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How to be a Master at Thrifting

Updated on February 1, 2015

Thrift Shopping

I love to shop, and I get the feeling that if you are reading, then you love to shop too. Before I had kids, I kid you not, I would spend most of my money on shopping. I would seriously almost shop everyday, would that make me a shopaholic? Well, I don't believe in labels, literally.

I have always loved vintage fashion, and my soft spot has always been unique pieces, the kind of pieces that you know aren't a trend, so they become a staple in your wardrobe. I remember the first time I went to a thrift store, the whole time I had my arms closed, and even though my friend who is literally a fashionista was encouraging me to look around, I just couldn't. I got lost somewhere between the smell and the mess, that I seriously went outside to make some phone calls, just to avoid the whole store. Then she came out, with her amazing smile, and excitement, and showed me what she found. At that moment, I knew I had to open my mind, and ignore the smell, because she had literally bought some amazing vintage clothing for $40, and I mean she had like 4 bags!!

A few months went by, and I remember that day I was off work, my husband was working and so was everyone else I knew. So I told myself, well, lets go to the thrift shop. I thought I was going to be there for maybe 20 minutes, but I ended up being there almost 2 hours! After about 10 minutes of browsing the dresses, I found the perfect polka dot dress, high wasted, very 1950s style. It was only $4.99, and I was the happiest woman in the world. It was that one dress, that inspired me to keep looking, and wow, I realized, that beneath the smell, and some obviously badly work clothes, there hid some gems, that deserved to be taken home. This was the day I became a Thrifter! I began going to different ones, I prefer the smaller ones, because I seriously look for things that maybe old people have donated of when they use to be young. These items are extremely well taken care off, and just so unique you have to have it!

So here, I will share with you the steps, and tricks for going thrifting and finding some amazing things!

How to Thrift

Make sure that you don't go thrifting in a hurry. You need to go on a day that you are free to spend as much time as you have to. Lets think of it like going on an exploration, because you are, you are going to search racks of clothing one by one, inspect the clothing and try it on! That is one of the best advice that I can give you. Remember, clothes back in the day were made different, so make sure that you try it on, to see if it fits you right.

Also, when you go make sure you grab a cart, because you will want to grab anything that calls your attention, even if you end up leaving half of it or sometimes all of it. Don't be discouraged if you don't find anything. Sometimes I go, and find $100 worth of goodies, but other times I go and end up buying a vintage candle holder and that's it. Remember, not only can you thrift for clothes, but you can also find amazing home décor! Specially if you love projects, because we know a little bit of spray paint fills an old piece full of life!

If its your first time going, take a friend, it will make you feel more at ease. And make sure you go with an open mind. Remember, thrift stores can be smelly, and overwhelming, so just focus. I would say, avoid the tshirts, avoid the work out clothes as well as lounging clothes. Focus on the skirts, dresses, and blouses. One time I actually ventured into the jeans section and found amazing high wasted jeans from the 70s but I usually avoid the jean section as well. The first time I went I just focused on the dresses. and I believe that's where all the jackpots are. But you can always venture through the whole store!! And remember, don't forget to browse through the home décor, as well as frames. Those are also full of treasure.

And lastly, remember the coffee afterwards. You will be tired, you will be drained, but you will have a big smile because of all of the unique items you just bought, and the feeling of not feeling guilty because of the little amount of money you spent. Good Luck my thrifters!!


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      Teri Stohlberg 

      3 years ago

      Great article.... I love thrift stores too! We have tons of them here in Connecticut.


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