my tips for successful thrift shopping

March 26, 2017

items clockwise: metal bin (1.49), red purse (3.49), bandana (1.09), metallic candle votive (1.49), Sriracha mug (1.49), Uglies (1.49) and Twilight (2.49). 

I'm posting to Arc's Value Village's Instagram (@thriftstylist) today as the #VillagerforaDay. They are a local chain of thrift stores in Minnesota, and my favorite location is the one in Richfield. They are a nonprofit which works to help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

I've loved thrifting ever since I was little and my mom bought me a pair of jeans embroidered with daisies from a thrift store, and since high school my friends have wondered how I find such gems while thrifting. (Not to brag or anything, but I really am a great thrifter.) So, without further ado, here are some tips for having a successful thrifting trip.

1. Look through more than you think you should, especially when it comes to clothes. Check sizing above and below your size, because you never know when a vintage find will defy modern vanity sizing, or which oversize shirt will drape just right on you. Touch the fabrics, and see if something surprises you; click through the hangers on just about everything.

2. Pay attention to color. I stick loosely to a color palette in my wardrobe, which has made my thrift shopping more effective. I look for red, pink, blue, and neutrals. I especially like black and white patterned pieces, which I can often find while thrifting. I feel more focused, and I am happier with my closet as a result of (mostly) sticking to a set of colors.

3. Check the tags. Most of my best finds from the thrift store come from brands that I love already. I especially get excited when I find J. Crew, LOFT, GAP, or Banana Republic in the racks, because I know I like their style and sizing. I also check tags to make sure that I can wash my finds; I usually try to avoid "dry clean only" items, because odds are I will forget and ruin them in the wash.

4. Have a thrift bucket list, and keep an eye out for it. I keep in mind new trends or styles that I would like to try but don't want to spend a lot of money on. Some things that I have wanted and found on my most recent trip to Arc's: a red dress, a red cross body bag, and some metallic details for my house. I still have my eyes peeled for a menswear inspired wool coat, another pair of mom jeans, and a leather mini backpack.

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