Thrifting can be a pretty scary world for someone who shops mainly through retail stores and online shops. So where do you begin? How do you even start? It's important to know how to get the greatest quality, trendiest style, and best deal all in one.
1. Find a local thrift storeGiphy
Support your local businesses, am I right? If a local thrift store isn't available in your town, instead try a larger corporation such as Goodwill or Volunteers of America. Whichever you choose to do business with, you're still on your way to a new wardrobe for half of the price as retail stores.
The most important part of thrifting is remaining completely unbiased and open to all forms of commerce. This means don't be afraid to go to your cousin's best friend's yard sale, or to travel an hour to a thrift store that will have everything you didn't know you needed and more.
2. Plan a budget / form a planGiphy
Unlike shopping at retail stores, you most likely will not spend wads of cash. Most thrift stores have clothing priced at moderately reasonable—if not too reasonable—prices. Sometimes you will get lucky because a dealer has no properly priced a unique, often sought out item! There are so many items in thrift stores that people look over because it does not have a cheaper price tag. These are sometimes your best items, and the ones worth the most value.
Also, form a plan. If you are shopping for the start of a new school year, plan out what items you hope you obtain from a thrift store, and what items you plan to shop through retail/local boutiques. I recommend thrifting jeans, sweatshirts, and tank tops (those are items I always have the most luck with). But, if other items make themselves present, do not neglect their unique value.
3. Find a friend
Because who's better to take along than your best gal/guy?Giphy
I love to go thrifting with a friend! This friend can act as a great moral support, and also someone who will help you decide if you really need another pair of jeans. I always bring one of my closest, thrift-loving besties along with me because I would most likely get way less without them.
4. Start shopping!Giphy
You are all ready to venture into a new world of shopping. *Disclaimer* you may become addicted ;).
When shopping, make sure you keep an open mind. Never neglect any section of the stores— yes, even the kid's sections, as these sections sometimes have the best "crop-worthy" tops. Also make sure to pick a starting location in the store and form a logical path to cover all areas of the store.
Come with a free schedule, a little bit of cash, and an open mind to all possibilities, and you are set.
5. Try items onGiphy
I cannot stress this enough, TRY ITEMS ON! Unless you are absolutely sure you can fluctuate the sizing yourself, try every clothing item on. You will have a better idea of what you need to keep browsing for, and what items you have enough of. Some item's sizing is different, as those items may be older than today's retail clothing. So trying these items on is a MUST. If you can pass my clothing try-on test, the "walk around, sit down, and jump up and down" test, you are all set.
It is also important to remind yourself that while some items are trendy and cool at the time, if it does not fit your personal style, chances are it will cycle through the process again and end up right back in an eager thrifter's hands again.
6. Remember the value of a simple itemGiphy
Simple, unaltered items are the best for a DIY-er like myself. Try to invision a piece with new life. You are now this item's owner, and it is up to you to give that item the best life! Try picking up basic style pieces with the sole intention of giving them new characteristics and qualities unlike retail pieces. Remember, these are now your unique thrift finds.
For example, a plain pair of denim jeans may become the cutest distressed, high waisted shorts you have ever seen! Just pick up a gallon of bleach, some sand paper, and a pair of scissors and DIY is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
7. Grab some t-shirts/sweatshirtsGiphy
Thrift stores usually have HUGE t-shirt and sweatshirt racks (mostly labeled as "men's"), and they are usually the cheapest sections. If you have ever bought a school-produced sweatshirt or logo-based tee, you are usually looking at close to $20-$30 each. At your local thrift store, you can pick up the same sweatshirts/tees for $1-$5. Who cares what it says, because all sweatshirts work for the same purpose: to keep you warm. These items are so versatile and can be dressed up or down, cropped or distressed, or left in their previous, perfectly simple condition.
8. Head on home and get ready for some funGiphy
This is the best part: checking out all of your budget-friendly finds. Head home and mark those $50 jeans off your list and replace them with your new vintage-looking denim. Try on all your pieces, begin jotting down a style guide, and finally form a proper DIY plan.
Style is everything, and just because yours was half the price does not mean anything less. Rock this school year with trendy, vintage items that are perfect for a new year, new you.
9. Rock those thrifted goodsGiphy
So, you are now all set! A fresh new wardrobe, without cashing in that summer saving's fund. It's important to remember that your thrifted items are going to look different than some of your friend's "back to school" clothing items, and that's okay! Embrace your uniqueness, strut your thrifted finds, and show off those super cool wide leg corduroy pants (no matter what anyone says). Stay true to who you are!
Thrifting is an underrated therapeutical activity that saves not only your bank account but also this earth we all share. Take this simple guide to thrifting like a pro and use it for your next shopping spree. You won't regret it.