How To

How to be Thrifty When Shopping Secondhand

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I would never consider myself an experienced secondhand shopper like Jentine but I do think I have an eye for scouring the racks at thrift stores and finding great treasures. I’ve had some really great successes in the past (like this dress and this skirt) but that’s not to say haven’t had my share of failures either.

I recently scored a pretty epic win when I thrifted the softest, lightweight chambray dress I ever did see. Seriously, it was as if the heavens parted and the angles sang as I caught a glimpse of the collar from afar. As I tried it on and realized that it fit my frame to a T I admired the hint of stretch the fabric offered and knew instantly that this chambray dress would be a wardrobe staple for many years to come. A couple weeks later when I wore the dress to work for the first time, a coworker asked where I had gotten it. When I said it was thrifted she was shocked that I had scored such a great find when she usually doesn’t have any luck. She proceeded to ask me for tips on secondhand shopping and I gladly obliged.

Today I thought I would share with you those same tips I shared with my distressed coworker in hopes that maybe I can help another soul find great thrifted treasures!

  • Be patient. Often times thrift stores don’t have everything organized neatly. Take your time carefully going through the racks and be patient.
  • Forget brands. Of course you’d like to find quality merchandise but don’t limit yourself if something isn’t brand name. A lot of the time brands you’ve never heard of can produce a great piece.
  • Try things on. Secondhand stores carry pieces from different decades so sizing can be a cluster f*! Sizing varies dramatically from era to era, so I would advise you to throw your sizing prejudices away. Do know your general measurements as a gauge but don’t dismiss a garment because it’s too small or too big. Try it on!
  • Experiment. Thrift stores are a great place to experiment with a trend or a different silhouette.
  • Examine the goods. Because your shopping secondhand there might be a chance there are holes, stains, or the zipper doesn’t work correctly. Inspect each item carefully to catch any deal breakers. But if you do find a tear or a rip, consider if it can be fixed and how much you’re willing to spend on alternations. It might be worth it.
  • Wash clothes. When you get home, wash your purchases. Remember, it’s secondhand for a reason.

Don’t limit your thrift shopping solely for clothe purposes, you can also find home décor, furniture or even china! I thrifted much of Remy’s nursery décor and our ‘fine china’ (very similar for far more than I paid) was a Goodwill find from two years ago.

Like to see other pieces I’ve thrifted? Right this way!


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