Most of college students tend to shop at fast-fashion retail locations. Others go for the good ole’ online shopping. Both great, but also pretty expensive. College is not a place where you find money pouring out from textbooks or under your class seat (if only!).
However, there is an alternative to buying clothes without spending too much. Here’s my secret…it’s thrifting! Thrifting is like stepping into Narnia and finding a magical place you’ve never set foot in.
As an avid thrifter myself, thrifting brings a great level of excitement because you never know what you might find, and no one else is going to have it! Though the clothes have been pre-owned and not widely available your latest retail store, it doesn’t mean the garment isn’t worth the taking.
So for those who want to take a thrifting trip, here are five tips on how to go about it.
Tip 1: Walk in with an open-mind.
Before stepping into any thrift store, walk in with an open-mind. The possibility of literally finding anything is real. Don’t be afraid to try anything. Be open to the environment and feel free to use your best judgment when looking around. It is totally okay to take your time. It can sometimes be a little overwhelming because there’s so much to look at, but if you take it easy, things will go well.
Tip 2: Don’t neglect a section.
It is important to never neglect a section in the store. You can find awesome pieces anywhere you turn to. I’ve been able to find things even in the kid’s section, so make sure you scour every part of the store. Whether it’s men’s, shoes, furnishing, or miscellaneous, you can find a gem in either of these sections!
Tip 3: Put it in your cart and don’t let go.
One thing I’ve learned from thrifting is to never leave an item behind! If there’s something you find interesting or like, stick it in your cart and decide later. This way, when it’s time to decide what you want to take, you now have all your choices literally in hand and can whittle down from there. Nothing is worse than regretting a perfect item you didn’t take or having someone else snag that sweater you were debating but didn’t grab on first pass. Trust me!
Tip 4: Every item has potential.
Sometimes finding pieces you like aren’t always going to be easy. There are times you will pick up an item and it won’t necessarily call out to you. However, this doesn’t mean the piece doesn’t have potential, because it does. I like to think that every item has the ability to be so much more than what it is. I like to imagine what I can style it with, what I can transform it into, and how I can make it into my own style. This gives me a world of possibilities and the chance to get excited about the garment!
Tip 5: Set a budget and take what is worth taking.
At the end of my trip, I usually tend to have a cart filled with clothes. This is when I start to try things on and decide whether or not I like it. Many stores also have colors of the day that are discounted. Always look for these colors so you know which colored tags are going to be cheaper. It’s important to set a budget for yourself so you don’t overspend. It’s also important to ask yourself if the pieces you want are worth the money you’re going to pay for, and if they’re items you’re going to wear more than once. You want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Overall, enjoy the experience and don’t think too much of it. Let the clothes find you. And don’t forget to show off your scores on social! Tag @CFashionista to show us how these tips helped you nab the most enviable and one-of-a-kind vintage items!
This story was originally published February 7, 2017.