There’s an incomparable sense of accomplishment you feel when you find an item from your favorite brand at a killer discount. It’s that too-expensive-but-you-still-love-it brand you’d wear daily if you ever found one of those money trees your parents always talked about. Well, thanks to the rise in awareness and popularity of thrifting, more and more people are building their dream wardrobes at a ridiculously reasonable price while also helping to save the environment through the practice of secondhand shopping.
What may come as a shock to most, thrift shops have actually been around since the early 1900s. Back in their early days, thrift shops’ primary focus was on the trading and selling of reused items, and on providing social services and job opportunities for the poor and disabled. Though their focus and inventory have since expanded from days gone by, one thing definitely has yet to change— shoppers alike love the thrill of finding couture pieces at affordable prices. This now $14.4 billion industry looks to only continue to grow for the better.
Sound like a bandwagon you could jump on?
If our miniature history lesson has you more convinced you want to join the thrifting trend but you’re still fretting the idea of shopping in these cluttered and disorganized shops, don’t fear. Luckily for you, we’re here to give you a little boost with some tips and tricks to really thrive at thrifting. So, let’s get jumping!
Just like in school, homework is essential to succeeding in your thrifting experience. Curate a list of what you’re in search for and set a maximum limit to how many of each type of item you’re willing to buy before you start shopping. If you need some jeans, stop at your three “must-have” pairs. This will help dial-in your focus to what you really need and prevent you from buying six or so pairs you only partially like (and will almost certainly never end up wearing).
It’s helpful to create an apparel-inspired Pinterest board or save Instagram posts that speak to your fashion aspirations. This will give you the confidence to walk into any thrift shop and know the exact styles you should gravitate toward as you scan the racks. There’s no need to waste time on pieces that don’t fit your desired look. We want you to ace that test, so study up!
Bonus tip: follow I Thought of You on Pinterest for your perfect wardrobe inspiration.
The best offense is a good defense.
This may be our third tip, but it’s your first rule of thumb. When you enter any thrift shop, grab a cart or basket to keep your picks neatly together rather than annoyingly draped over your arm. Though the arm technique provides some nice resistance training for your biceps, it can often lead to frustration and a tangled mess. Using a cart will allow you to fan out everything you’ve selected as you shop and assure your pieces are true to the styles you set out to buy.
If you’re someone who needs some extra help focusing in places that have racks on racks of distractions, pop in your headphones and put on your favorite playlist. This will tune out excess noise and get your head in the zone. Distracted shopping is disordered shopping. You’ll be better able to find your shopping groove and look for pieces that match your style inspo.
And always stick to your list! Unless you’re just shopping around for nothing serious, stay true to what you set out to buy. We get it—thrift shops have aisles of amazing finds. But, if you don’t need home décor, don’t look at home décor. Remember, the best offense is a good defense.
Dress for thrift shopping success.
Our last and potentially most important tip—if you don’t love it in the store, you won’t love it when you get home. Try on everything you are permitted to and assure yourself you’ll be undeniably happy with purchasing it. Does it fit well? Do you feel comfortable wearing it? Is it flattering in all the right places? These are important questions to consider. Because many thrift shops don’t have dressing rooms, we also recommend shopping in leggings and a tank top so you can try on items out in the open. Dress for thrift shopping success.
You’re now fully equipped with the proper knowledge to ace your thrifting experience. It may be overwhelming at first; however, like with any skill, the more you thrift, the better you’ll be. As long as you set out prepared and ready for fun, you’ll be thriving on thrifting in no time.