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Tips to thrift like a Pro

Haven/t we all heard stories about someone finding some vintage treasure in the racks of thrift shops? In this story, we’ll help you become a part of that minority. Yes, thrifting for treasure takes time but with our tips and a few don’ts, you will surely get an edge over others.

So for those who live under a rock, and don’t know what thrifting is – in simple words, it is buying good quality used second-hand items at a very discounted price. In terms of fashion, you get clothes, accessories, shoes, bags, etc at thrift shops. What is amazing is that this gives extended life to clothes that are in good condition and prevents them from ending up in landfills.

But, if you have a really good eye, you can also find amazing high fashion designer pieces at these thrift shops. How do they end up there? Well, people who don’t need them anymore sell them to thrift shops that put them up for sale. So if you can buy clothes from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Zegna, or Dries Van Noten, don’t lose hope, chances are that you may find their clothes selling for just a couple of dollars.

Let’s see what tips will help you find exactly what you need –

  1. Know your style and match it with the store
Tips to thrift like a Pro

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It is advisable to spend some time doing research about the stores you are going to visit. You should also define your personal style and try to match it with the store to find good pieces. You subconsciously already know what your style is, but it is good to list it out.

Say, you are a college student and have more streetwear style clothes in your wardrobe, dig deeper in those racks at the stores.

Now you can also go with a particular occasion in mind, which leads us to our next point

  1. Know what you want.

It is very easy to get overwhelmed and lost by looking at the huge racks and piles of clothes and accessories. To avoid that, spend 10 minutes preparing a list of all that you need, so your shopping will be focused and time-saving. Once you realize you have the pieces you can leave the store.

Tips to thrift like a Pro

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Listen, even if you have a list it will take a lot of time just to find good quality pieces, as there are way too many options for you to be able to sort through each rack. So take some snacks too much on, don’t rub your hands on the clothes though, take some friends and wear appropriate clothes in case the shop doesn’t have a trial room, you can try to measure it up to make sure they fit you.

  1. Get the clothes tailored
Tips to thrift like a Pro

This is a tip for the clothes you buy, but especially the ones you thrift in. You are shopping for clothes somebody bought that fit their body and that person may have had it tailored for them.

Many fashion houses are currently focusing on creating well-tailored garments to stand strong in the market. Clothes that fit you well look elevated, even if they are just a couple of bucks, and they make you feel confident, an attitude no amount of money can buy.

  1. Stay in the Good Books.

Most clothes are given to thrift stores for really cheap and working in retail is hard and tiresome. All you have to do is be polite, patient and not haggle for the already cheap pieces. It really doesn’t take much on your part but it really means a lot to them if you can make their jobs a little easier.

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If you get into the good books of the employees and the owner you can start asking for favors like getting insider information on restocking, any new exciting pieces, or even get extra discounts.

You can also create a good relationship by constantly selling or donating your old clothes.

  1. Material knowledge

If you want to check if a particular piece is by the original designer, you should learn to identify materials. Real cotton or blended fabrics, and if the fabric is durable or not. This only comes with practice and feeling the fabrics directly, no amount of youtube videos can teach this.

Tips to thrift like a Pro

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Once you dive deep into the fabrics world you will realize there’s a lot to explore in terms of the varieties of wool, silk, etc. But if that is not your cup of tea, make sure you can easily identify a few fabrics at the least. This will also help you ascertain the accurate price of the garment.

Yes, most pieces are cheap but some are also overpriced for their quality, say leather boots for example. You need to check the quality and make sure you get a good number of wear out of it

  1. Buy less, visit more

Most of the time shops like Goodwill have new pieces coming in pretty quickly. You can buy 1 or 2 items a week but make sure you wear it for a long time and not throw it away after a few wears.

Tips to thrift like a Pro

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This way even the owners realize that you are there for a long time and will make constant sales even if it is in fewer quantities and they will look out for you, reserve some pieces for you if you ask them too and help you out generally.  

And now for some don’ts to make sure your shopping experience is smooth –

  1. Don’t be in a hurry

This is a recipe for disaster. You should always make sure you have a good amount of time to devote. Look at all the seamlines, the stitches, the zippers and check the details. A lot can be determined about the quality of the garment by small details like this.

  1. Don’t buy certain items without trying

In case of tight clothes, bodycon, body-hugging garments make sure to try them on. And never buy underwear from thrift stores, they are not clean at all. In case of certain accessories make sure you can style them with different outfits in your closet.

  1. Don’t bargain

This is the last place you want to bargain at. Yes, the belt is used but you are getting it for much cheaper, trying to haggle is only going to annoy the employees which are best to avoid.

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