How to Thrift Shop Successfully

Be patient...this is key! With used clothing it really is luck of the draw but remember the excitement of the unknown and the hunt for that perfect item is part of the adventure. Be level headed and calculated or you'll risk making a purchase for the sake of it. Without a range of sizes available and items being one off you can easily be overcome with a sense of urgency and oh well it'll do attitude...don't fall into the trap, there will always be a next time and, just like your favourite chain stores, new stock arrives daily!

My first thrift store experience went like this. Flicking through the racks I began to wonder if I’d find anything other than Zara, H&M or Forever 21 and I was quickly disheartened. But after persevering and spending some time I happened upon a 100% silk slip dress by Ralph Lauren and thus made a very rewarding $17.95 purchase. Ensure you're buying something of quality by checking the fabric content, understanding brands and what an item would cost to purchase new, and always do a full check for any wear and tear.

If you're buying a polyester shirt from Zara versus a designer label silk top there's no question which will have more longevity in your wardrobe. However, if you love the item and take good care of it then the purchase is still much better than buying new from a fast fashion chain! Apply the same standards of fit and versatility as you would to any other purchase. Otherwise consider if a garment can be altered nd if you're happy to spend the extra money to achieve the right style and fit for you. Scope out your favourite thrift store, try more than one before giving up, find out if there are particular days they receive new stock and visit on a regular basis. You never know which visit might result in an amazing find and all the hunting will be worth it.  

Online resellers like Ebay also provide great access to used clothing and often brand new items as well. It helps in this case if you can be specific in your search by knowing exactly what you're looking for. Know your size across different brands and don't be afraid to ask the seller questions, getting specific measurements can help ensure you get the right fit. If you've had your eye on a particular piece that’s out of your price range, be patient and set up alerts, you never know when you might get lucky. And always check seller ratings to ensure you're making a legitimate purchase!

In Store Thrifting

  • Be patient and persistent!
  • Don't lower your standards when it comes to fit for your body and style personality.
  • Understand quality in fabrics and brands for transparency on pricing and longevity in your wardrobe.
  • Do a full check for wear and tear before purchasing, you most likely won't be able to do returns.
  • Seek out a store that caters to what you're looking for and get to know how they operate.

Online Thrifting

  • Be patient and persistent!
  • Know your size across various brands and ask for specific measurements to ensure correct fit.
  • Set up alerts to assist in your search for a specific piece.
  • Ensure you are purchasing from a legitimate re-seller by reading reviews and checking ratings.
  • Follow your favourite sellers and/or websites to never miss their new listings and maybe even become part of the community by selling some items yourself! 

Most importantly though have fun...turn shopping into a challenge, an exciting game! Purchases will be much more rewarding if you've put in some effort to get there. Challenge yourself to adopt a positive approach and always place importance in your fashion discoveries. Happy thrifting!