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Five Tips to Keep in Mind While Thrifting

Within recent years, Gen Z and millenials have been pushing farther away from the fast fashion industry and are finding more sustainable clothing options. According to Forbes magazine, the second hand clothing market accounted for $28 billion in 2018. This number is expected to triple within the next ten years!

If you’re new to the trend, it might seem a little daunting at first when you enter an unconventional store full of mismatched clothing items. To help ease that stress, here are five thrifting tips to always keep in mind while shopping. Even if you consider yourself an expert thrifter, these tips might help you score your next perfect outfit!

1. Don’t be afraid of the men’s section. 

Many girls are intimidated when shopping around in the men’s section of conventional stores, but when you’re thrifting, that’s exactly where you want to be! Some of the best finds and current trends can be found there. It’s a great place to look for large t-shirts and baggy pants that won’t break your wallet. Of course, that’s all up to your own style and preferred look. 

2. You don’t have to try on pants to know if they fit!

If you find a pair of pants while thrifting and you don’t feel like trying them on, here’s a super helpful tip! Hold the pants in each hand by the waist and wrap them above your shoulders and around your neck. If the ends of the waist touch comfortably around your neck, then congratulations! You just found yourself a new pair of pants that are your size.

3. Pick pieces that have potential.

The most success you’ll have while thrifting depends on your ability to think creatively. View the pieces you pick out as a blank canvas. Try to come up with ideas on how you can alter them to make them unique. This doesn’t necessarily take ten years of sewing experience, but do be mindful of what your abilities are before you take on a project. Invest in fabric scissors and fabric glue. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box too, these are your own unique finds after all! 

4. Get inspired before you shop

Every once in a while, you will find something that you love when you weren’t expecting it. However, more often than not, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of random clothes you are going to sort through. The best way to face this challenge is to have a plan! Have specific pieces in mind that you are looking for. One of the best ways to get inspired is to use Pinterest. Create a Pinterest board full of outfits you like and items you want to find. Of course, you probably won’t find the exact same items as in those pictures, but having a good idea of what you’re looking for will help tremendously. 

5. Go online!

There are a ton of great websites and apps that will help you find specific thrifted items you are looking for. Apps like Depop and Poshmark can be helpful, especially if you are just starting out. These sites are easy to use and offer an array of different options and styles. They have become a game changer within the thrifting industry and are exposing a whole new generation to second hand shopping. Essentially, Depop and Poshmark connect you with individuals who are selling their used clothes and allow you to sell your own items too! It’s never been easier!

Hopefully these tips helped inspire you to get out and go thrifting! Don’t forget, fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s a form of expression and can be interpreted however you want. Thrifting is one of the best ways to find exciting clothes that are on trend. Whether you do it for the environment, for your wallet or for yourself, happy thrifting!

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Journalism major at TCNJ!
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