No matter what your style is, sustainable shopping is a trend we can all get behind. It can be hard to decipher what makes a brand “sustainable” when there are so many factors that go into it, but one way to start shopping sustainably is thrifting. Thrifting is a great way to add to your wardrobe while saving the environment and your wallet. In this post, I’ll be sharing my best tips on how to find the creme de la creme of thrift stores!
- Even thrift stores have discounts! My local GoodWill gives you 25% off on Wednesdays if you wear tie-dye. They also have certain colored tags that will be marked down. Some thrift stores also offer college and senior discounts. During this time of gradual reopening, my GoodWill gave me 10% off for wearing a face covering.
- When it comes to thrift store shopping, know your brands and the technical details that signal value. Usually, if a vintage coat or dress has a lining, that signifies value, and you know it’s designed to last. Metal zippers, well-tailored patterns, and organic fibers such as wool and silk are also signs of craftsmanship. You’d be surprised at how many pieces from your current favorite brands you can find at a secondhand shop. The dress I’m wearing here from Banana Republic is perfectly tailored to my size and fully lined. Bonus: I paid $3.99 for it! Nowhere close to retail pricing.
- Be aware of the influx in pricing for certain brand names and for items new with tags. If an item has never been worn, stores will often tack on a few extra dollars to account for this. Some chains, like Target, have relationships with stores by which they will donate their unsold clearance items. It’s a great way to snag new clothes at a discount but know that you might be paying a bit more for it. My shirt is Target’s Universal Thread, but the store I bought it at supports a local school. Paying an additional dollar or two is fine by me when I know it’s going to a worthy cause.
- Have a goal! The sheer amount of clothing at thrift stores is overwhelming which means it’s easy to get lost in the racks. To combat this, have a general idea of what you’re looking for. Pinterest boards are a great way to look for style inspiration as well as individual pieces you might be on the hunt for. (Check out our style inspiration here!) For example, I’ve been seeing corduroy jackets in my Pinterest feed, so I sifted through the racks to find one. The color wasn’t as important as the fabric quality to me, but I definitely got lucky with this gorgeous red shade!
- Don’t limit yourself to just one section. Just in case you weren’t aware, the best flannels and denim jackets are in the Men’s section. I’m usually not one to thrift lingerie, but I found a ThirdLove bra with the tags still attached! Don’t be afraid to shop off-season either. Thrift stores will mark down seasonal items such as winter jackets or summer sundresses as that season is ending. In addition to this, don’t be afraid to look outside of your usual size. Sizing varies from brand to brand; it’s also changed a lot over time. Think thrift stores are only for clothing? Think again. I also have found a sewing machine and a Vera Bradley laptop case.
I hope that you’re feeling inspired to get out there and get thrifting. Of course, during this time of social distancing and caution with businesses reopening, do what is best for you. Keep an eye out for my ThredUp haul that will be arriving any day now, including some of the tips I’ve learned from virtual thrifting during quarantine. Happy thrifting!