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Four Secrets to Successful Thrifting

Are you looking for those vintage pieces for the fall? Or want to try out trendy styles for a low price? Shopping at your local thrift store is a great alternative to pricey department stores. I know the task may seen daunting, especially if you’ve never stepped foot in a thrift store before, but here are some tips I’ve acquired throughout the years to make the experience more fun and successful!

Image via Thrifttrader.org 

1. Go in with an open mind!

Thrifting is always going to be a gamble and a cool vintage find is never guaranteed. Going with no expectations can make a trendy find even more special and make the experience more light-hearted!

Having an open mind also applies to looking through the racks and racks of clothes to pick out pieces that you wouldn’t normally expect to wear. If you find an interesting pattern or silhouette, hold onto it! Thrifiting is a great opportunity to try out new styles because it is not a big investment. Be bold and stray away from the status quo. You’ll find some wacky but unique items if you keep your mind open.


2. Prepare for a long treasure hunt.

Unfortunately, thrifitng isn’t going to come with a treasure map, so what we have to do is go through each piece on the rack. First, go to a section for a piece you are looking for, like shirts and just start sliding away. For tops, I suggest looking at all the sizes because they are a little easier to pull off in a size different from your own, but in bottoms stick with the rack of your size.

Don’t forget to check the opposite gender’s area! As someone who predominately shops in the women’s area, I always check the men’s racks for oversized band tees and flannels.

Start picking up any pieces you find interesting and follow the next tip.


3. When in doubt, try it out.

Don’t be afraid to try on things you’ve collected! Most thrift stores come with a changing area to see if you what you’ve acquired actually fits or looks good. Personally, I can never tell if I love an item until I see it on me.


4. Go often!

If you don’t find cool things you were hoping for, don’t fret, new merchandise is always coming and going at thrift stores! The middle of the week is when most of the new merchandise is displayed because it’s been sorted from the weekend. Your perfect cardigan or handbag just might not have hit the shelves yet.


We hope these little pieces of advice help you on your next thrifting trip! Remember, each trip is going to be unique and we all have different styles of our own. Good luck, Thrifters!

Julia Chan is a 3rd year Global Studies and Sociology undergraduate at UCSB. She is from the bay area, specifically South San Francisco. When she's not studying or writing for Her Campus, Julia likes to sing, dance Hula and Tahitian, and take walks in scenic areas. She loves all kinds of food, but her favorites would have to be sushi and Filipino food. 
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