Thrifting 101: A Beginner’s Guide

I’m a girl on a mission, just like any other broke college student looking for a good deal, so when I came across a bunch of new thrifting pages on insta I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve been pinning vintage clothes on Pinterest since my awkward middle school days so why not chase after my wildest fashion dreams and go for it?! My dad is the ultimate thrift shop king, he’s been scoring gently worn to brand new items for dirt cheap since he was in high school, so it basically runs in my blood. Here’s everything you need to know before heading to the thrift shop!

Q & A

What Is It?

Thrifting is the, “act of shopping at a thrift store, flea market, garage sale, or a shop of a charitable organization; usually with the intent of finding interesting items at a cheap price.”

Why Should I Give It A Try?

Who doesn’t love new clothes at a fraction of the cost? There are so many awesome options out there plus you’ll be saving money, helping the environment, benefitting local businesses, and establishing your personal style.

Where Do I Start?

Check out any of your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment or second-hand shops to get started today!

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Tips and Tricks of the Trade

1. Do Your Research

Location, location, location! The clothes you find in the thrift store most often reflect the neighborhood you are shopping in. Also make sure to learn tag colors, discount days, and restock days to find the best items and get the most bang for your buck.

2. Watch for Seasonal Sales

Just like any other store, thrift stores run sales at the end of each season to make room for new inventory. Watch for winter clothes and spring clothes hitting the sale racks in the next couple of weeks.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Bonus Discounts

The shop is most likely eager to get clothes off of the racks so don’t be afraid to ask about sales or price reductions if an item is damaged.

4. Shop Often

New pieces are coming in all the time and they go fast. Pop by your favorite thrift stores every couple of days if you’re hoping to snag those golden ticket items.

5. Keep an Open Mind

Have a gameplan heading in (what’s trending, celeb fashion, patterns and prints, or your own style) but don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone if a different piece catches your eye. Oftentimes, the items we can’t see ourselves in become must-haves.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Try-On

Most thrift stores offer changing rooms but have a no return policy, take a second before buying and make sure you’re comfortable in the items first. Plus the sizing on clothing is constantly changing and well-worn pieces may fit a little differently.

7. Look High and Low and Everywhere In-Between

It can be overwhelming walking into a store that is packed with items floor to ceiling, be prepared to spend some time there as the best things are often hidden.

8. Check Each Item Over Carefully

Although wear-and-tear can add a special character and charm to clothes you want to be sure there are no major rips, tears, or stains before purchasing.

9. Try the Fitting Room Rack

It’s the last place you’d think to look but if it someone else thought the item was worthy of a try-on you might too!

10. Wash Before Wearing

No matter how excited you are to wear your new clothes out, always, always, always, make sure to wash them first.

11. Donate, Donate, Donate!

While it’s always fun to accumulate new items, maybe it’s time to donate some old. Someone else may find new life in the clothes you just don’t wear as often. And the more room you have in your closet the less guilty you’ll feel about buying.

12. If it Catches your Eye...Grab It

There’s nothing worse than walking away from something that caught your eye only to change your mind and go back but find out it's too late. If an item catches your eye, pick it up, try it on, and hopefully walk away with no regrets.

13. A Little Love Goes A Long Way

Maybe it’s missing a button or a thread is loose, don’t pass on a quality item because of what could be a simple fix. Small fixes can give new life to an item.

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Next Stop

Anddddd be sure to check out the totes adorbs insta page sauvetage thrift co (@sauvetage_),  I promise you’ll want to buy everything! The account is run by a super sweet girl from my hometown named Isabelle and is just so creative and fun, plus she donates 20 percent of the proceeds to refugee families so it’s basically like the cutest ever!!! <3