Today I did a major haul of wonderful things at one of my favorite places- Goodwill Roseville off Douglas Blvd. I actually went with my husband this time and showed him a few pointers on how to be the most effective and find the good stuff. After we were done, I started thinking this would be a great topic for a series of posts on Thrifting. I will do a few of them and break down the ins and outs of finding new and vintage items in a thrift store. Thifting is an art form. Experienced thrifters know that everyone has their own style of shopping but there are guidelines one simply MUST follow in order to make thrifting worth your while and not to become overwhelmed.
1. Decide. Lay out your budget, the time you have, etc. do this in advance so that you don’t spend all day there, and you can still pay your rent.
2. Prepare yourself emotionally, mentally, physically. It will be a bit overwhelming. Large stores can be cluttered, noisy, and smell weird. It can be worth it though. Bring hand sanitizer and moist towelettes.
3. Start shopping! Begin at the ‘this doesn’t fit me rack’ near the dressing rooms. This is a great place to search for cute items that maybe someone changed their mind about or ( lucky you ) they couldn’t fit. I have found a few awesome things there in the first 3 minutes of being inside the thrift store by doing this first. It’s literally less work you have to do because they’ve already found it for you!
4. Search through everything!
Work quickly, leaving no syone unturned, no item unseen. If you like it, or think you might like it, put it in the cart. Don’t even worry about size labels yet, which brings me to my fifth point.
5. Don’t worry about size labels. These are deceiving. Because you are at thrift store, these clothes are more than likely used. Used clothing may get stretched out over time, or shrink during laundering. I never skip cute things unless it is visibly extremely small or extremely large looking. Just put it in the basket and go TRY IT ON!
6. Try on everything! NEVER buy an item that you thrifted unless you try it on! I guarantee; because of reason number five, that top you love labeled a small is actually a little large and will fit a medium. Certain clothing is cut differently as well so it may not work for you. Also- most thrift stores are final sale. Be sure to check the return and exchange policy before you shop and eventually make a purchase.
7. If you don’t love it, or need it- put it back! Where your closet is concerned, there’s nothing worse than unworn clothing. Do not fall victim one more time! When in doubt just say no. I would rather regret I did not make a purchase than make one I regretted.
8. Stay on budget! Keep track of your total. Don’t buy the little knick knacks available for sale up front. Remember what you came for- clothes- not incense.
9. Guard your cart!!! NEVER take your eyes off of that pile of gems. If people will steal a wallet, you better believe they’d grab a vintage Dior jacket or new with tags Ann Taylor pantset. I gravitate to sparkles- and my carts always catch people’s wandering eyes. I see them looking.
10. Finally when you are done, celebrate! You’ve just scored something awesome!
11. Wash everything!!! Items might still smell like your local thrifting establishment for awhile- so you might need to toss articles through the washer cycle twice with extra detergent. Do not wash your thrifted things with your other items. They need their own wash cycle full of love.
That’s the end of the 11 baby steps to successful thrift shopping. I will upload a new post on this series every Friday on my blog.