I post about thrift shopping often and people always ask me how I do it! I figured it was time to share a few tips on thrifting and it turns out The Salvation Army Thrift Store is having a $2 sale this Friday so you can put these to the test!
- HAVE A PLAN | It can be overwhelming walking into a thrift store if you don’t know what you want. If you are new to thrift shopping I think having a plan is key! It will help you focus and hunt for items easily. Even if you don’t know the style of shirt you want, having colour inspiration or style of clothing can simplify shopping. I love the Salvation Army Thrift Store because all of their clothing are organized by colour!
- LET THE SIZE GO | When looking for clothing don’t limit yourself to one size, branch out! You would be amazed how many times I find clothing that fits great in a different section. You have to remember some of this clothing is vintage or may be an odd size or sometimes people move the clothing around so it ends up in the wrong section. Take a chance on a different size, you might be surprised!
- TRY IT ALL ON | Unlike a department store where you look in your size and pick out one or two items, the thrift store is a numbers game. Every piece of clothing you are attracted to or really like the style, take it with you. I usually go into the changing room with an arm load of clothing, it guarantees I am going to come out with a few items.
- LOOK AT THE TAG | When I am thrifting I always feel the material and check the tags. You might see a great shirt, look at the label and think it’s cheap, but when you check the material tag it’s actually silk. Also checking the brand is always a great idea since you can find quality items for a lot less. I recently found a pair of Free People faux leather pants for $4 at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store. Looking at the pants I might have passed them up, but when I checked the tag I was thrilled!
- EVERY PURCHASE IS A WIN | If you walk into a thrift store with a plan, try on a handful of clothes and only walk out with 2 pieces, you’re doing really great. Thrifting is a process. Maybe you have your summer clothing dream list, it might take you four trips to the thrift store to find everything you want, but that’s part of the fun! At the end when you have refreshed your wardrobe, it’ll feel like a win!
I also wanted to add some tips on what not to do when thrift shopping.
- DON’T GO SHOPPING ON A WHIM | I think where thrift shopping can get frustrating is when you walk away empty handed. This happens most often for me when I stop in and think I can magically find something amazing. The thing is, I don’t know what I am looking for or what I really want, I am simply hoping to find something.
- DON’T BUY ITEMS THAT DON’T FIT | I think this is an easy trap to fall into, I am definitely guilty of it! You find an amazing designer top, it’s beautiful, you want it, but it’s two sizes too big. You reason with yourself by saying oh I can tuck it in or wear a belt or maybe alter it, they never work! It’s best to walk away, if not that piece of clothing will most likely end up back at the thrift store.
- DON’T BUY SOMETHING JUST TO BUY SOMETHING | Sometimes I walk into the thrift store with a plan, knowing exactly what I want, I try on an armful of clothing, but nothing works. Maybe it doesn’t fit or the colour isn’t right or it’s too big. It’s really easy to buy a piece of clothing that kind of works, saying to yourself, it’s only $4. The thing is, those $4 purchases add up. They also sit in your closet and can sometimes make you feel like you have nothing to wear. Best to leave empty handed than make a purchase you’ll regret.
Here are some pieces I found last year when I was refreshing my summer wardrobe. My plan was to add colour into my summer wardrobe and retire some of my old beat up shirts!