I do a lot of thrifting, and I often get asked how I find such great pieces at thrift and consignment stores. Here are three basic tips to maximize your thrifting experience.
1 – Do Your Homework
Before you head out, do some research. A very common mistake is thinking that thrift stores and consignment stores are the same. They are not. Thrift stores are places where clothes are donated and then sold, usually on behalf of a charitable cause. Consignment stores are shops where people sell their clothes either upfront or for a portion of the profit made later. This difference is very important, often clothing in consignment stores is in better condition and of a more recognizable brand.
2 – Be Openminded
What I have found most important about thrifting is your attitude. You can’t go into a thrift or consignment store and expect to find garments that are exactly what you want, fit perfectly, and fulfill all of your desires. It’s not just what you find, it’s how you can use it. I end up altering about 70% of the things I buy secondhand in some way. Whether it’s to embellish, tailor, or completely repurpose. Even if you don’t sew or craft, keep in mind that some items might need to be tailored to fit just right.
3 – Shop the Whole Store
Don’t just look in the women’s department. Check children’s, mens, even housewares. You just never know what you’re going to find. Men’s small sweaters are the perfect casual, oversized fit on me. I wear a lot of tutus and half of those come from the children’s section. Sometimes in housewares you can find fabric to embellish another piece, or a misplaced pair of shoes. Don’t look at the clothing items as belonging to a certain gender or age category, look at them all as potential pieces for your wardrobe.
What are your best thrifting and consigning tips or problems?