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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Thrifting is a great way to find cool clothes without the hefty price tag. From grandma sweaters to Nike shoes, there’s something for everyone. However, finding those made-for-you items can feel like a needle in a haystack. 

In order to avoid getting overwhelmed, there are things you can do before leaving for a thrifting trip. It can be helpful to go through your closet and familiarize yourself with what you already have. The amount of racks and clothes in a store can feel like a lot, but if you go through your own wardrobe first, you might find that you can skip an entire section. For example, if you have a lot of flannels already, you can skip that section. Or if you realize you want more cool pants, you can focus your energy on that.

Similarly, it might be helpful to think about what colors you like – or don’t like – wearing. Sometimes thrift stores will sort their clothes not only by size, but also by color. This can help you save more time and energy. If you know how you feel about certain colors, you can skip over the stuff you wouldn’t wear without having to look at each individual item.

Even after all of this preparation, thrifting can still feel daunting. It’s important to do what you need to do in order to feel confident. Wearing a cute outfit that you feel good in will help tremendously, especially if your thrifting goal is to find cool pieces that match your aesthetic. You can also wear headphones and listen to music to stay positive and focused. It can be easy to feel like people are watching you, especially when you’re alone. Listening to your favorite music will make you feel good and help you focus on yourself. 

When you finally do head out to thrift, don’t be afraid to stop at a coffee shop on the way. It’s never a bad idea to get yourself a little treat. If the thrift store is big enough, grab a cart to put your treat in, as well as all the cool items you find. When you think you’ve looked through all the sections and colors you’re interested in, head over to the fitting room. Don’t shy away from making sure the items you want to buy will actually feel good on your body.

There are so many good thrift stores out there, even if they are smaller and older-looking. It’s so worth it to check out what’s around you. Goodwill is always a good option, as they have low prices and plenty of options. Plato’s Closet is a good thrift store to start with because they pick and choose what they take from donations. There’s a vintage store in East Lansing called More Than Vintage, and they have lots of cool graphic tees and vintage jackets. 

Have fun with your thrifting adventures! Check out what’s around you and find your new favorite spots. Try a new coffee every time. Look in a section you’ve been afraid to check out. You truly never know what you’re going to find. When you inevitably find something amazing, all the preparation and confidence-building will be so worth it.

Alayna VanDoeselaar is a writer for Her Campus at MSU. This is only her second semester with HCMSU, and she is looking forward to all the amazing things that Her Campus will bring! Alayna is a freshman at Michigan State studying English with a concentration in creative writing. She loves writing short stories, poetry, and lifestyle articles! She hopes to go into editing, publishing, and writing in her future career. In her free time, Alayna likes to read, write, look for new music to listen to, and go thrifting. She can be found on Instagram at @alaynavand.