One doesn’t become an expert at thrifting in a matter of 24 hours. It comes with a lot of practice, patience and, of course, love for finding hidden treasures. Thrifting is so much fun and, in my opinion, more rewarding than shopping at a fast-fashion store.
But even as a self-proclaimed thrifting expert, I, too, can admit that it can be an overwhelming process. How do you sort through all the stuff? What’s the junk to gem ratio?
There are ways, however, to prepare yourself for a day of thrifting. Just like preparing for an exam, making a grocery list, or deciding on what to wear for the day it all requires a process; or at least a good idea of where to start. If you’ve been thinking of going thrifting or have finally decided to take a shot at it, don’t worry I have some easy guidelines to make this exciting trip worthwhile and easy!
I’ve created an easy list to prepare you before you walk out the door, and find some gems. So grab some paper and pen for notes, or type it into your phone as an on-the-go reminder!
1. Challenge Yourself To A Budget
The first thing I do before taking a trip to any thrift store is check whether or not I can afford to. If yes, always make sure to set a budget for yourself. Even if you have enough money, there’s no need to be extra and spend it all. So before walking out the door, challenge yourself to spend a certain amount of money. In fact, if you can, only take what you’ve decided on. This way you aren’t tempted and run the risk of spending more than you should. Trust me, you’ll be happy and proud that you stuck with your initial goal. (Photo via @geminitauberge)
2. Outline a Map of Thrifting Locations
If you live in a city like New York where thrift shops are everywhere and are easy access, go ahead and outline a map of the different shops you’d like to visit. This will help you save time and give you a better idea where everything is located. Sometimes thrift shops are pretty close to each other, so if you can figure out an easy route to get to them without going around in circles, this would be ideal. You’re being smart about your time and preventing yourself from getting too overwhelmed and wanting to give up before you even get there. (Photo via @brisaamarr)
3. Create a Style Mood Board
One thing to always keep in mind is to never come into a thrift store with expectations. However, a great way to not feel completely lost when walking into a shop is to create a style mood board beforehand. It’s a great way for you to feel inspired and have a better idea of the kind of pieces you’d like to find or hope to create a look around. A perfect place to create one is on Pinterest! Luckily they have an app you can download where you can have your mood board on hand in case you forget what you’re looking for and need a reminder. It’ll make you feel more excited to search for items. (Photo via @cfashionista)
4. Wear Comfortable Clothing
An important thing I’ve learned from thrifting is to always wear comfortable clothing. There’s nothing more annoying than searching for pieces when you feel uncomfortable. Another thing to remember is that some locations don’t have fitting rooms. Which means you might have to try on pieces on top of what you’re already wearing—I know bummer. I highly recommend wearing a fitted top and loose-fitting bottoms. Why? because it’ll make the process of trying things on less hectic. If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to truly recognize the right fitting of a piece or even trying anything on because what you’re wearing is keeping you from finding out. As for shoes, I recommend wearing slip-ons or sandals. They’re easy to take on and off. (Photo via @brisaamarr)
I’m so excited for you to take your next/first thrifting trip! I hope these tips help you prepare for it. Happy thrifting!
Oh! GOOD NEWS, I will be creating a series of thrifting posts like this one where I’ll get to answer all your thrifting questions! So if you have any make sure to leave them in the comments below. You might get yours answered in my next post!