If you’re like me, your mother recently stopped buying clothes for you apart from Christmas and birthday gifts. Do not fear.
Recently, vintage style has made its comeback, and it does not seem that this trend will soon end. Urban Outfitters is selling ‘distressed’ styles and your favorite boutique is constantly restocking its high waisted denim. Vintage converse are all the rage, and your go-to casual look is the graphic tee you found on poshmark. Though you could buy these purposely distressed and mock vintage items at retail price, why not hit up your local Goodwill to get the real thing for five dollars?
I used to consistently check my bank account to find that the Urban Outfitters shirt that I impulse bought would keep me from going out over the weekend. I am on a tight budget. I have bought most of my clothes for under $10 a piece. Here are some tips and tricks that may save you a lot of money and spice up your closet if you take a chance on thrifting.
Some things to definitely note:
Thrift shops are typically disgusting and smell weird: If you are like most of my friends, you won’t spend more than 10 minutes in a thrift shop simply because the floor needs sweeping or the fluorescent lights humming and NPR radio playing in the store are giving you a headache. Try to look past these issues; keep your eye on the prize (inexpensive, trendy clothing).
Avoid ‘thrift shops’ in trendy areas or downtown: Unless you are looking for something oddly specific and have a chunk of money in your account, avoid the pricey thrift shops. You’re thrifting Levi’s patch on them does not mean they are worth $30. Move on.
Patience is KEY: If you are in a hurry or are feeling super impatient, do not rush through a second-hand store. You are wasting your time. Digging in a thrift store is like digging in a TJ Maxx only its A THOUSAND TIMES WORSE. Sizes typically aren't sorted and many things will fit funny. Take your time. Sometimes I am in a store for a few hours and take like five trips to the dressing room. It happens.
Disregard sizing: Some of the things you'll find will be from like the eighties and will say size 2 but are actually a 6. Just grab everything you like and try it on. No harm, no foul.
Wash things when you get home: You have NO idea who wore that before you. This should be self-explanatory.
Only take a friend if they are serious: This sounds silly, but if you want to go all in and your friend doesn't, it becomes very frustrating when twenty minutes into the search they are done and want to leave. Not all of your friends are going to be as into it as you. I typically shop alone.
Don't be discouraged: Sometimes that perfect brown leather jacket you found is too small in the arms or the floor- length floral dress is not the same on you as the hanger. You will find things if you keep looking!!!
Don’t think about what people are going to say if you wear something: I am constantly told by my friends that they could never pull off what I am wearing. That comment is BS and I’m learning to just take it as a compliment (though in some cases it isn't) and move on! Try to be true to yourself and your personal style! It’s easier that way!
Things I love to thrift for:
Denim, denim, denim: Jeans are not made the same way today as they were twenty years ago! My mom told me in tenth grade that my high waisted thrifted shorts would go out of style and they didn’t! Boom! Thrift stores typically have a robust denim section. I typically look for higher waisted, thicker quality denim that has a bit more color to it. Eventually, your eye catches on to what jeans are the best quality. If you try on a pair of high waisted jeans and you like everything about them but the legs, cut them into shorts! So easy, so cute, so inexpensive. Additionally, you can sometimes find overalls and jean jackets at stores. Overalls are typically thrown into the dress section so make sure to search thoroughly
Fun tops: The shirt sections of stores are typically overwhelming and color coded (lol). To make things easier, I first look for patterns or materials I like, then look at the shirt so I don’t have to sift through each one. However, if you want a killer arm workout you can TOTALLY flip through an entire rack and get the full essence of each shirt.
SWEATERS: Ya girl loves a good sweater and I always seem to find a gem of a sweater when I am hunting. Make sure to check the whole thing for stains and also feel the inside of the sweater to see if it’s still cozy. Sometimes the men’s section reaps the most success.
Flannels: The men’s section is also my go-to for oversized flannels. Make sure you try it on and feel the material to make sure it’s not just a normal shirt cuz that’s kinda lame.
T-shirts: If you’re like me, you are extremely picky about t-shirts. I like them distressed and quite large. T-shirts typically run around $2 at most thrift stores which is a total steal. Every thrift store I go to has at least one t-shirt I want and buy. No joke.
Shoes: Ok yes. It is kinda gross to buy second-hand shoes, but sometimes they are in really good condition and I can’t pass them up. Buy at your own risk.
Ok that’s it. Happy Hunting.