looking for
While this isn’t necessary, having a list of things you want to get is going to make your thrifting experience quicker and easier. If you’re specifically looking for denim jeans, go straight to the denim section. If you want some skirts, go to the skirt section! This may seem like very basic advice, but this allows you to head directly for the clothes you want, rather than look at other clothes first and possibly have someone take an item you were looking for. Always check the sections on your list first. The others can be looked at after.
My list for this thrifting trip:
- Sweaters & Jackets
- A white tennis skirt
- Colorful and/or unique tops
2. Raid the Men’s Section for Oversized Shirts and Sweaters
I swear there is something that makes guy’s sweaters so much more comfortable. Make a run for the men’s section if you want oversized graphic tees, sweaters, and are in love with collared shirts. If you know how to sew, you can always alter the length of the shirts if they are too long. Or, sometimes they will happen to fit perfectly as a t-shirt dress or just something extra casual to wear around the house.
This super cute sweater is a men’s large but it fits so comfortably. It’s made of wool but isn’t too itchy and I absolutely love the V-neck, ribbed detail.
3. Be Open to Trying Different Sizes
It’s crazy how sizes work completely different in thrift stores. I have shirts from XXS to L that fit me perfectly. So don’t be dissappointed if a shirt won’t seem to fit you at first glance. It’s also possible that the employees can make mistakes by labeling the sizes or putting them in the wrong sections. Since trying on clothes is no option right now due to the virus, if in doubt, put the clothes up to your shoulders and estimate how it would fit!
The top on the left is originally from Forever 21 but I love how it gives off a Reformation or Brandy Melville vibe. This top was labeled as a medium, but when I tried it on at home it fit me perfectly.
I was contemplating buying the top in the middle because it looked quite weird on the hanger. There was no size to it and the sleeves looked like they would constantly slip off. But I loved the color so much that I decided to give it a shot and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s really the perfect summer/spring top and the color is stunning.
I purchased the Express top on the right because I really loved the sleeves and how it had corset-like details to make the top look more fitting (these details can’t be really seen due to the color of the shirt.) When I looked at the size it was an XXS which is typically way too small for me. But, it was stretchy enough to fit me like a small.
4. Going with Friends Makes a Difference
Not only does it make the experience more fun, but it allows you to have another pair of eyes to search for items. You can both make of fun of wacky shirts, as well as point out items that the other may not have seen. My friend pointed out this amazing Levi’s bomber jacket that I am absolutely in love with. It originally retails for around $150 and I purchased it for $14. She also convinced me to purchase this BTS world tour jacket. Though I have come to realize it is not official BigHit merch, it is still very comfortable and made of thick materials. Vice versa, I recommend a sweater that she didn’t originally see and it ended up being one of her favorites. You just never know what you missed out on if you were by yourself!
Some other thrifting tips:
- If you are uncomfortable with going thrifting due to the virus, online thrift stores such as Thred Up and Depop are great alternatives. These are often a bit more expensive, as people will often do the thrifting for you. HOWEVER, please be wary of scams on Depop. Many people will claim an item is “rare” or “vintage” for the sole purpose of drastically increasing the price.
- Have patience and go multiple times a week. I prefer to thrift on weekday mornings or early afternoon to avoid the crowds.
- Know when the restocks occur. Many thrift stores slowly restock as the days go on, but you can always send a quick email to your local store and they should be open about restock times.
Well that’s it for today’s blog post. I hoped you all enjoyed and if you are interested, I can make more content like this. I think thrifting is truly a great way to find sustainable clothing without spending hundreds of dollars on a single top. I urge you all to give thrifting a try, you never know what you can find. Love you all and stay safe!