Top 5 Thrifting Tips

I sort of got the reputation for being the “thrift girl” on campus. Ever since I started my blog just about two years ago (and since Macklemore became a big hit) I have been told by a lot of people that they like the idea of thrifting, but they just don’t know how to get into it. Today, the thrift girl offers some advice:


1.)   Keep an Open Mind – Huntingdon has a decent amount of thrift stores – and they all have some really awesome things. However, to do thrifting in any area, you have to be willing to keep an open mind. You may find some items that you never thought you would like – try it on! You may find the items that look the weirdest on a hanger actually look the best on. For example, one time I fell in love with a very odd metallic butterfly tank top – my sister told me it looked like “Lisa Frank threw up on a shirt,” but I got it anyway! It is now one of my favorite pieces! 

2.)   Don’t Buy Everything – When you are thrifting, you can see the cheap prices and go a little crazy, thus dragging two ginormous bags back to your dorm full of clothes that you are actually just ‘meh’ about. When you try something on, think about how this will incorporate what already have at home. If you don’t love it in the dressing room, you are definitely not going to love it at home.

3.)   Be Aware of the Projects - One of the fun things about thrifting is having the ability of taking something that was kind of ugly before and giving it new life (think the prom dress in ‘Pretty in Pink’). However, unless you are planning on working on sometime in the next week or it is a really easy fix – think twice about buying the “project piece.” Otherwise, you end up with a basket full of long skirts that you will get around to hemming one of these days (aka – never). Also, I would recommend making changes that can easily be reversed – you never know how style will change and down the line you might really regret making that vintage maxi skirt a mini.

4.)   Look for Quality – It can be really tempting to come away with a lot of clothes from places like Forever 21, H&M, and Target when you are thrifting. However, those stores are known for their “fast fashion” – cheap pieces that are carry the latest style – because they will probably fall apart by the time you are ready to move on to something new. Although I have thrifted some of these pieces, I have found that the items that I really love the most are the items that are made to last. Look for heavy materials, linings, and detailed stitching. Also, vintage items are also good finds because they were made to last; check the tag: if it says ‘Made in the USA’ there is a good chance it is at least 30 years old and will probably last longer than that H&M shirt.

5.)   Practice Makes Perfect - If thrifting isn’t something that you have done before, it may take some time to get into the flow – be patient. Like anything, it takes some practice. You will eventually learn what day is the best to go, what styles look the best on your body type, and what stores have the best prices or sales. If you are a little hesitant, grab a friend to have some bonding time – you have nothing to lose!

If you have any thrifting questions feel free to email me at [email protected]