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

My friends are always handing me the question: “Tati, how are you so good at finding items at the thrift store at such a good price? I can never find things that I actually like or fit me.” Well, I was once that friend before, even going as far as quitting thrifting completely because it was too overwhelming and difficult to find anything. But years later after much trial, error, and character development, I have allowed myself to help others on their thrifting journeys. So here are some quick tips to get the best out of your thrifting trips. 

First things first, thrifting can be a great way to find your basic pieces that you can use everyday while also finding those unique pieces that make you stand out the most, even outside your comfort zone. It’s important you know what kinds of colors, fabrics, and patterns are part of your style and learning them can be difficult. An idea of some staple pieces you can get to start off is a plain black & white tee or long sleeve, classic black trousers, light to medium wash jeans, and neutral color jackets. 

Prior to walking into the store, there are some tasks you can do that will help guide you to good finds and better deals. Initially, I recommend creating a Pinterest board of what you’re looking to find before walking into the store which could include clothes, furniture, purses, etc. This will help condense your ideas and also help you understand your style better as you pick out what you like and don’t. 

Anna Schultz-Girl Looking Through Closet
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Then, I would do research into your local thrift stores and learn about what specials or deals they may offer by either finding them on Instagram or on Google. For example, within the USF area I like to visit The Salvation Army or Red White & Blue Thrift Store. At the Salvation Army, I know that the best day to go is on Wednesdays because that’s when they put out a new shipment of clothes and all clothes, purses, and shoes are 50% off as well. For Red White & Blue I know once I walk in to look at their TVs as it shows what colors are on sale for that day and I always go during a weekday either in the morning or early afternoon. 

My final piece of advice while you’re shopping is to not worry so much about the sizing of the clothes but rather if you’re interested in it or not. There are plenty of hacks on social media that can help you make clothes fit you better, so don’t stress about not finding something that isn’t your usual size. Look for those colors, fabrics, and patterns you have on your Pinterest board to help guide you and keep you from taking too long in the store. 

For me, the hunt of finding new clothing that nobody else has excites me and helped me really understand what my sense of style is without looking at biased stores with only clothes that are currently trending. The clothes in my closet even range from small all the way to extra large because brands’ size guides are completely different from each other and you never know what hidden gems are actually meant for you. So don’t be scared to branch out, sometimes you will make mistakes and buy things you never end up using, but don’t give up if you don’t find anything your first couple times.

Tatiana Perea pronouns are She/Her/Hers. She is currently studying Business Advertising at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida standing as her chapters Vice President. Throughout college she discovered a love for writing and wants to combine it alongside a career in advertising post-grad. During her time with HC she will be focusing on exploring different genres and styles of writing allowing life to lead the way of her writing. Enjoy!