The Thrifty Duckling
Thrifting isn't for everyone...let's start there. If the hunt doesn't appeal to you...if looking through racks and racks of clothes or searching through bins doesn't spark joy in your very soul, then my shop is perfect for you, because I'm doing all of that for you!
But if you do like the hunt, then I have some tips to share to make your thrifting experience the best and most successful it can be!
Tip #1: No Man Left Behind
Check above, below and behind the racks. There are hidden treasures to be found in every nook and cranny of a thrift store. Especially bigger stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army. As you sweep through racks, have a mind to look for things that have slipped off their hanger and fallen to the ground. Not only is it the kind things to do as you're shopping, but you might also find a hidden treasure!!
Tip #2: Size Matters Not
Don't get stuck on what size you wear. When it comes to second hand clothing, size really plays such a small part in the fit of clothes. Recycled clothes are often worn in, worn out and stretched. Meaning their original size is a distant memory. Something that once was a size 8 may fit your size 12 body. An XXL might look really great on a size 6. Don't get caught up in the number, just find things that catch your eye and let the dressing room tell you if that item should make it's way home with you or not.
Tip #3: Almost Anything Can Be Laundered
With the exception of underwear and bras, nothing is off limits in a thrift store. If you really have a worry about other people's germs, you can use bleach treatments or even boil your clothes in some hot water to dispense whatever you feel remains on the garment. But you can also use your nose here. If it smells smoked in, it's gonna be harder to get the past out of that piece of clothing. But if you love it enough, there are all kinds of online tutorials for how to remove smells and stains.
Tip #4: The Men's Section
Sorry, dudes. This isn't a tried and true method the other way around. This one's for the ladies! Ladies, check the men's section!! They tend to have all kinds of hidden treasures that will fit you in different ways than clothes made for women. And when it comes to fandom shirts (though the playing field is getting better) there's still an uphill battle to find something that isn't "geared" towards the female fan. Meaning, it just features the girl characters or has flowers or is pink. If you want some more classic and gender neutral options, I hate to say it, but you won't want to skip combing through the men's section!!
Tip #5: Don't Forget the Home Department
Thrift store home departments aren't just filled with broken electronics and old lamp shades. There are vintage mugs to be found. There are old picture frames that can be repurposed. And lots of other things that you might find interesting. If you're looking to update your kitchen or need some new wine glasses, check the home department! Wine glasses are often in GREAT condition and are about $0.99 - $2.00. Mugs, plates, bowls, silverware, piggy banks, mason jars and so much more can be found if you just open your mind to the home department!
Tip #6: Books, Electronics, Toys, DVD'S and More
Toys often get the short end of the thrift stick. There is great stigma around thrifted toys. But to reference you back to the laundering of clothing, there's not a lot of toys out there that can't be deeply cleaned for second life. Elbow grease shouldn't be a deterrent to giving products a longer life. Stuffed animals can be washed. Battery operated toys can be fixed. And cars, trucks and dolls can be cleaned! Keep an open mind. That goes for electronics, books and DVD's too!
Tip #7: Shoes
Shoes are very, very tricky. So I tend to steer clear of buying every day shoes at my thrift stores. Since shoes are often the item you find most lived in at the thrift store, they're also the hardest to get right. Don't risk foot health on a cheap pair of second hand shoes. But DO try to find shoes that haven't been worn out too much. This is where I recommend you be very choosey and discerning. But don't write this section off all together. Sometimes you get lucky. When it comes to shoes, I tend to go for consignment or resale stores like Plato's Closet or Style Encore. Shoes at these locations tend to be in better condition and again, I can't stress this enough, don't risk hurting your feet with a poorly worn out pair of thrifted shoes!!
And finally, if you are out there thrifting then make sure to message me!! Second hand clothes, etc still suffer from stigma and it's something I'm passionate about getting rid of!! There are so many clothes in our world, let's do what we can to even the playing field! It's not a perfect solution...but it's a step in the right direction!