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I love shopping at the thrift store! And I want to teach you how to thrift shop as well. And if I am truthful I get so many compliments on my outfits and when I tell people I got them from the thrift store (no shame in my game) people are like really? But it looks so stylish.
My passion came for the thrift store when I went through a hard time financially and had to take a major pay cut at my job (click here to read my story on that situation). Even if my personal situation was busted, I did not have to walk out of the house looking busted. And so I discovered thrifting, and bought clothes that I would not have been able to afford other wise. I mean designer clothes like Vera Wang, Micheal Kors, etc.
When I used to think about how to thrift shop. I used to think that the thrift store was made up of low budget clothes that people did not want anymore. But that is the farthest thing from the truth. Shopping at the thrift store does not have to be like that. You just have to know how to properly shop at the thrift store and how to find good quality AND stylish clothes. A lot of clothes can be good quality, but if you look like you just came out the movie Saturday Night Fever because you found some gently used bell bottoms, that is not the look you are going for. That is not STYLISH. You do not want to buy things that looks like you do not belong in this decade. And that can easily happen if you have no idea what you are doing.
BUT picking the right thrift store, will get you Cold Water Creek, true story about shopping at the thrift store I saw a skirt from there that was new with tags in the thrift store. The original price was $200 and the thrift store had it for like $10 bucks. I learned how to look like I was balling on a budget click here to read my blog on that.
All the outfits I am wearing in this post are actually from the thrift store, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for more pictures where I often post my thrift store outfits. Just click here.
1. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Go To A Good Thrift Store
When you learn how to thrift shop know that. Not all thrift stores are created equal. The first thing you want to do when shopping at a thrift store is research good thrift stores. With the power of the internet, all you have to do is search thrift stores near me and then read the reviews. You can also go to consignment shops because that is a more fancy word for thrift store and they tend to have high-quality stuff.
When you read the reviews some of the things that you need to look for is people saying. They have cheap prices, and high-quality name brand stuff or they are always getting new merchandise almost every day.
Here are some real reviews of the thrift store that I go to, just to give you an idea of what you are looking for and if the thrift store is worth a visit.
Above I have highlighted things you want to look for, like the actual brands, diamond in the rough, and also look at how long ago the reviews were written so you can get a good idea on if the thrift store is worth your time.
2. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Know how they get their merchandise
Secondly, know where you clothes come from. You may be able to just go on their website or read the reviews to figure this out, but how a thrift store gets their merchandise matters. Some of the better thrift stores I attended got their merchandise from going into more affluent areas and the thrift store got their donations from picking them up from their homes. Hence better quality clothes. Most of their clothes are more than likely luxury and if they donate them then you have access to those luxury clothes via the thrift store. See how that works.
Another tidbit to look for is many main stream thrift stores get over stock items from actual stores. I have seen orginal tags for name brand clothes, NY and company, Ann Taylor, etc. Once the clothing goes out of season in the main store then many of them will donate to the thrift store, hence new clothes that you have the opportunity to buy that are still in style and new.
Just go to the thrift stores website or look at the reviews to find out how they get their clothes and how they sell their clothes. Some thrift stores have standards and will not sale anything and everything, where as some will.
Also, you want to make sure that the thrift store gets stocked on a regular basis and add new things daily. That is a sign that the thrift store is a good thrift store and the prices are cheaper if they always have to make room for more stock.
3. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Know what you are looking at
My third and important tip is to know your clothes. 99.999% of the time, when I get stuff out of the thrift store and I am at the checkout counter, I get so many compliments on the things that I have picked out. That is because I know what I am looking at. I know what quality brand names are, I know how things fit on my body, and I am willing to look for what I want.
Often times when I go into the thrift store I get so shocked at the number of items that people pass by. Unlike a regular store, you cannot just walk through the aisle and expect something to pop out at you. There is only one item of a particular clothing item. I do not sit and go through each piece of clothing because I do not have time for that. But train your eye on what to look for, what looks classy, what is timeless, what is quality fabric versus what is cheap and a waste of your time to buy. Or will go out of style.
You can read my blog on Stitch Fix, and how using their services can help you discover your personal style if you do not know what you are doing. The thing about the thrift store is you want to shop more for timeless fashion since more items are out of season anyway. But focus on styles that never go out of style so it won’t matter how old the articles of clothing are, they are still timeless. Think about your favorite store that you want to go to but cannot afford. And look at their clothes. Train your eye to recognize luxury clothes.
Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Case and point. I love Anne Taylor the Loft, when I am at the thrift store I can spot something from that brand a mile away. Because it looks a certain way. I recommend looking at quality clothing and expensive clothing that you cannot normally afford, train your eye to spot it, recognize it, and it will make your thrift store shopping experience so much easier. So go to the website of stores that are expensive and high quality or go to the stores themselves so that you can study what good quality and classy clothes look like.
4. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Weight the Pros and Cons of the Pricing
My fourth tip is when you go to the thrift store I know that it is second hand and you expect all things to be cheap. But cheap in subjective to the brand that you are buying. At the thrift store know that higher quality brands are a little bit more expensive, especially if they are in good condition. BUT when you compare them to the regular price items that is how you can determine if you are making a deal.
Case and Point: This Kasper dress is in very good condition, it actually looks brand new. I paid $13.99 for this dress but the normal price for a Kasper dress can be anywhere from $80-200, so when you compare the price to that, I struck a deal. This is why you need to familiarize yourself with brand names, where they sell, and how much the retail price is. I would not pay $13.99 for something that normally retails for $20. But paying that much for something that normally sells for hundreds of dollars and that is in newly new condition, that is a good deal. Kasper is a brand that is timeless and good quality. Meaning it is not going to fall apart after you wash it or after one wear. In the thrift store go for things that you would not normally buy in the real store because it is too pricey, that is one of the ways that you know you have struck a deal.
5. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Go To the Good Side of Town
The fifth tip that you have to know, is that you have a better chance of finding really high-quality clothing if you go to the thrift store in the really rich part of town. Rich people tend to donate things because they can get a tax write off. They are not likely to drive into the bad part of town to donate their clothes, instead, they are just going to go to the thrift store nearest them and give their clothes. That is why you need to identify what those thrift stores are and go there.
I tried to get my friend into thrift store shopping and she told me that she attempted to go to a thrift store and when she looked at the clothes she just felt like she was shopping through other people’s junk, because it looked like junk. That is because she went to the WRONG thrift store. A thrift store where people donated junk. That is why she was shifting through junk.
6. Shopping At The Thrift Store & How To Thrift Shop ~ Make an Inspiration Board
My final tip is to have an inspiration board through Pinterest which you can follow my Fashion Pinterest Board here. I tend to focus on clothing that is very good quality, classy, and fashionable. And when I go to the thrift store I can pull out my board and often times I find similar clothing items that match what is in the board. This way you know that you are getting fashionable items and you have ideas on what to pair it with.
A thrift store is a wonderful option for women who are on a budget but do not want to look low budget. Follow these 6 tips and I promise you, I will make you a believer of the thrift store.
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