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

Thrifting is an amazing way to express your style, save some money and help the environment. For me, thrifting has always been soothing and a way for me to be more creative with expressing my individuality. If you’re as excited as me to bundle up in layers of oversized clothing, I want to share five tips for fall thrifting. 

Look on Every Rack

The best tip I can give is to look on every single rack and through as many of the items as possible.  Stores usually organize clothes based on gender, size or color. However, in thrift stores, there is a very good chance that things were put back in random places or added to a section by mistake. You’d be surprised by what you can find in the lingerie, bathing suit or little kids sections!  

Try Everything On

If it’s possible to try things on, I suggest trying on every clothing piece you like, even if it isn’t your traditional size. Sizes are different for every clothing brand, and a 14 at one store might be a 12 at another. Since thrift stores have clothing pieces from many different places, you never know what might work. When you like a piece, don’t discredit it based on size! Try it on and see different ways you could style it to make you feel confident. 

Make a Plan

Before you go on your thrifting trip, make a plan of what you need, and don’t need. The most common thing I hear people say about thrifting is that it’s overwhelming. If you go into the store knowing the specific pieces, style or trends you’re looking for, your eyes will be drawn to those products and sections, and it will help you better navigate your way around. The simplest thing to do in any clothing shopping situation is to shop for outfits and essentials. Leave the store with one complete look you’re excited to try on!  

Don’t Forget The Men’s Section

Though hopefully, we get to a point where clothing isn’t divided based on gender, the holy grail at any thrift store is the men’s section. The oversized, comfortable sweaters, t-shirts and pants are usually all there. Men’s clothes aren’t made to “hug your chest area,” the way women’s clothes are. If you want an oversized look that isn’t $70 from Urban Outfitters, check out the men’s flannels, jeans and t-shirts. Also, men’s jeans tend to fit better high waisted and have pockets that actual items can fit in!

Use Your Imagination

Every time I buy something from a thrift store, it is usually ugly until I style it or do something to it. My final tip is to use your imagination when thrifting. With such low prices, you have the freedom to experiment and try new styles, patterns and colors and not risk breaking the bank to do so. The easiest thing to do is to crop, hem or cuff certain clothing items, but for all of those who can sew, try to envision what it could be. Could that headscarf be a top? Could that top be a headscarf? Could these scrubs make cute high waisted pants? You never know! Try it all on and explore the possibilities behind one simple article of clothing.

Mary McLean (née Moody) is an avid writer and is the former Editor in Chief of Her Campus at VCU. She wrote diligently for Her Campus at VCU for two years and was the Editor in Chief for three years. You can find her work here! She double majored in Political Science and History at Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated in 2022. She loves her son, Peter, and her cat Sully. You can find her looking at memes all night and chugging Monster in the morning with her husband!