If there's one thing I've learned from thrifting, its to take your time and look carefully. At retail stores there are displays and models and several of each piece of clothing. They are designed to attract your attention and lead you easily to the piece you want. Not so at a thrift store. You can't skim over the rack waiting for something to pop out at you. Most likely all the pieces will blend together into a blur. You'll pull out a few things, not like them, and move on, completely missing the good stuff. It may seem daunting, but your gonna have to roll up the sleeves and start sliding hangers. Pick a starting place and look at each piece. You never know what you might skip over if you don't take the time to really look!
Size Doesn't Matter
Ok, sometimes it does, but don't let the fact that something seems too big scare you. With all the various brands and vintage items, sizes will vary greatly, so instead pay attention to whether the style and fabric are to your liking. Its amazing what a belt can do to the baggiest of shirts and dresses(see pic below!), or a 10 minute stitch fix to almost any skirt.
Forget The Brand Names
When your buying brand name you are paying for the label. And there are lots of expensive labels out there. Brand name doesn't necessarily equal quality and it never equals unique. I'm not saying you shouldn't buy it-I love specific brands and squeal with delight when I find my favorites. But don't let the tag determine your purchase. Its how you wear that matters. No one can see the tag. Unless your wearing something with "Hollister" pasted all over it, but lets not go there shall we?
Give It Time
Don't stop in for a "quick look". You'll do best when you have plenty of time to look through each rack. Also, don't expect to find a specific item, like a pair of navy blue oxfords. Usually you find something you never would have thought to look for, which makes for twice the fun! If you don't find any treasures the first time, don't give up! It may take a while before you find your favorite stores and get into your thrifting groove.
Think Outside the Box!
Know When It's A Deal
That gorgeous designer silk dress may be a great find for $20, but will you wear it? An how many times? Think about the the practicality of what you are buying and the "cost per wear". If the piece is something you know you'll wear over and over, go ahead and splurge a bit( $10 is a splurge for me!). Also look at what you may have to put into the item.Figure in the time and cost to fix the item yourself or at a tailor if it needs it. Always give the once over for stains and rips.
Shopping is always more fun when you're with your girlfriends( and your less likely to make bad purchases!). Make a day of it and catch up while you save some money!
What are your thrift tips? What have been your best finds? Refashioned anything lately?