Dreaming about thrift shopping that perfect 90's mom jeans, a floral statement dress or vintage designer belt? Don't let your dreams be dreams. /Shia LaBeouf
Take it from someone who's been thrift shopping for over 5 years: by trial and error, I now have a pretty good idea of how to make thrifting shopping a walk in the park. If you always wanted to go thrifting but have no idea where to start, don't worry, I got you. Here's what you need to know.
✰ Go with a pocketful of sunshine. In my opinion, thrift shopping only works if you're in a good mood. Dozens of barely organized racks of clothing will look like a fashion treasure chest instead of a burden you can't take on that moment.
✰ Location is key. Thrift shops in richer neighborhoods tend to have more designer pieces while thrift shops in student districts have more one-of-a-kind items. Explore different locations to see where you score your favorite finds.
✰ Don't skip anything. Look at the men's section, the nightwear section, the "put back" rack near the changing rooms... Honestly, I've found some of my favorite finds right where I didn't expect to find anything at all.
✰ Don't look at the sizes. Sizes differ from brand to brand. In thrift shops, you tend to find a lot of vintage finds, too. Brands size differently now. Just try it on.
✰ Look at the care label. Look where a piece is made and what it's made from. Usually, clothes made in developing countries are of lesser quality. If an item is made of linen, wool, viscose, cashmere, leather or a cotton/polyester blend with a higher percentage of polyester, it's more durable.
✰ Turn your find inside-out. Explore the seams, corners. Check for pills, missing buttons, tears, any holes or loose threads.
✰ Ignore price tags. Counter-intuitive, right? I know that checking price tags is a force of habit for most of us. For me, too. But trust me when I say to let this habit behind you while thrift shopping. This way you won't be tempted to buy something just because it's such a good deal. If your find fits your perfectly, look at the price and decide for yourself it it's worth it.
✰ In doubt, ask yourself these 3 questions. 1) Price aside, would you buy this kind of find in a store that's not a thrift shop? If you were in the fitting room of Urban Outfitters or Zara, would you take this? 2) Is this piece something you can wear a lot? Is it work-approciate, suitable for the weather conditions you live in, etc. 3) How will you wear this piece? If I can think of at least 2 outfits of the top of my head, it's a go.
✰ Find out when your thrift shops tends to restock. Most thrift shops restock during the week when there are less customers. If they restock tuesday morning, try to go tuesday around noon to get the first look at the new treasures.