How To Thrift Like a Pro

Let’s face it - New York City is an influential place when it comes to clothing. Being a college student in the city, it’s important for me to learn how to budget my money and not spend it on the clothing that “fast fashion” has to offer. Fast fashion is when mass-market retailers produce inexpensive clothing at a rapid rate to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Some examples include H&M, Zara, Topshop, Bershka, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters. I cannot count the number of times I have seen something with leopard print on it these past few months and that’s because it’s the latest fashion trend. If you want to escape this fashion trend cycle, I recommend thrifting. It reduces waste and pollution in the environment, helps you save money on clothing, and you might find something valuable that you can’t find at one of these mass-market retailers. 

Here are some tips to help you out with thrifting:  

  1. 1. Make sure you are not distracted and remain focused.

    It’s easy to become distracted when you’re thrifting, especially if you’re with friends. Take some time to be alone and just focus on moving those clothing hangers. If you don’t enjoy the silence, listen to some music to motivate you and keep you moving. It’s a good way for you to relax and spend time with yourself. 

  2. 2. Don’t be afraid to look into the men’s section.

    Even though there might be some stigma with women looking at the men’s section, it’s not something you have to pay attention to. There might be a hoodie, long-sleeve, or shirt laying around in there that you can put into good use. You don’t know what you’re going to find until you make the decision to look around everywhere. 

  3. 3. Create a strategy when it comes to going through those hangers.

    It might be overwhelming to see the amount of clothes that a thrift store has to offer. When there are more clothing items, that means more clothing hangers for you to flip through. Make sure to have a mental list of what you’re looking for, this can be in terms of colors, clothing type, and size. This will prevent you from wasting your time and becoming bored. 

  4. 4. Figure out which day you should go to a certain thrift store.

    If you want to avoid a crowd, I would suggest going to the thrift store during the week. I made the mistake of going to a popular thrift store on a Saturday, and I definitely learned my lesson. I recommend visiting thrift stores on a Monday or Tuesday because that’s when clothing is most likely to be restocked. 

  5. 5. Know your thrifting locations and their price points.

    For this tip, you’re going to have to do some research to know which thrift store you should travel to. Some thrift stores will set higher price points than others, even though they are all selling used clothing. Make sure to look at the reviews of the ones that you want to visit before going to see it for yourself. 


Recommended Thrifting Locations: Lowest to Highest 

Here are some thrift stores in the city that can help you start off your thrifting journey and put these tips into use.  

Goodwill: 7 W 14th Street, New York, NY 10011  Buffalo Exchange: 323 E 11th Street, New York, NY 10003 Beacon’s Closet: 10 W 13th Street, New York, NY 10011

I hope this article inspired you to go out of your comfort zone and go thrifting! Have fun and find something that you’ll love!