5 Tips to Improve Your Thrifting Experience

Thrifting is a great way to shop sustainably and bring previously loved clothing pieces back to life. After gaining much popularity in recent years, thrifting has become the preferred form of shopping for many. To prepare you for a fun and successful thrifting experience, here are some of my favorite tips to keep in mind when shopping at thrift stores!

  1. 1. Be prepared to make a day trip out of it

    The most successful finds are typically the result of hours spent scouring the racks, considering the potential of each piece. If something catches your eye, pull it out from the rack to view the whole piece and give it a minute to envision how it could be upgraded or styled with other items in your current wardrobe.

  2. 2. Check every section!

    There is no rule that you must stick to the section labeled for you. Sometimes the men’s racks have the best selections, and it would be a shame to miss out on some great finds simply because they’re labeled for a different gender.

  3. 3. Seek out recognizable brands

    This is especially true for jeans, which can range from high-quality denim built to last to cheap fabrics with a lifespan of a couple years tops. Brands such as Levi’s, Lee’s, or Wrangler are well known for their durability. While often more difficult to find in thrift stores, the search is worth the result. Not only does the high quality material last longer, it is noticeably superior to cheaper options.

  4. 4. Keep in mind your altering abilities

    If you come across a super cute top but it has a small hole along the bottom seam, consider cropping it! This is a really easy way to revamp an old shirt, which I’m sure we are all familiar with. Don’t rule out a piece because of a small imperfection until you consider the option of re-styling it. That being said, know your limits. If you’re anything like me and haven’t touched a sewing machine since your middle school home economics class, maybe avoid pieces that require an extensive amount of work to become wearable. Attempting to tackle a project that is too big will only waste your money and clothing pieces that could be better suited for others; sticking to manageable tasks will make the process much more enjoyable.

  5. 5. Avoid the necessities

    Thrifting can be a fun way to have an adventure with friends while shopping sustainably, but it is important to be aware of others’ needs. If your budget allows, purchase the necessities from other non-consignment stores. Clothing articles such as winter jackets or undergarments, which are typically sold brand new at lower prices in thrift stores, may be unaffordable elsewhere for others with a less flexible budget. Being conscious of this will allow for a more respectful thrifting experience.