In an effort to stick to my own advice about knowing what you’re looking for before you go thrifting, I like to keep a list of what specific items I’m hunting. I find when I’m surrounded by limitless options—grocery store aisles, say, or movies to watch online, or racks upon racks of delicious secondhand clothes—my memory becomes a sieve and I can’t remember all the food/movies/clothing items I meant to look for. Is there a name for this??
A list also keeps me on track when I get distracted by—ooh! fun shoes!— or hmmm, I like the look of those skirts… I can consult the list and (in theory) redirect myself back to the pants/tops/dress section I meant to be combing for finds I actually need.
My list is literal; I tuck it in my jewelry drawer so I see it every time I reach for a pair of earrings. Seeing it this often seems to combat the aforementioned sieve effect to the point that I can access it in my head even on spur-of-the-moment thrifting adventures.
(Keeping said list in your bag might be a good option for those of you who prefer to consult the real thing in situ; since my toddler likes to clean out my bag a couple of times a week, anything I try to keep track of on paper has a short shelf life.)
My current list:
- a classic blue short sleeve or sleeveless sheath dress without a lot of embellishments
- off-white turtleneck to replace the one that was too tight to wear on its own
- warm winter cardigan that can layer on top of everything
- tapered thick trousers for winter
Two visual notes re: pants I loved for this last bullet point but that weren’t in my size (I’d tailor the legs on the Talbots to taper); good research reminder for next time:
You may have noticed that 3/4 of the things on my list are winter-related (ideally the shift would be able to go over a turtleneck and leggings, thus winterizable too). I like to look for things off-season so that I don’t fall prey to last-minute panic when the seasons change and I am COLD and IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT THIS SWEATER LOOKS LIKE A YETI GET ON MY BODY ALREADY.
That’s why I say thrifting is a long game—keep your eyes peeled and your focus sharp and, over time, you can assemble a wardrobe that is perfect for your lifestyle, taste, and body.
Do you keep a thrifting list, whether on paper or in your head? If so, what’s on it right now?