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Everything You Need to Know Before Your Next Thrift Trip

It’s official, almost my entire wardrobe is sponsored in part by my thrifting obsession.  But can you blame me? With unique pieces, cheap prices and environmental benefits, thrifting is the perfect way to fuel your wardrobe. The only downfall: knowing what to look for. I’ll admit, at first, I hated thrifting. It was too overwhelming, and the thought of sifting through used clothes made me head straight for the mall. So here are some tips to make it easier and guide you on your thrifting way. 

Before: Find Inspiration

Like I said, it can be easy to get overwhelmed while thrifting. With racks and racks of slightly questionable objects, you can easily lose focus. Before your next thrift trip, spend a bit of time making a list of what you want to find. My favorite thing to do is look through Pinterest and take pictures of any cute pieces I think I can thrift. If Pinterest isn’t your thing, you can watch thrifting YouTubers or scroll through social media for inspiration. I love having screenshots or a list of items when I go thrifting because it makes it feel like a fun scavenger hunt!

Courtesy: Chrissie Kremer

Pick a Place

If you’ve been thrifting for a while, the location might not matter. For beginners, it’s helpful to find a place that suits you. What’s your vibe? Is it a trendy consignment shop, uniquely curated vintage or do you like to kick it old school? Another thing to consider when picking your place is your budget. Are you thrifting because you’re on that college girl’s budget or are you willing to spend a little bit more for a unique piece? Typically, vintage stores will be the most expensive, with thrift stores being the easiest on your wallet. And if you don’t feel like getting out of bed, there are tons of online thrift stores, like ThredUp and Poshmark!

Decide whether to bring a buddy…or sport it solo

There are benefits to both bringing a thrifting buddy and going solo. It all just depends on your preference. The biggest thing to consider is whether or not you and your buddy have the same needs. The worst is when you take someone thrifting and after a quick eye-scan, they’re ready to leave. If you do find a good buddy though, it’s the perfect way to have fun and you can keep your eye out for pieces each other would like! If you don’t have a thrifting buddy yet, you can find one at FSU’s Thrift Club

During: Stick to the Color

Normally, stores will tag items by color that are on sale. By sticking to the tag color, you can save even more money, and it adds to the fun scavenger hunt experience. If you really want to get the bang for your buck, you can try a Goodwill Outlet. Sure, everything’s in bins instead of hung neatly on racks, but you pay for items by weight rather than individually!



Courtesy: @wonsaponatimevintage on Instagram

Sift through everything!

Thrifting isn’t like fast fashion. You can’t walk in for a couple of minutes and find everything, but that’s part of the fun! If you’re an experienced thrifter, you know the real finds are just outside of your comfort zone. Make sure to check both the women and men’s section. Thrifting takes time, but if you check each section, you’ll find some amazing pieces.  My personal favorite is the men’s section because my style radiates an interesting blend of art h** meets old golfer. Not only is the men’s section typically less raided, but if you’re looking for mom jeans, graphic tees, and oversized sweaters, so pretty much the entire Urban Outfitters brand, it has it all! Another place to check is the return rack by the dressing room. With thrifting becoming more and more trendy, it’s likely someone already pulled out Levi’s and cute sweaters, but left them on the return rack since they didn’t fit properly.

Try Everything On

Let’s face it, sizes are weird. They’re even weirder at the thrift store since things have been stretched out or shrunk in the wash. I’ve been able to find things that fit from XS to XL, so try on everything! Just try not to get too caught up in all the great finds. Before you check out, ask yourself if you would buy this if it was at a fast-fashion store. Sure, thrifting is a great way to try out new styles, but it’s easy to get caught up in the great deals. If you wouldn’t pay fast-fashion prices for it, maybe reconsider, not only are you still spending money, but it counteracts all the good things thrifting does for the environment!

After: Reinvent things

My favorite thing about thrifting is transforming pieces. Sure, that sweater was cute for the previous 80-year-old owner, but with a little crop, it looks like something straight out of a Brandy Melville catalog. You don’t have to stop with cropping, go crazy. One of my friends turned a thrifted patterned vest into a statement purse; the possibilities are truly endless. 

Look into memberships

If you really enjoyed your thrifting expedition, I would highly recommend looking into memberships. A lot of stores offer these, and the discounts add up. The Goodwill rewards card is only $25 for a year. You may be wondering why you would pay to shop but with the exclusive membership 50% off days, I’ve already saved way more than I’ve paid. 

 Courtesy: Matthew Reyes

Sport Your Finds

Now get out there and show off your thrifted finds! Who knows, maybe you’ll even inspire someone to start thrifting. One thing is for sure, your outfit will definitely be a fashion statement!

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Taylor is currently a junior at Florida State University with a double major in English Creative Writing and Studio Art. When she's not writing for Her Campus, you can find her traveling, getting lost in a book, or working on her personal blog at a local coffee shop.
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