Hi! I’m Caroline, Allie’s sister. She asked me the other day if I wanted to write a post about thrifting, and I said “if I have to.” I’m so excited to share some thrifting tips that always help me when I go to the thrift store for some new-to-me clothes. Thrifting to me feels like going clockwise through Publix: desserts first! It’s just the fun way to do your shopping.
ONE. Don’t expect order. Clothes shopping at a thrift store is nothing like shopping at the mall. The clothes aren’t neatly hung on same size hangers, in ascending size order, and grouped together with similar styles. You walk into the thrift store and sometimes it is just may.hem. You may find clothes that are impossibly stuffed into one aisle, or some baby leggings mixed in with the short sleeved shirts you are looking through. So basically, don’t go if your stress level is at a 2007 Britney Spears.
Shirt: Old Navy, thrifted for $3.00 // Sequin Leggings: H&M, thrifted for $4.00 // Shoes: Target, thrifted for $3.50 // Necklace: H&M, on sale for $1.00
TWO. Go when you have plenty of time to look around. Thrifting takes a lot of time! It’s not like department stores that only have a certain amount of shirts, pants, dresses, etc. each season. Thrift stores have hundreds of different brands, fits, seasons, and the list goes on and on. You need to make sure you walk in with time to look through all the unique styles that thrift stores offer. It’s like a treasure hunt! You have to search through a bunch of shirts to find the ones that you love.
THREE. Shop on Mondays. Most people do their closet cleaning and bring in their unwanted clothes over the weekend. That means, you get first pick on Monday morning when they bring our their new stock! Go early in the day to beat the crowds so you don’t have to wack someone with your purse over a dress you both reached for (kidding?). I know hell exists because of thrift store sale-day crowds (& burpees). Mondays are also one of the most common days for store sales. Sometimes stores offer 50% off your entire purchase on a certain day or at a certain time. Those days are MADNESS. But fun madness.
Shirt: H&M, thrifted for $2.50 // Sequin cardigan: H&M, on sale for $5.00 // High-waisted Jeans: H&M, on sale for $3.00! // Shoes: unknown brand, thrifted for $1.50 // Purse: Target, on sale for $6.50
FOUR. Look at the fitting room rack first thing. You aren’t going to be the only one looking for some good bargains on some nice brands!
FIVE. Pay attention to tags, sticker colors, markdowns, and coupons. Again, some stores run sales on certain tag colors, sticker colors, or have coupons for a percentage off everything you buy on a certain day of the week. Also ask at checkout if they have an email or mailing list you can join for offers.
SIX. Snag the maybe’s. Grab those pants that you aren’t 100% sure about yet, and put them in your cart. You can always decide before you check out. You don’t want to change your “maybe” to a “yes” and go back to find that they’ve already been picked up by someone else.
SEVEN. Shop the off-seasons. Shop for winter in the summer and vice versa. You will have the most selection because no one else will be shopping for a heavy down coat in 97 degree weather or shorts when it’s below zero. These items are also more apt to being on sale since they are out of season.
EIGHT. Don’t listen to your “I can alter this!” lies. Maybe this is just me, but I can’t tell you how many times I have whispered that to myself while looking at something that didn’t fit. It almost always stayed hunkered down in my closet un-altered and un-worn. I am, however, a huge fan of making something work. Pictured below: I found a blanket scarf a few weeks ago, and it can be worn as a poncho/shawl. It’s fun to get creative with your finds.
NINE. Set your expectations low. Sometimes you won’t find much or anything at all. The good thing about thrift stores is that they are always getting new stuff in! Check back in a week and you will find that they have an entirely new selection of clothes (with the exception of that denim jumper…thankfully).
TEN. Don’t go by size. Sizes are not universal unfortunately. I can wear a small in some brands, while another brand’s large fits just fine. I always look through every size at the store because of this reason. As you shop around, you will start to learn how certain brands fit and if they run big/small.
You can find some great things if you look for them. I actually have been looking for some simple, gold flatware for yeeeeeeears, and I finally found an entire set last week while thrifting! Finding good deals is second best to sitting on a cold toilet seat in public restrooms (AM.I.RIGHT.). I hope these few tips will help you and make it not so overwhelming the next time you decide to try thrifting for some clothes.