If you love shopping but don’t love paying a premium for quality pieces, thrifting may be for you! In the past couple years, I have noticed thrifting becoming super popular again, especially within influencers like Emma Chamberlain; I love her thrift haul videos. Anyways…below are some thrifting tips and tricks as well as recommendations of places to try for your next thrifting trip in London Ontario. I hope these tips help you have fun and find some great pieces!
Tip #1: Give Yourself More Time Than You Need
I once tried going thrifting in a rush thinking I wouldn’t need more than 30 minutes to browse the racks but I was very wrong. Part of the fun in thrifting and the uniqueness of each item is going through each rack slowly and carefully. Only go if you can take the time to be patient and not miss out on amazing pieces because you are in a rush.
Tip #2: Don’t Skip the Men’s Section
As a girl who likes to thrift, I spend the majority of my time in the men’s section, and have found most of my pieces there. Don’t neglect it, it is the best place to find cozy sweaters and oversized t-shirts. From hoodies, to flannels, to knit sweaters, you can achieve the trendy oversized look in this section. I found a super cool, oversized leather jacket for only $11 which made me really happy. It is now a staple in my wardrobe.
Tip #3: Go With a Friend
One of my friends always comes thrifting with me. We have a pretty similar style and know each other’s tastes. Give your friends an idea of what kind of pieces you are trying to find. You can split up, and if you guys find something the other would like, that’s great. We find it saves a bit of time to shop near each other but avoid just following each other around.
Tip #4: The Pyjama Section is Better Than You Think
Don’t assume the pyjama section is full of ugly sleepwear. You’ll often find cute, dainty, lacey tops that have been trending recently. I haven’t bought much from this section myself, but the colourful pieces always catch my eye.
Tip #5: It’s Okay to Buy Nothing
Sometimes when I’m shopping for clothes, it is almost unsatisfying to walk away empty handed. It is easy to want to buy something just for the sake of buying something. It is okay to buy nothing, especially with thrifting, where items are often hit or miss.Thrifting is a great way to be sustainable and part of that is avoiding impulse buys when possible.
Tip #6: Think Outside the Box
I once saw a video on TikTok where a girl bought cool, unique bowls at a thrift store. She used them as candle holders and poured wax in them. They turned out amazing! Thrift flips are one of my favourite types of things to watch. I am not skilled in altering clothing into new pieces, but a cool mug, pot, or knick-knack can always be painted or repurposed if you think creatively.
Tip #7: Where to Go in London
My go-to thrift store in London is called Talize. The space is big and bright, making it easy to find items. The clothes are well organized, often by colour as well. That is where I had luck with my leather jacket. Next I would recommend the classics, Value Village and Goodwill. I have yet to go to a Value Village in London, but found some cute, warm, knit sweaters at Goodwill for the winter.
Don’t confuse thrifting with vintage stores. Yes, vintage stores are like thrifting in that the pieces are second hand, making shopping still sustainable. However, vintage stores often hand pick the best items, and can be much more expensive than a typical thrift store. If this is your vibe though, go ahead; the pieces are amazing! One I recommend is called DugOut Vintage in London. I’ve never been, but I know people who have and have had great luck. Their prices are not the most outrageous for a vintage store, but definitely more than the stores mentioned above.
Have fun and good luck! :)