What I Learned After my First Time Thrift Shopping



I recently went thrift shopping for the first time, and the experience taught me a lot! It’s not just for Macklemore (feat. Ryan Lewis) — here are a few things that I took away from the whole ordeal.


1. You will want to buy everything with a price sticker under $5

Thrift stores challenge your rules of judgment (and size). It can seem like a men’s XL shirt priced at $3 is suddenly a must have, and like a sweater with a stain on it is your new best friend. Our concept of price decreases when we are inside a store where everything is roughly $5, but this does not mean that you need to buy things just because they are cheap. My cart was overflowing when I went to try on clothes, and I left the store with one item. One item! Unless you are planning to transform all of the items you place into your shopping cart, you will most likely not be purchasing most thrift store items.


2. You will find items you would have never expected

When going thrift shopping for the first time with my friend, we began digging through a bin of random assorted items. She came across a change purse with Obama’s face plastered on it that read “It’s time for Change” (which of course she bought), but I don’t think I would have ever found that item anywhere else. Thrift stores can be the place to find some of the most shocking items, at an extremely low price. In 2013, a Youtube video from viral sensation Grav8yardgirl found a $1.75 Vera Wang wedding dress at the local thrift store by her. Insane!


3. You can find clothing items currently trending for so much cheaper

Trends easily come and go, which doesn’t always mean the best thing for your wallet if you’re trying to keep up with all of them. Vintage clothing can run for hundreds of dollars on places like Etsy. The distressed look is currently trending and goes with many outfits, but it most likely doesn’t go with your budget. Luckily, name brands and current trends are sold at thrift stores at a portion of the price. Sometimes you will even luck out and find an item with the tags still on it; my friend found a brand new Levi’s jacket for only $8!


4. You can transform clothing

Cut, rip, sew. A decent amount of clothing for sale at thrift stores are ill-fitting items or clothing from the 80s that no longer meet today’s trends. If you are creative and have a crafty hand you can transform clothing items into something cute and innovative. Youtuber Coolirpa creates Thrifted Transformation videos where she takes oversized clothing items and turns them into something completely new. Transforming clothing is extremely cost effective as well. I transformed the one item I bought into a cute oversized crop top, an item I found a week later at Forever 21 for 5 times the cost!


Thrift shopping is budget friendly, extremely fun, and allows you to stay trendy without breaking the bank. My first-time thrift shopping is definitely not going to be my last!