How To Go Thrifting: Part 1 - Get Your Head in the Game

Thrifting is something near and dear to my heart. I got my driver’s license so that I could drive to thrift stores and secondhand shops – which in Cleveland are few are far between.  I also made a lot of trips to CVS, specifically to buy Reese cups. I would say 90% of my wardrobe is thrifted. The other 10%, I’m (somewhat) embarrassed to say, still come from fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 and H&M. I have expensive burrito habits to fund and places to go, I don’t have $50 allotted for a t-shirt.



*Sheepishly raises hand* Yes, Ye?

Macklemore may have made “thrift shops” cool for a minute, but I’m guessing a lot of people got amped about finding a floor length fox fur duster but turned right-the-fuck around once they were under the fluorescent lights with ever rejected style trend from the last 30 years sprawled out before them.

I get that thrifting can be intimidating- the smell, the options, the piles – it’s a lot to take in, especially if you’re used to getting your clothes online or from a store. But never fear friends, I have been doing this a long time, and I have tips!

How to Thrift Part 1: Getting in the right mindset

1.       Don’t go into this with a goal in mind. If you walk into GoodWill thinking “I need a black leather belt with a silver buckle” you will leave empty handed and disappointed. You’ll also miss out on a lot of great stuff because you’re searching for a diamond in the rough that just isn’t there.

2.       Don’t go unless you have time to dig. If you walk into a vintage clothing store but parked in a 30 minute parking zone you’re going to stress tf out, or get a parking ticket. Go move your car and get ready to touch sooo many stained floral skirts and shoulder pads before you find that perfect, broken-in jean jacket you didn’t know you were missing.

3.       Dress the part. This goes beyond being comfortable, wearing something you can easily take on and off, wearing the right bra- all things you should keep in mind when clothes shopping no matter where you are. Thrift stores are a whole other beast. Some don’t even have dressing rooms and some (most) don’t wash the clothes before they’re put on the floor. So, here’s my advice:

Wear something tight enough that you can put more clothes over what you’re already wearing: tank tops, leggings, ect.

Flowy skirts can act as an impromptu dressing room if you want to try on a pair of jeans in a Savers but the fitting room attendant is off duty. A low level of shame is also very helpful in the thrifting process.

Always wear socks. Don’t go commando.

Next time, we’ll tackle planning your visit and some etiquette tips to keep in mind once you get in the door.  Happy Thrifting!