If you have been a reader of Chic Éthique for a while, you will know that I love thrift shopping for my wardrobe. It’s an economical way to fill out a wardrobe while being conscious of the environment, ethics, and charitable causes all at once. Growing up, my mother shopped for me at thrift shops and garage sales, and as a teenager, I didn’t like wearing thrifted things or visiting thrift stores. As I learned more about the fashion industry, however, I fell in love with it, and was so grateful to my mom for showing me how it was done, even if I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I often get asked if I have any advice for thrifting, so today I’m sharing five thrifting tips. Find them below in both written and video forms, and let’s get thrifting!
5 tips for thrift shopping
1. Have an idea of what you are looking for
Even for seasoned thrifters, the sheer volume of items in a second-hand shop can be overwhelming. To combat the overwhelm, I like to have an idea of what I’m looking for each time I go thrifting. If I have decided that I’m looking for a knee length skirt, black dress, and pair of jeans, it will be much easier for me to find those items because I won’t be as distracted by other pieces and my trip will have a specific focus. I find this helps me to purchase pieces I will actually wear rather than accumulating superfluous items.
2. Shop for the basics
If you are new to thrift shopping, a great way to start is to try to fill in key basic pieces that are missing from your wardrobe. I love to source black dresses, denim jackets, striped tees, and chambray shirts all from the thrift store. Basic pieces are usually readily available as they are produced in greater quantity, and therefore donated in greater quantity.
3. Go thrifting in the morning
My favorite time to thrift shop is on weekday mornings if I’m off of work. I love to brew myself some coffee and take my time perusing what’s available that day. In my area, the stores are much less crowded and picked over in the mornings, and shopping in the A.M. gives you first access to new items that have just been put on the racks.
4. Try things on
This was a struggle for me, but once I started trying things on at the thrift store, I was much happier with my purchases. Trying things on really changes my perspective on them, and helps me to see if the item has a place in my wardrobe or not. Before I started trying pieces on while thrifting, I bought a lot of items, and didn’t wear them all. Now I find that I usually only purchase a couple of items, but I wear them all. the. time.
5. Be persistent
Sometimes I’ll make two or three trips to the thrift store, and just not find anything, but I’ve learned that if I’m persistent, I’ll eventually find what I’m looking for. People get rid of so many articles of clothing every day, and the volume that’s available means there is something for everyone at second-hand stores. I went looking for a basket bag three times before I found one I loved. It took a little patience, but I found what I was looking for at a great price and in a fair manner. You just can’t beat that!