Today I’m throwing atcha 3 quick tips that have helped me out recently. (Check out thrifting strategies Part Un et Part Deux and some more tips for a lot more ideas on how to successfully thrift.)
- Start with the special price section. Easy to overlook, especially if you don’t know where a particular store puts the “designer” items. (Common locations include behind the checkout counter, in racks near the front, and in racks near the back.) Not all the designer/quality stuff makes it to these racks, of course—employees sorting the clothes don’t always catch all the pricey stuff—but if you’re limited for time and only want quality goods, make the pre-sorted system work for you.
PS don’t be afraid to spend more on a really excellent pair of shoes/bag/dress if you love something and it’s a luxury/designer brand. $20 feels like a lot when you’re used to price tags in the single digits, but if it’s a quality piece you love, it’s worth it—and still a heck of a lot cheaper than retail.
- Check the clothes someone else tried on. That sounds a little gross as I write it…but we are talking pre-owned clothes, after all. You don’t want to miss the good stuff just because someone else took it off the rack, tried it on, and then put it on the back of the fitting room door or on the rack for tried-on clothes. If it was in good enough shape and stylish enough for someone else to try on, it might just work for you, too.
- Use the couches to minimize buyer’s remorse. Most thrift stores have a furniture section which you may overlook if you’re focused on clothing. But it’s really your secret weapon: when your arms are full of “maybes” and you start to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of decisions to be made (this is a thing) and are in imminent danger of committing thrift lust, go sit down on one of the couches (if that’s allowed) and take a deep breath. You can set your things down and go through them one by one; but more importantly, you can take a mental breather in order to bring to mind what’s already in your closet at home and what among your selections will work well and what won’t (or what you already have 5 pairs of).
What are your favorite thrift tips? Scroll down to share!
4 thoughts on “3 Mini-Tips for Thrifting in Style”
I make sure I try everything on unless it’s my NYDJ brand that fits me the same every time.
I try and make a critical assessment with color, fit and style then I look the garment over very carefully for rips stains and flaws. With that done I ask myself will it work with my wardrobe to enhance what I have and the lifestyle I truly live. No more fantasy life buying for me.
My biggest problem is multiples. Since I thrift and am a klutz, if I find a great staple I usually make sure I have two, at max three. Some thrifted clothing doesn’t last, I spill, dribble or snag. I do have a small capsule of favorites that bit the dust but I use for yard work , house cleaning etc. but they never go out of my yard.
Great tips, Kathy! I like that phrase: “fantasy life buying.” It’s a quick criterion to run an item through to shorthand all of what you just explained.
Thrift lust is totally a thing! I love your solution to sit on one of the couches and think it out. I always make an effort to drop by the book section (where I’ve been able to find beautiful editions of The Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye).
Also, when in the home decor section I always try to use my imagination and reinvision a piece. A bit of polishing or a coat of black spray paint can really change a piece into something super chic!
I always swing by the photo frames and the kitchenwares section…and books are a must, although our local Goodwill is more likely to have endless Patricia Cornwall than Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye—great finds!