A guide to happy thrifting

Apparently yesterday was National Thrift Shop Day in the USA. I have never heard of this national day, nor do I live in the US, but I'm glad it exists. In honour of the thrifted nature of my shopping habits and this national recognition day (that I am late for), I will share with you my tips to make thrifting your new favourite way to shop—if it's not already. 

——— Before you leave ———

1 DRESS SMART and by smart I mean something comfortable, easy to slip on and off, and easy to slip things on overtop of. My go-to thrifting outfit is a thin camisole and leggings with some sort of jacket and easy slip-on/off shoes. Most thrift stores have dressing rooms, but sometimes there is a line and you are (I am) impatient, so being able to slip things on overtop and still get a good idea how they look on you is key! I pretty much only wear cross-body purses, and I definitely wouldn't wear anything else thrifting! Keep your hands and arms as free as possible for some clothing-rack-digging! 

2 BRING A [BIG] REUSABLE BAG This is a good habit to get in for any purchasing! And if your thrift store doesn't have baskets a big reusable bag makes for easier shopping too.

3 PICK YOUR PRIME TIME Thrifting can be tiring work ladies and gents, so go when you are most energetic (for me it's mornings) and when you can go without feeling time pressure. Tiredness and being in a hurry to get out of there is the recipe for bad shopping decisions. 

——— While you're there ———

4 KNOW YOU'RE SHOPPING STYLE The way I see it, there are two ways to thrift; one being going through each piece on the rack one by one, grabbing and sliding aside, and the other being scanning the rack with your eyes and only grabbing at what catches your eye. I tend to use the first method because I don't like missing out! But be aware, if you find yourself short on patience know that there is another way to thrift!

5 AVOID THE STAINS Although it pains me to say it, marks on the fabrics are usually there to stay despite your washing efforts. Experience, and thinking about what I do with my clothes that I have stained (donate them!) has led me to steer clear of discoloured items.

6 GRAB NOW, MAKE DECISIONS LATER Try everything on! Knowing you are going to make your decisions at the dressing room instead of the clothing rack gives you a lot more freedom to give more items a chance.

7 SMELL BEFORE YOU BUY Like stubborn stains, old smells don't always come out of garments. Especially if its an un-washable like leather or silk. If it smells pretty potently be aware that there's a chance no amount of washing and airing out will rid your new find of the smell—and if that is a risk you are willing to take.

8 CHECK THE TAGS Take a look at the material breakdown as well as the care instructions. Are you overpaying for what you thought was a silk but is actually synthetic? If it's made of silk and dry clean only is the item worth the dry cleaning bill?

9 GIVE IT A ONCE OVER If your finds have made it this far—been tried-on, smell-tested, labels checked—it's time to give it one last once over to check for tears, stains you missed, broken zippers, missing buttons, and anything else that would be a disappointing discovery later on.

10 PRACTICE YOUR BARGAINING SKILLS If you found anything in your once over, but still love the item don't be afraid to show it to the sales staff and ask if the price can be lowered. 

——— Afterwards ———

11 BE HAPPY You just gave some beautiful and unique pieces a second life! That's awesome. (And probably saved a lot of dollars in the process.) Throw your new loves into the wash (via their washing instructions) and relax with your beverage of choice while daydreaming which one you will wear first.


Happy thrifting all!