Before I get into my tips and tricks, I wanted to talk about why I thrift as well. Not only is it a way to find unique pieces others don’t have, but it is a way to recycle and stop the constant spread of landfills from the fashion industry that comes and goes with cheap clothing to fit the trends every couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion and department stores as much as the next fashion lover, but I like to mainly thrift so I can feel confident with my purchases and know that most of my money is going to a good cause typically at thrift stores- the ones I tend to thrift at are a non-profit organization and help the homeless and abused, or others to find jobs. I think it’s important to realize what goes on in the industry and to keep in mind where your clothes are going that you are buying. So, with that said, now onto my tips!
1. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING FOR!
I know a lot of people struggle with this, and I did a couple years ago, when you go in a thrift store you tend to start out with no plan, just buying everything you think is cute because it’s cheap- big no no. Why? because I’m still cleaning out my closet now from years of clothes I try to find use for. Not because I don’t like them or think they’re cute (and sometimes I don’t anymore), but simply because they don’t go with my everyday life or use to go with other outfits. I’ve been throwing out things that are say bright blue that I know I won’t wear simply because of the color. Seem crazy? Well, it’s actually how your brain works! We all have items we stay in the color range of or that go together- and for me right now I’m looking to fulfill a capsule wardrobe. Which are neutrals mainly with light colors for my style, and to be real, I don’t even like bright blue. Make sense now? I’m thinking this should be an easy concept to grasp and you might think you’re already doing this…but once you truly put this to practice and keep this in the back of your mind, you’ll see how many things you grab at the thrift store that simply don’t work for your wardrobe or fashion sense. With that being said, I’m keeping in mind that a thrift store doesn’t always have your color choice. So be bold, but don’t end up buying something you won’t wear more than once. I love a vintage piece that’s unique and doesn’t fit in my capsule- it helps me be creative. But I must know when I’m over buying, even at the thrift store. So, come with a plan of what pieces you want for that day and try and focus on those. Like high waisted-light washed jeans or a statement top with frills and unique touches. And go with that for the day. You don’t have to only look at those items but go with a plan of what pieces you have in mind.
2. DON’T LOOK FOR JUST YOUR SIZE
The thing about thrifting is not finding the normal. So, look for your regular size but also look at all the sizes. I have an extra-large cable knit white cardigan I adore and it’s definitely not in my size. But I love an oversized piece and different items can look great with certain outfits. I pair that cardigan with high waisted skinny jeans and crop tops, nothing else on me is oversized and it really sets my outfit to perfection by having it as an accent. When you’re in a thrift store, there’s millions of different brands and new and old items, this is all subject to change with correct sizing. Some vintage pieces run larger and some smaller, depending on the year. So, don’t let yourself miss out on a perfect vintage piece just because it isn’t your size or don’t think it will fit you! Next, try everything on. Even if you don’t think you like it but can’t seem to part with it, try it! There’s a reason why you’re drawn to it. Those have always been my favorite pieces, the ones I felt that were too weird or wouldn’t look right, they can really surprise you, be bold, after all, you’re at a thrift store, it’s begging you to be unique and creative! This truly helps me narrow down my finds as well, sometimes pieces aren’t flattering or are boring on, this will help eliminate those pieces for you.
3. TRY SOMETHING YOU WOULDN’T THINK TO TRY.
For me, thrift stores are all about stretching your creative capabilities in fashion, this includes trying on that shirt with every single color or weird print you didn’t ever think you would like. I love that I get to be as expressive and creative as runway models. It’s so refreshing in a world of department stores that have what’s cute, but it takes an extra mile to be creative and express yourself in. I recently found this authentic vintage dress with shoulder pads and a plaid print on top and the bottom a solid color, I really wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, and the shoulder pads were bigger then ones I’ve ever tried before, but then I put it on and it’s easily my favorite dress I got for $2. The fact that it’s a true vintage piece too from further back than the 2000’s. (Which is a prediction but noticing different eras I can that I’ve researched it really looks to be the style from further back towards the 80s and 90s. But, it’s in style for spring and I love how unique and fun it is. Trying something you wouldn’t think to try gives you the freedom and expression in fashion and on you, that you wouldn’t think is possible.
These are all only 3 steps, but they can be overwhelming to put to practice but giving a million steps, in my experience, doesn’t help the amateur thrifter. Although I gave a lot of information to take in- simply try these in small steps and get out in the thrift store first and put up what you do like and try eliminating what I talked about in these steps. Remember: thrifting is about being unique and creative in your style. I don’t think any other steps would accomplish as much, and you might have information overload. So, giving the freedom to live in these 3 steps has been the most beneficial for me and I hope it will be for you too!
FYI: I’d love to see what thrift finds you end up with from my blog post and if it helped, don’t hesitate to DM me on IG so we can chat about it! IG: @peachfullychlo
Until next time!