Monday, September 8, 2014

practical tips for thrift-store shopping

I was chatting with one of my school friends about where I buy my clothes, (mostly thrift stores, guys. they're my fave) and she asked for a few tips, asking which of the thrift stores near us were "good ones."
Not wanting to lead her astray, I launched into a monologue that could probably have been titled "An Exhaustive Guide to Thrifting, Volume 1." I was on like, my third tip when she started laughing.

I AM AN OVERACHIEVER, OKAY. But I also realized that I have something to say on the subject of thrifting! So here are a few of my tips for thrift-store shopping, whether you're a veteran thrifter or just getting started. :)

thrifted from this outfit: black shirt, originally Suzy Shier

Know your thrift stores! (some are good, some are bad, know the difference.)

a good thrift store organized well, look clean, have both really old and really new clothes to choose from, have at least six changeroom stalls, and have a high turnover rate (ex. if you go in a week later, there will be tons of new stuff.)

a bad thrift store will...look dirty. have dirty, stained, old-old-not-vintage-old clothes, make you feel gross every time you touch something. Do not shop at those stores.

thrifted from this outfit: coat, originally steilmann

 Check for stains and rips, even if the piece looks new. There's a reason it's at the thrift store, after all! It could be because it didn't fit or simply wasn't liked by its previous owner, but it could be because of a hidden flaw.

 Don't be lured into buying bad clothing just because it's cheap.
If you wouldn't love it at the $30 sale price, you don't need it now that it's been marked down to $3. So many times I've bought clothing because it was "almost perfect" had a "little" stain or hole or fit great "except on my shoulders." I always regret it. Love it before you bring it home.

thrifted from this outfit: shoes, originally

thrifted from this outfit: shirt, originally Lorde and Taylor

 Don't count on finding shoes. They've all been worn before. I have found a couple pairs I liked (see above!) but it's really hit and miss.

 Always try everything on. Size means nothing here.

thrifted from this outfit: dress, originally Suzy Shier

Some days will be bad days!
You may spend hours in a thrift store to walk away with absolutely nothing. This does not make the thrift store bad. Try the store several times on different days to get a good feel for whether or not it will carry the kinds of clothing you're looking for.

thrifted from this outfit: blazer, (see above), originally from gordon smith.

Always check the book section before leaving!

Do you shop at thrift stores? Agree or disagree with my list of tips?


**all photos taken by my lovely sister, Hannah**


  1. Ummmm can I please go thrift shopping with you please? Look at all that cute stuff you've found. Wow.

    These are great tips. Here in Ireland I've never found a nice thrift store - they all seem to fit in the "bad" category. #THEYSMELLFUNNY :( So I really need you to adopt me so I can shop at your thrift stores.

    1. Of course I will adopt you! you can bake me yummy fictional food and I'll teach you to talk in a Canadian accent and we can go thrift store shopping every day, it'll be great!! :p

  2. Great tips! I've only gone thrift store shopping once or twice (once was costume shopping for a book character and that was fun!) but I enjoyed it. It's not something I naturally turn to when I want clothes, but maybe I ought to try it more often.

    1. Yesss definitely try it more often!!! I will adopt you too and the three of us can just go shopping all the time!! :p seriously though, I love thrifting. I walk away sometimes (on the really good days!) with bags full and it's so cheap! and you're never wearing the same shirt as anybody else... a lot of the stuff I find is from stores I've never heard of.

      *end ranting* I'll try not to write another post right here in the comments. basically I love it, go thrifting forever. :P

  3. sweet pics cous!

    awesome tips for the next time im in the city... :)

    1. yes for sure we will have to go to a thrift store the next time you come down!! :)


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