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Thrift Stores Can Be An Excellent Source For Clothing And Accessories

With the popularity of decluttering and the whole Mari Kundo thing, I believe people are disposing of things like never before. This is good news for anyone who is willing to take the time to shop clothing and accessories occasionally a thrift of consignment store.

Best tips for shopping for clothing and accessories in thrift stores:

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes that are non-tie and easy to get on and off.
  • Allow plenty of time to shop.
  • Many shops such as Goodwill will have a promotion such as 50% off all items that have a particular colored tag. Another store I frequent often has a buy to 2 get one free promotion. If you are not sure if there is any promotion at your local thrift store simply ask the employees if there are any specials today or this week.
  • Bring a friend to help you. It’s more fun and great to get a second opinion and have someone else looking through racks of clothing to you help you find the good stuff.
  • Wear a fitted thin top and fitted leggings. This way you can easily try on blouses, sweaters and coats without going to the fitting room.
  • Immediately grab a cart to carry all your first round picks.
  • Try on anything that strikes your fancy. You never know as sizes vary greatly by designer as to what will fit.
  • Check the garment thoroughly for any stains, damage, moth holes etc. Most thrift stores process a lot of clothes. You cannot expect them to catch every garment that may have an issue. If there is an issue, be realistic about solving that issue. If something has a stain, most likely the previous owner tried to get it out and failed. If the dry cleaner couldn’t get it out, use caution thinking that you can. On the other hand, missing buttons, a seam line tear, or even a snag can usually be easily repaired.
  • As you try things on make notes or take photos on your cell phone of top looks, cuts, styles, colors, fabrics, textures, brands.etc. that really work for you. The thrift store is an excellent venue to try a lot of items on because they are not merchandising to specific clientele. They carry everything for almost every age.
  • A plus and minus is that there are not commission based sales people working in most thrift and consignment stores. The pros are that they will not push styles and looks on you just to make a sale. The cons are that there isn’t someone to wait on you and check the rack for something else. You need to be self sufficient and put in the time to find the good stuff.
  • Wash machine wash garments when you get home. The only ones I don’t wash are those that still have the tag on it.
  • Take any items that need dry cleaning to the dry cleaner.
  • Get a pilling device and comb out any “pills” on sweaters that you may have purchased.

Once you feel like you have a good amount of “first round picks”, try on each garment again and really scrutinize each item.

  • Try each garment on again and ask yourself:
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it flatter me?
  • Is the color in my palette?
  • How will I wear it?
  • When will I wear it?
  • Do I love it?
  • Can I commit to the care of this garment?
  • If you can confidently answer yes or positively to these questions, keep it in the cart. Put all the all the rejects on the go back rack. Go through one last round of deciding YES I WANT THIS, and then go to the checkout line.

You can find awesome clothing in thrift and consignment stores.

Keep in mind that you must be willing to put in the time to look, sift through a lot of garments and try things on. It’s also going to be much easier if you know your brands. In addition the more you shop second hand, the more you will train your eye to look for worn edges, stains, or any other garment issues that may be the reason the item was donated. So if you’re okay with the time to look through racks of clothing, it’s very possible to add fantastic pieces to your wardrobe from 2nd hand stores for a fraction of the original price. Read how I rebuilt my own wardrobe, mainly from thrifting clothing in 2018, here.

Location, location, location

Generally speaking, you will find better and more high end clothing at thrift stores adjacent to wealthier communities. Use this strategy when you are planning your thrift store adventure.

Outfit Notes:

All the clothing I am wearing in these photos is thrifted except for the hoisery and shoes.

Which outfit do you like the most?