So we thought we would put together 10 tips to keep in mind on a thrifting adventure.
1. Hydration: If you haven’t fueled up and hydrated properly, you’re in for a rough shopping trip. Four to five hours in one store is a long time. You don’t want to be cranky because your blood sugar is low and all light-headed because you’re thirsty. Bring a water bottle and snacks, and keep back-ups in the car.
2. Comfortable Shoes: If you’re planning to wear your 4-inch stilettos and make up your face to the GAWDS to go thrifting, please stay home ... no seriously. Stay home or go to the club. Between your poor aching feet and possibly leaving stains with your face paint, you will be ready to leave empty-handed.
3. Time: If you need to be somewhere immediately after shopping, this adventure is not for you. For people who really have a heart for thrifting, the thrill of the hunt and the victory of the find is the fun. We can, and often do, sift and thrift for hours. HOURS!!! If you are going thrifting with a serious thrifter, drive your own car.
4. Labels: We love to find great labels in thrift stores, but we go for great finds — well-known labels or not. You can find great name brands in thrift stores, but you might have better luck in consignment stores and on eBay.
5. Size Doesn’t Always Matter: If you are only looking for clothes in your size, you’ll probably leave the thrift store empty-handed.
Consider how you might incorporate it into your wardrobe, even if it isn’t just your size.
6. Endless Possibilities: If you can’t see the possibility in a piece of clothing, thrifting may not be for you. Sometimes (most times) the piece becomes great with your creativity.
7. Trying on Clothes: If you’re not comfortable with trying clothes on in front of 30 or 40 people, this might not be for you.
We dress in layers to accommodate out-in-the-open dressing rooms (i.e., no dressing room).
8. Commanding Space: If you’re not willing to command space or multiple shopping carts, you might need to step up your game! Think road rage (well, not quite that mean, but you get the idea). A good offense is an even better defense.
9. Thrift? Vintage? Consignment?: One is a bargain basement free-for-all, and one is a reason for a retail operation to jack up their prices. The other can be a mixture of both.
Knowing the difference between a thrift store, vintage shop and consignment shop is important because they all offer very different shopping experiences and usually at very different price points.
We rarely shop at the latter two.
10. Frowny Faces: If you don’t like the idea of shopping with lower-income people, that’s your prerogative. We’re privileged to not be poor, but we don’t shun the folks who shop at thrift stores because that’s all they can afford. If you can’t stomach the idea of wearing clothes that have already been worn by someone else, this isn’t for you.
We’re at the thrift store for good bargains and, in many cases, to give back to a good cause. Plus, it’s more fun than writing a check.