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Why thrifting is the best way to shop and how to do it like a pro

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

Thrifting is something I have always been interested in. Finding clothing that once was loved by someone and giving it a new life is so exciting. There are so many possibilities when it comes to thrifting. For some people, thrifting is a little scary. Not knowing where to start can be a little intimidating, but you can easily become a thrifting pro.


Why is thrifting the best?

You can find high fashion items without going broke

We all see those to die for tops online, but with those tops can come a pretty high price tag. Thrifting is a great way to find similar styles at extremely affordable prices. As a broke college student thrifting really helps me switch up my wardrobe without the guilt of spending my money on high dollar items. I am forever finding things that are still in fashion and that fit my personal style. 

Thrifting is about more than just saving money

The positive elements of thrift shopping don’t just stop at saving money. Shopping at thrift stores is also sustainable because you’re recycling clothes rather than buying into fast fashion. Not only do thrift stores help the environment, but they can make a difference in a lot of other ways as well. Most traditional thrift stores are also nonprofits or affiliated with charities. The profits from many thrift stores help provide jobs, support families and have a positive effect on the lives of so many.

You can find more than just clothing

Most thrift stores have more than just clothing. Books, DVD’s, shoes, electronics, home furniture. You name it, a thrift store probably has it. You never know what you will find. 

You can make anything you find thrifting truly unique

Thrifting is the best because the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite things I have found while thrifting I changed completely as soon as I bought it. I found a denim jacket for $6 and with a little fabric paint made it completely my own. Anything you discover while thrifting can be modified to fit your personal style. Don’t be afraid to buy something that you are unsure about because everything has potential. 

It is more fun than shopping at big brand stores

You never know what you will find when you thrift. This is one of my favorite parts. I never go in expecting to find anything, but it makes it even more exciting when you do. Thrifting trips are not always successful, but don’t let that discourage you from looking anyway. Shopping at a mall or online may be faster, but thrift stores allow you to experiment with old and new trends and incorporate them into your personal style.

Courtesy of giphy.com


How to thrift like a pro.

Scope out local thrift shops

Goodwill is always a good starting point when it comes to thrifting, but many towns and cities have local thrift shops. Local thrift shops can offer a new environment to thrift in. Pricing is sometimes even cheaper at local thrift stores. Look at different options when it comes to thrifting. You never know what you might find.

Be open-minded

Open-mindedness is so important when thrifting. It can be really easy to write thrifting off because you are close-minded to different styles or even just where you are shopping. Try on things outside of your comfort zone. You may find something you absolutely adore. When thrifting keep in mind most things can be modified to fit you how you like. If you love a pair of jeans and they are just wildly too long don’t be afraid to buy them and reach out to a tailor. 

Know your labels

Name brands and vintage clothing are all over thrift stores. If you find something you really like look up the brand. It could be a find that is usually extremely expensive, which to me those are the best finds. If you are looking for authentic vintage clothing, check the tags, if an item has, “made in the USA” on the tag then it is most likely an authentic vintage piece.

Check out the men’s section

Don’t be afraid to check out every section in thrift stores. One of my favorite finds has been a Jack Spade sweater I found in the men’s section. The men’s section is perfect for finding oversized sweaters, flannels and graphic tees.

Thrift when you travel

Thrifting while traveling helps you step out of your comfort zone, and you may find unique items that you would never find anywhere else. Different areas will have different quality products. Everywhere you thrift will be different. I am going to New York soon and you better believe I am devoting a whole day to finding new thrifted items for my wardrobe.

Don’t take thrifting too seriously

Seriously, have fun, Thrifting is about new discoveries and having fun. Don’t take thrifting too seriously because it will only leave you discouraged.


Thrifting is not always a perfect experience, but it is so worth it. It brings together a vast collection of clothing all with completely unique histories. With patience and determination, you can find the next item for your wardrobe that will become an iconic piece. 

Sarah Burden

Murray State '20

Sarah Burden is a senior at Murray State University. She is a PR major and minoring in Journalism. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha and loves her ladybugs. In her free time she enjoys experimenting with makeup, drinking coffee, posting on social media and spending time with her bird. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter @sarahburden__