Honestly, I cannot pinpoint the exact day I fell in love with thrifting but I aint looked back since. I remember when I was younger, my mom would drag me in the store with her when she was looking for a good deal on kitchen utensils or some sturdy furniture. I’d be that annoying child hanging off the end of a clothes rack, sighing obnoxiously for attention just for my mom to say, “Okay girl lets go!” But now, oh, but now. My mom makes it a constant reminder for me to just keep driving. Don’t stop to browse because I Don’t Need Anything! But what mom don’t know won’t tempt her to sway me away right? Right. What I can do is assess my progression with thrifting and share……
First and foremost:
What is thrifting? Is it the same as going to a vintage store or consignment shop?
To answer the latter, nah. Thrifting is when one seeks to purchase second-hand, recycled apparel, furniture, movies, etc at an extremely cheap price. Usually they are unique and are one of its kind (very rare if ever will you find someone else with the same or similar item). According to Merriam-Webster, vintage is used to describe something that is not new but is valued because of its good condition. Vintage stores will consist of second hand clothing but may consist of brand names that sell at a higher price than what’s found at a thrift store. Consignment shops sell second hand clothes on behalf of an owner, and when that item sells, the owner gets a percentage of that sale. Items at consignment shops are typically more expensive than thrift stores as well. All are awesome places to find unique apparel but your budget or strict interest may dictate where to go……..
My preference you ask? Thrift stores!
Thrifting is not easy nor is it a short task. It takes a lot of patience and an eye for unique/quality apparel (yes clothes sold for a $1 can still have quality), and even a keen eye to pair with something already in your closet. 85% of my closet is thrift (it isn’t 100 because I am 5’10’’ and I have YET to come across some tall length/nicely fitted jeans and size 9 ½ shoe. I am getting close, though. I can feel it. On average, I spend about an hour and 15 minutes in a thrift store. I have the women’s section to browse through (t-shirts, long sleeve, slacks, jeans, shorts, skirts, dresses), kids, furniture, jewelry, and more recently, entertainment. I collect VHS’ and vinyls now. Addyson gets pretty restless when we go so I usually try to go on my off days when Addyson is still in school so she doesn’t have to suffer. I think I pretty much got the hang of it now! Winter is arriving and will be the perfect time to put thrifting skills to the test. A few tips:
- Yes items in the thrift store are cheap as is BUT if you want an even greater deal, go on the days where they have sales. I follow Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Red Racks on their social media pages (mainly facebook) to see what days they have 50% off before I drive out…not that it would keep me from driving out anyway. Goodwill usually has clothes 50% off (depends on the color of the tag) at the beginning of the week. Furniture and household utensils are towards the middle. Holidays also call for random sale days too.
- Have an item in your closet that you haven’t found something to pair with? Find something to wear with it at the thrift store. Actually, I recommend this for beginners.
- Clothes with missing buttons or small rips are gems too. I do not have the skill to repair, but I have close friends that are beasts with the sewing machine. One phone call and they are to the rescue. Even better if you know how to work a needle & thread. Cashiers take off more at the register for damaged items too. D.E.A.L.
- Stick to your personality. Don’t go in the store trying to be someone you are not. You will try clothes on and look in the mirror and be like…no. Its okay to branch off but not to a drastic point. Whats your fashion? I was on a high waist pants kick for a while…still am. But I am 5’10’’ too so that is all me.
- I am slowly but surely creeping into the furniture scene. This is great for Pinterest lovers and DIY partakers. Browsing through Pinterest gives me life too. Salvation Army gets AWESOME donations of dinette sets. Perfect for those in the process of moving and not trying to pay a grip for house décor. I bought plenty plates, cups, storage bins, and dish holders in my day
- Have fun. Seeing your creativity come to life is refreshing
- Learn about the thrift store cause. More than likely, the money is going to some cause/foundation. Do your research!
Current thrifters and soon to be, please feel free to comment on other tips, suggestions, thrift locations. I would love to learn about your thrifting experience!