How To Thrift Like A Pro

Racks on racks of clothing. That distinct musty smell. And those unbeatable prices.

I’m talking about thrift shopping (cue the Macklemore).

Although the time that goes into it can seem daunting,  when it comes to thrifting, sticking with it and staying persistent can result in finding a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind pieces that won’t break the bank.

Here’s how to thrift like a pro.

MAKE A LIST TO AVOID GETTING OVERWHELMED

It’s always a good idea to make a list of what you are on the hunt for before you walk through the doors of any thrift shop. It will keep you focused. Use it as your map for guiding you through the store. If you’re on the hunt for the perfect pair of mom jeans, you’ll know to beeline for the denim before you get distracted.

But at the same time keeping an open mind will help you find those items you weren’t looking for but “oh my gosh have to have!” Like spotting a vintage leopard print coat out of the corner of your eye.

KEEP IN MIND, MANY CURRENT TRENDS ARE REPEATS OF THE PAST

Always pay attention to your favorite brands and what their new lines look like. You can even keep some photos on your phone to reference. Fashion is always repeating itself; so many times you can find something super similar. Before you run out and buy something new off the rack at Forever 21, give your local thrift store or Goodwill a scan first.

REMEMBER, UPCYCLING GOES A LONG WAY

If you’re a DIY-er, when thrifting, think of the ways you can fix up and alter your secondhand purchases to give them new life.

Whether you sew on a zipper, add some studs to your mom jeans or even splatter paint on that oversized denim jacket, you can make it look like you broke the bank for it, when really it cost you no more then $10 to make the whole thing.

Also, when it comes to jeans, pants, skirts or dresses, keep it mind what it might look like to cut off the bottoms to make them cropped or a different length – all you need is a pair of scissors and you can totally change the game.

DON’T FORGET THE MEN’S SECTION

Always, ALWAYS go look and see what the men’s section has. From oversized sweaters and blazers for layering, to track pants and sporty tees from the boys’ section, the options are pretty much endless and amazing.

WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHING, BRING WATER AND MAYBE A SNACK

Okay, you’re not running a marathon, but thrifting can take it out of you. If you’re hydrated, comfortable and full, you’ll enjoy the process so much more, and make better purchasing decisions.

For anyone on a budget, thrifting is an amazing to feed your love of personal fashion without breaking the bank. Plus, it can also be a stress reliever for those of us who love a little retail therapy.

Featured image via @DebTheCuban

Debbie Ruiz

Student at Purdue University studying Apparel Design. Catch me at the thrift store DIYing my life away.

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