The first thing you need to know to successfully thrift shop is that price does not equal value.
Recently, I bought 2 new pair of pants at a Goodwill in New Mexico. They were priced $8 each which, tbh, is pricey for me at a Goodwill, but both pairs had never been worn because the store tags were still on them, priced at $49.95 each. Needless to say, I got $100 worth of pants for $16 bucks.
The whole point of shopping at a thrift store is to not look like you shop at a thrift store. But I’ll sure as hell tell you what I paid for an entire outfit because I’m proud and I love leaving the little bbs SHOOK.
I’m constantly asked how I’m able to construct the majority of my wardrobe in such a thrifty way and still look like a bad bitch. I have to say, it is a lifestyle: I was raised to do this (Thanks Mel.)
I grew up having a different understanding of how you place value on consumer goods. Why would I spend more money at a department store when I knew I could fulfill the same need cheaper at a thrift store.
You can say that retail shopping is easier and it is in a lot of ways. If you need to go buy something, you have the assurance that it’s probably there. You have a large selection of similar things, possibly a range of sizes, but you pay for this. You’re paying for an experience of a store, the feeling of buying something completely new. Not that I don’t shop from at a “real store” from time to time: it’s just never my first place I look for clothes.
Thrifting pieces for your wardrobe is not such an easy process but it’s an incredibly rewarding one. It takes time, patience, and a good eye but it’s how I get an outfit that’s under $20 and leaves everyone gagging.
In some ways, it’s hard for me to explain something that’s as instinctual as breathing; but here are my top 3 tips to start you on the gorgeous journey of being a thrift queen/ king/ royal:
Watch out for quality
I have a hard and fast rule that I do not buy Wal-Mart brand clothes at Goodwill. You can generally tell off the bat what’s a low quality garment just by feeling because of fabric quality. Thrifting is about getting the most for less. Watch out for holes, tears, piling, and stains on clothes. Sometimes you can fix them, most times you can’t. Stains: No. Piling: depends on how bad it is, generally pass cause it can indicates a lower quality fabric. Holes and tears: case by case, but you can often fix a hole, just depends on how bad it is. You’re smart, use your best judgement.
Manifest what you want to find
This is real as hell. I can’t tell you how many times I went in looking for something specific and I found it. Have an idea of what, your personal style, or different trends you want to emulate. It helps narrow your search and makes a thrift store more manageable. For me, I like a specific color palette so I only need to look at the colors and sizes that apply to me. Or if I’m looking for certain kinds of accessory, I spend extra time in those areas. Knowing what you want helps your eye find it.
Have fun with it
The rules are different when it comes to a thrift shop verse a retail store, it’s a hell of a lot more fun. Don’t be pressured to only shop in one section, check out the men’s wear (they have the best button ups and thick sweaters) and try on a range of sizes. Thrifting forces you to be creative and learn how to put individual pieces together. It’s something you get better at the more you thrift, but it enables you to have a style that’s completely unique to you.
Go forth my fashionable thrifting babes, share your finds, save the environment, and look fabulous doing it.