I started thrifting in fifth grade when I needed a "vintage" styled dress for a school musical. Ever since that day, I have been purchasing 90% of my clothing, accessories and decor from local thrift stores. There are many positive effects of thrifting, including environmental and economical. Throughout the years, I have cultivated a sense of how to navigate and enjoy thrift stores and thrift shopping. I am here to share some of my tips and tricks for people that are new to thrifting, or those who are just interested in learning more about it.
1. Size does not matter
If you go in with the intentions of looking at only one size of clothing, you may miss something that was misplaced, mismarked, or something that fits differently than what its tag may say. Since a lot of clothing that is in thrift stores comes from different time periods and brands, sizing is not something to neccessarily pay attention to, as the sizing fluctuates so much. Not only does sizing fluctuate, but oversized clothing is definitely a trend right now-- so skim through all of the racks, you might be surprised with what you will find!
2. Gender does not matter
Half of the clothes that I buy at the thrift store are from the men's section. At this point, I do not believe that gender matters when you are deciding how you want to dress for the day. There are so many versatile pieces in both gender sections and even the kids' section! Whether you want to dress in an oversized flannel or t-shirt, or a fitted dress, you should be open to looking in all sections of the thrift. Do not limit yourself.
3. Frequent your local thrift shops
I volunteered at a thrift store for about a year, and I was putting out new merchandise almost every day that I worked. Thrift stores are constantly pricing, placing and rearranging inventory, so it is important to frequent your local thrift shops. I have found that going once or twice a month is the best time frame. You are sure to find completely new merchandise if you span your visits several weeks apart.
4. Make connections
This ties into the last point-- if you frequent your local thrift shops, you will start to make valuable connections. I found that the volunteers and workers at my local store were so friendly and fun to talk to. Not only will you have some interesting conversations and familiar faces, but you will also make connections with personal sellers. Some of the ladies I volunteered with at my local thrift store, would let each other know about furniture they were selling, or different events they were hosting. So, despite its locality, your local thrift store is a great network to make connections and to interact with different individuals in your community that you might not have otherwise.
If you are not comfortable with going to your local thrift shop, or simply do not have one, try downloading Depop. Depop is an app that allows for individual sellers and shops to sell their used clothing, decor, or handmade merchandise to customers through the app. The app features secure buying, a variety of different items and many amazingly kind vendors.
Whether you are going to your local thrift, or are buying used online, thrifting can be incredibly fun and rewarding.