Thrifting. It is quite unlike a typical shopping experience. A trip out to your local Salvation Army is a chance to break out of the trends that department stores and boutiques have picked out for you, and for you to search for yourself amidst decades and various styles of fashion. The shopping experience can be chaotic, but go in there armed with this Bob Dylan-ism; “chaos is a friend of mine.” Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter or a novice, here are some of the tips and tricks.
Patience is the cornerstone of thrifting. Go with time! Set aside a decent portion of the day for this. The stores are generally large and seemingly unorganized. Which is why its important to initially take the time to…
Survey the land. Some stores organize by color. Others by size, and others by garment type. Take an initial walk through to get a feel for the space. Just scan the isles and you will notice how quickly certain pieces will stand out. Half the battle of thrifting is honing in on your intuition.
Be open. Don’t go into a thrift shop with a specific item in mind. You are setting yourself up for a tension headache. Go in with an open mind. Aside from the obvious monetary savings, the great part about the low prices is that you can afford to experiment! You can buy pieces that you would have never considered. Secondly, be open to working some DIY magic if necessary. Shoulder pads? Cut them out later. Oversized shirt? Crop top. Wide leg jean? New shorts. Aside from easy tailoring, be sure to…
Examine Your pieces. If a button is missing, make sure you can replace it with a similar one. If there is a deep stain, you might want to reconsider. Don’t just pile up pieces in a thrifting frenzy, take a moment to really examine the piece to make sure that its not entirely damaged. The old worn and torn look is generally what gives a thrifted piece it’s character, so don’t be entirely closed off to imperfections.
Cross dress. Ladies, venture over to the mens sections! And men, put on a brave face and sift through the ladies section! This is the fun of thrifting. Because thrift stores carry all styles of various decades and genres, the range of men’s and women’s clothes is not as limited as more mainstream shops.