Tricks to Finding the Best Clothing in Your Local Thrift Store
Today, we’re going to be sharing some tips for buying thrifted clothing. One of the best ways we can help fight the fast fashion industry is to defeat our own biases against wearing previously-owned clothes. Yes, it’s really okay to buy used! Nothing about these items has changed except for ownership. However, in order to make the most out of your trip to the thrift store, you’ll need a bit of knowledge of what to look for.
Before we start, be sure to check out our list of other affordable places to find sustainable clothing.
Thrifted Clothing Tips
- Be Selective: Some things can’t be fixed. It’s best to avoid clothes that have holes, stains, or odors. Most other defects can be buffed out or sewn over. (Time to work on those sewing skills!) Make sure the zippers and buttons work!
- Carry Cash: Thegoodtrade.com has a tip that most of us would never think of: only take cash to the shop. It’s easy to buy everything- rather than what we really need- due to the low costs. So carrying cash is a way to keep you from making impulse purchases. Try on the clothes and observe the details closer. Make sure you keep to what you need and what fits your existing wardrobe.
- Talk to the Cashier: Get the details on when your chosen thrift store restocks, so you’ll get the best possible selection of thrifted clothing for that time period.
- Shop Off-Season: Shop off-season for better deals on seasonal clothing.
- Visit the Shops Less Traveled: Go to less-trafficked stores. You’re less likely to find the good stuff downtown, right? Go to a thrift store in one of the suburbs of the big city, and you might find some forgotten gems.
- Think About What’s In Your Cart: Be honest with yourself. This ties in with tip #2. Don’t buy something just because it’s novel or super cheap. It should fill a hole in your wardrobe, or go with something you already own. Buying unneeded thrifted clothing, new or used, is self-defeating!
- Dress Ready: Not all thrift stores have dressing rooms. Wear an outfit that is easy to layer over. The feel of your clothes is important!
- Consider Your Options: Continued from #7, if a piece is just a bit too big, and it would break your heart to leave it, have it tailored to your size. Again, those sewing skills can come in handy.
- Keep an Open Mind: Check men’s and women’s sections, and consider wearing oversized clothes if it strikes your fancy. You may also find that some shoppers have left clothes in the wrong section.
- Be Prepared and Fed: Be ready for the trip. If you’re making a day of it, make sure you’re well-fed, or have a meal plan.
- Make it a Friends’ Outing: Bring a friend if you’re indecisive. Having a second opinion may help you make a quicker decision. Shopping as a pair is also just more fun!
What are your favorite tricks in finding thrifted clothing?
Now that you’ve got some basic tricks on how to conduct yourself while thrift shopping and how to evaluate thrifted clothing options. There’s nothing left to do but go and try it. We hope you have a safe and entertaining adventure and feel free to share your results!