If I had a dollar every time someone gave me a compliment on my look and I replied, “It’s thrifted,” I would have a nice little savings. At one point, I thrifted once a week. I walked away with gems. One of a kind pieces that would blow my mind that someone would let go. My major finds are always coats. Statement coats are my signature. If I wasn’t scoring statement coats, it was work wear that was filling my cart. Yes, carts are needed. I had a season where 90 percent of my work wardrobe was thrifted.
Now that it’s clear, I’m a certified thrifter. I learned from my mother and then added a few more tips to help me make the best of my shopping experience.
I’m sharing some of my biggest tips to help you. If you want to thrift , but are apprehensive about trying it, continue reading for tips to get you through your first visit.
Early Bird Gets the Worm:
Weekday mornings are the best times to thrift shop. The clothes have just been laid out. So, you’ll get first dibs on the best pieces.
Go early to avoid the crowd. If you think there’s not a crowd at the the thrift store, you’re sadly mistaken. I’m always maneuvering around other shopping carts.
I’ve found that Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are my best days to shop. I’m not a fan of Saturday’s or Monday’s.
Patience will help you become a top notch thrifter. This is not a shopping experience where the pieces are going to jump right out at you. You have to find them. That means going rack by rack and swiping hanger after hanger until you find that hidden gem. Once you do, it’s all worth it!
Remember to take your time. This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Rushing through those racks, you’re going to miss something that would have added a little vintage flair to your wardrobe.
Who cares that I’m getting Calvin Klein dresses for $7.99 and brand new coats with tags for $10, I still want a deal. Fortunately, most thrifts stores offer more discounts.
The tickets on the clothes are sometimes colored coded. Those color codes signify a discount amount. Somewhere from 15 to 30 percent off the piece. The day and color will determine your discount.
Some thrift store give military discounts and have 50 percent off days.
AMVets would have 50 percent off sales on Veterans Day and other holidays centered on celebrating the military.
Inspect the Goods:
Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean you have to accept just any ole thing. So, check the pieces before you buy it.
There’s been countless times I’ve left something because of a hole or a stain I knew I couldn’t remove.
Some pieces may need some alterations. You gotta decide if it’s worth it. I got a gorgeous gown for $5.99. It was red and beaded. Beautiful. Well, the zipper was off track. I got that fixed for about $20 with materials. In this case, it was worth it to me.
Dress the Part:
When you’re getting dressed for a thrift trip, think less is more.
I suggest a pair of leggings and slim fitted shirt. This allows you to try on clothes without going into a dressing room. Unfortunately, most thrift stores in Alabama don’t have dressing rooms in the first place.
I typically take my cart, find a mirror, and try on all my pieces. I want to be sure it’s a go, because most thrift stores don’t offer cash back returns, only store credit.
Also, wear sneakers. You’re going to be walking around the store so make sure you’re comfortable.
I hope these tips help and get you prepared for your first trip to your local thrift store.
All Pictures by V.Parker Productions