Thrift Store Basics


Thrifting is one of the best ways we can reduce the amount of waste we’ve created through clothing consumption. I like to use thrifting in order to participate in the latest trends that I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on. I also like to find textiles that are unusual or one-of-a-kind and create new garments out of them. Thrifting is in some ways an art and in order to not get lost in the wonderland that is a thrift store, you need to have a strategy

My best friend, Ryan, is a thrift store maverick. Every time we go on a thrifting spree she comes back with the best stuff. I envy her abilities like no other and I asked her to come and do a guest post and give us some tips. Luckily, she said yes and so here she is. I hope you guys enjoy!

thrifting-101 ARC-Thrift-Store-Colorado-Springs-51

Hey guys, my name is Ryan and I’m just going to share a few of my favorite tips when it comes to shopping. Most of these will help you find that perfect item or at least help you make the most out of your local thrift store  First things first, you want to figure out exactly what you’re looking for before you even leave the house. Check your closet for items you need to add to your staples. After that, you can check out blogs and other fashion publications and see which trends you really want to try out. Make a list of each item you’re looking for and bring it with you.

Clothing Sale

The next step is to find out what the daily deal is. For example, the GoodWill uses a certain colored tag to dictate what is half off that week. Keep in mind what deals your store is currently having, it will help when it comes down to deciding how much money you want to spend.  Once you figure out what deals your store has, it’s time to start looking. Start in each section but remember don’t forget about the kid’s and men’s sections. You’ll be surprised with you can find.  Men’s sections are great for t-shirts and sweaters. Kid’s sections are also great for t-shirts. Once you find a section to start searching it’s time to start digging in. Let your eye scan the area and go for the print or color that stands out the most to you, quickly scan the surrounding area because you’re going to be looking at a lot of stuff. If you’re not in love, move on. You’re going to find so many items that you sort of like but not really. Don’t waste your time on things like that. You might try to justify the fact that it’s cheap as a reason to just get it but you’ll quickly end up with a bunch of stuff you won’t actually wear.


Dont forget to check for stains, rips, and holes. Be honest with yourself about it. There will definitely be a moment when you find the perfect dress but it has a rip in the side. Can you fix it? Are you willing to pay to get it fixed? If not, don’t get it. It will just sit in your closet as a constant reminder of what could have been. Also bring a stain remover to test on stains. Do this before you try it on if possible. It’s a great way to weed out the amount of things you’ll be trying on. That leads me to my next point, TRY IT ON. I don’t know how many times I’ve found something I love but the fit is just awful. Please just move on if it doesn’t look great on you. If you need to make any changes than remember to be honest with yourself about whether or not you’ll actually get that done.

Once you finish picking out items and weeding them out by trying them on, it’s time to do a final scan of your items. Check to make sure each item is something you really want. If not, let it go. You’ll find something even better next time. If you didn’t find nearly as much as you would like to, don’t be discouraged. Each week brings something different so you will eventually find what you’re looking for.


My last tip is to bring items with you the next time you go. For every item I purchase, I like to donate one that I haven’t or won’t wear in the near future. It’s a great way to participate and help your local thrift store out. I hope these tips were helpful for anyone who is beginning their thrift store journey. Just remember to have fun and embrace items you normally wouldn’t if you had to pay full price. It’s been a great time writing this post and I hope I can come back and offer some more tips if needed.


Images courtesy of We Heart It.


One comment

  1. Great tips!! It sounds like such an adventure – I’ll have to try it soon! 😀

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