Thrifting is a must for the sustainable lifestyle. Unless you’re made of money, buying strictly fair trade and ethical brands is way pricey. If you have a spouse or kids or both to shop for, avoiding cheap sweatshop-made apparel seems impossible. So thank God for thrift shops, they’ll save you money and save the earth.
You might already have the thrift shopping thing down.. Or maybe you could use some tips. Let me just tell you, it gets easier, funner, and faster the more you go! Whether you’re just getting started or a regular secondhand shopper, a few tips can help you be even more confident and strategic while you’re out thrift shopping (Whichever it is, I want to hear how your shopping goes, so comment below and share your stories!).
Just remember beforehand that you can rock anything, so don’t be afraid to pick something unique and fun that you love, because YOU’re unique and fun. A piece of clothing can only accentuate that beauty you already have on the outside, and express that beauty you have on the inside!
(A few of my favorite thrift finds: A turtleneck, a 100% silk blush top, a suede jacket, a fuzzy black sweater and a teal-striped collared crop top!)
BE YOUnique - The beauty of wearing thrift shop finds is being unique and standing out. No lie, only once have I seen one of my thrift shop finds on someone. It was while I was watching Netflix, I caught Andre from Blackish wearing the funky Divided t-shirt that I found thrifting in downtown Ventura. No guarantees this will happen to you, but I do guarantee thrifting will push you out of your safe style zone and in to a unique style with the freedom to be fun and expressive and YOU. Tip #1 is to let this happen, to be pushed past that safe zone!
Snag Essentials - I love treating myself to the latest and greatest pieces from a favorite fair trade, sustainable clothing brand, but snagging basics at your local thrift shop is easy on the wallet and makes outfit pairing simple. Find some basic solid tanks to pair with those crazy, cool vintage pants you just thrifted, or those brand new Agolde mom jeans you just invested in.
Make The Time - It’s true, shopping can be stressful. It can also be super fun if you make a day out of it. Bring a friend, grab a smoothie and check out a few shops. If you’re in a rush, guarantee you’ll be overwhelmed at a big chaotic thrift store. Yeah, 99% of thrift stores are big and chaotic. If you just don’t have all day, dig in to two or three sections and come back another day to find more!
Check Tags - Hey that romper is so retro and fun, is it worth it? If you’re debating a piece, checking the tags can be a determining factor. For example, Forever 21 products aren’t going to last long. That’s no worry if it’s a couple bucks and you can recycle it properly, but if you’re hoping for your next favorite go-to, look for name brands and higher quality fabrics. Warning, soon enough you’re going to be a fashion connoisseur finding it hard to resist designer brands and top quality fabrics.
Be Touchy - Walk up to that rack, slide all those hangers to one side, and fan through each piece. Feel the fabric, check out fun patterns, and target favorite colors. Unusual fabrics and textures are in! If you only scan racks you’ll miss out on designer brands, tops with great detail, or ultra soft sweaters.
Get Lost - You may be a size large male, or a size medium female, it don’t matter! Head to the opposite side of the store, and to the other size sections too. Oversized shirts don’t have to be your exact size, and vintage t-shirts are genderless. As mentioned earlier, if you checked a certain section of your local thrift store last time, head to a new section you haven’t checked out before.
Don’t Be Scared of the Denim Section - ..or any pants for that matter. It’s possible to find perfectly fitted second hand pants, just know your waist size and try them on! Note that most thrift stores without dressing rooms have an easy return policy. Feel free to use the “Wear a dress while thrifting so you can try on the pants” strategy as well.
Thrift Everywhere - Thrifting when you’re out of town is adventurous and exciting. No matter where you are, there’s treasures where you least expect to find them. You just gotta get out and look!
See? It’s easy and fun! Thrift shopping can change the world because when you buy a secondhand item you keep that item from the landfill, or from being shipped overseas to rot in another country. Gallons and gallons of water is required to create a new piece of clothing, but buying a used item takes nothing from the earth. Most thrift stores also donate profits to great causes! Share clothes with friends, never throw away your clothes, and checkout sites like Thred Up and Poshmark to buy secondhand at home!