So your wardrobe needs an update, but you’re running low on funds. The answer to your problem: THRIFTING! Thrifting can be incredibly intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. When going thrift shopping, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you’re attempting to build your wardrobe. Here are a few tricks to thrifting your way into a larger wardrobe:
Obviously thrift stores and consignment shops survive on donations. This means you should thrift seasonally. No one is going to be donating their winter coat in the middle of November, so hit the thrift shops in mid-May after a coat isn’t necessary anymore. This way, you’ll be able to look through all the newest donations and items because they aren’t in season!
Thrift stores are treasure troves and everyone knows it. However, when you’re in the dressing room trying on a neon green leather skirt, think about the practicality of the piece. Are you going to wear this item? Will this piece function in your wardrobe? Do you have an outfit in mind? If you are trying to build out your wardrobe, it's imperative that you buy things that will contribute and complement what you already have.
Unless you can sew, don’t buy something that doesn’t fit you. I, myself have fallen prey to the idea of “Well, I can get this taken in by a tailor.” I then purchase the piece and it sits forgotten in my closet for the next five years. Look for pieces that are ready-to-wear and fit you correctly.
Just because the piece is at a thrift store does not mean you're getting a deal. Thrifting has become super popular lately, and some consignment stores and thrift shops have raised their prices. If you know how much an item retails for or can quickly look it up on eBay, you can make sure you’re getting the most for your money.
Everything in a thrift store has been pre-owned, but sometimes items can show signs of wear that will ruin the garment. Things to look out for include any obvious stains (pit or otherwise), or holes, tears, fraying, missing buttons, etc. that won’t be easy to fix. Just because it’s a good deal does NOT mean you should buy a shirt with a rip down the side.