How inconvenient is it to talk about fabulous thrift finds without actually disclosing the tricks of the trade. The secret to earning the loosely used, but highly bragged about title of “Thrift Queen” without actually having solid methods to back up such a claim?- Well, this is it. Here my love of unique finds and low price tags becomes compiled into a simple column of advice, because without some strategy for attacking the racks in your local thrift store of choice, you may become- gasp, overwhelmed.
The overwhelming feeling of paging briskly and without purpose through the various hangers of used goods defeats morale. Thrift soldiers need to follow some guidelines to achieve success. For example, if you give a small toddler a piece of cake without first placing a bib around his little neck, what happens? Well obviously the job gets done, but the mess resulting could have been avoided if you just keep to the routine. How does this relate to thrifting, to be honest I was just going for it with the example there, but it does relate. Thrifting without a plan can be a messy situation. So, here is how you escape the battle unscathed.
1. Research/draw inspiration from current fashion.
-More often than not, I cannot afford to purchase a 700 leather jacket or 80 dollar urban renewal denim jacket. But, it helps to see what is being offered and makes it like a scavenger hunt to find look-alike items or “dupes”. This is also handy when you need to justify purchasing a particularly weird item. If the designers say fuzzy pink sweaters are in, I like it, and it’s inexpensive; then consider it sold.
2. Make a list of needed pieces
– it can be as simple as making a note on your phone.
3. Go frequently!
4. Know the layout of the store.
5. Know when the store gets new items and what is being put out on the floor during different days.
6. Try things on!
7. Disregard sizes, look at how big or small it is. All brands are different and can change over time.
8. Be open to impulse buys!
9. Look for the potential in items.
– acid washing, resizing, making accessories, so many potential options to transform something and make it even more one of a kind!
10. Inspect the clothing carefully! Don’t bother with heavily stained or ripped garments.
11. Only get something you really love or that is too cool to pass up on!
12. Be honest:
-ask yourself if you can see yourself wearing something often
-decide if you really would put the time into fixing/hemming/altering something.
13. Be willing to devote time to finding the good stuff. Patience is key!
14. Brand name/designer items:
-Sometimes, something really spectacular is nestled among the racks. I have come across Vera Wang and Christian Dior among others. As cool as the orange, high-waisted Christian Dior pants were. They weren’t even close to my size. In this situation, you have two options. Buy it and resell it. Or, spend money on things you want and that will fit! It really all depends.
15. Leaving empty handed is okay!
–Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything worth while. Sometimes, the stock is not what you want or need at the time. It’s okay. The great thing about thrift stores is they are constantly rotating in new products.