11 Tips To Thrifting Like A Pro!

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Thrifting ? Second-Hand? Ew, right! Such a stigmatized form of shopping. Who honestly wants hand me downs? Not my mother who goes to thrift store and walks around with her hands in her pockets the whole time. (C’mon mom!). Admittedly there is a sort of peace to buying clothes and shoes first hand. To start, you're the only person whose ever owned the item, (we pray!....it is common knowledge people do buy and take items back all of the time). The pieces you're buying first hand are clean, (we hope!... because truthfully other  people do try on pieces before purchasing; by the time you're ready to check out with your new threads you may have shared some dead skin cells with your friend who tried it on before you). Last but not least, the return policy (no need to try on the jeans.... if it doesn’t work? return them; just make sure it is before and not after the 14 to 30 day period where you can get a refund or else you'll be stuck with store credit).

All in all sounds like first hand shopping resembles second hand shopping, with higher prices and a greater chance of someone walking out of the store with the same piece! (so much for trying to be different, shoutout to Simone with the same dress as you!). Not to say that there isn’t a chance that someone could luck up and score the same piece as you thrifting, it actually may happen, however Simone might not walk out of the same thrift store with it (may the odds ever be in your favor!) and you’ll probably never see her (let’s toast to that!). 

Heres the thing, thrifting is an experience similar to first hand shopping but with many more pros. The price point is significantly less (not to mention thrift stores have sales, anyone!? what is 50% off of $8.00!?), the chick stole my look factor is extremely slim (Simone…*rolls eyes*) and you can find some amazing pieces when thrifting that are still fashionably relevant and timeless. Those are just a few of the hoorays for thrifting and one of the most important is up-cycling, giving used items new life. 

With all of that being said, one of the most common questions asked is,  “What are some good tips for thrifting?” and I am here to help!  Here are the top 11 tips I use when I am thrifting!

Tip 1: Research! What thrift stores are around you!?

  • So you want to get into thrifting? You need to find thrift shops around you so you can start! Be sure to do your research to see what is close to you! Or maybe take a road trip and see whats further! Keep an open mind. Consignment stores, thrift stores, and antique stores are all your friends! Sure it may look disheveled in some shops, but again keep an open mind, you never know what gems are waiting for you!

Tip 2: Dress Comfortably!

  • Make sure you wear comfortable clothing for trying on pieces you find when thrifting. Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms. Make sure you wear something easy to try the clothes on in a public setting (trust me don’t be shy, you won’t be the only one doing it).

Tip 3: Put it in the cart! 

  • When thrifting it is important to search every inch of the store, from the kids section to the men to the women. Don’t hesitate to put the items that catch your eye in your cart. Just because you put it in the cart doesn’t mean you're going to buy it but it does ensure that even if you're not positive about your choices, the opportunity for someone to steal what you're up in the air about is not an option.

Tip 4: Sizing!

  • DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIZING! Sizing is irrelevant. Pick up what grabs your attention. When you're thrifting it's a free for all. Sizing differs by brand, decade, body type and so much more. 

Tip 5: TRY IT ON!

  • Try it on please. This is very important. Make sure the item fits you and that it is something that you are confident in. There are some thrift stores that allow returns and others that don’t. Whether its first hand or second hand I always recommend TRY IT ON!

Tip 6: Labels!

  • 1. Know your labels and if you don’t, google them right in store. Make sure the price point set by the thrift store makes sense and protect your pockets! 2. Don’t be jaded by labels! Just because you found a label doesn’t mean buy it. Thrifting is about finding quality at a low price. Quality is not just defined by labels, if it is in bad condition leave it. Go for the no name label or the item with no tag that is in great condition. 3. Should you find a label in great condition that you love, buy it! There is nothing better than finding a great label or a designer label in great condition for an amazing price point.

Tip 7: Wash it! It's not officially yours until you wash it!

  • You’ve found the pieces you're looking for and you're eager to hit the town in your new threads, hold up! Wash it! Wash it and give it that new life with your own style! After you’ve done that you’ll be ready to stunt on ‘em and answer the question, “Where did you get that from?”

 Tip 8: Please don’t buy it because the price point is low!

  • Don’t buy it because the price is pennies. IT IS ALL FOR THE LOW LOW. If you don’t like it, leave it. If the item doesn’t fit properly, leave it. If you hate the color, leave it. If you're flat out unsure *mic to the crowd* LEAVE IT! You won’t wear it and it will collect dust. The check out adds up, no time for unnecessaries. Smart purchases are always first priority whether first or second hand shopping.

Tip 9: SALES! 

  • Thrift stores have sales! Ask an associate if there are any sales running for that day or soon to come! Sign up to receive email notifications on deal days and specials, you won’t regret it. Some thrift stores give a store discount card if you donate as well. Quid pro quo at its finest! It doesn’t hurt to give back to the community either, that's how this business survives!

Tip 10: Know when to quit!

  • You’ve been in the store for hours (because patience is beyond important when thrifting) and you’ve found a couple of items but you want to find more and your not seeing anything else, it's perfectly fine to leave with the couple of items that you have found and are happy with. You did it, and now you live to thrift another day. 

Tip 11: Have patience and have fun. 

  • This above all else is the most important tip. Patience to look through the store is crucial to finding gems. If you don’t find anything at all the first couple of times don’t give up! Keep trying and I am sure you’ll  be finding gems in no time. Make sure you enjoy yourself and have fun. Life is too short to wear boring clothes and thrifting will help you find those unique pieces you're looking for at a great price, it just takes practice. 

BONUS TIP

Tip 12: Alterations

  • Heres a bonus tip! You did it! You found an item you love except its not your ideal fit....Take the item to a tailor! This is something I love doing. Just think, you've found the perfect item and when you take it to a tailor the piece becomes custom fit for you! I consider this to be a bonus tip because it requires you to put in a little more effort to add the piece to your wardrobe.

Let me know if these tips were helpful or if there are any tips that you use to find amazing thrift pieces? 

Conscious, Culture, Art Always.

Black Manhattan