How To Thrift Like A Pro

Thrift stores are definitely my favorite place to shop over a mall any day. I’d say at least 75% of my closet and pieces we use in photoshoots come from a thrift store! It’s a great way to find one-of-a-kind pieces but also inexpensive basics; and your money goes a lot further than it would somewhere else. But for people that have never thrifted before, it can be a daunting experience if you don’t know where to start. So, here are my top seven tips for thrifting like a pro. 

1. Have a game plan but go in with an open mind. A lot of times I’ll go into a thrift store with specific pieces that I’m looking for, if it’s for an outfit idea, special occasion or something for a photoshoot. However, a lot of the fun of thrifting comes from the hunt and finding amazing pieces you never thought you would find.     

2. Give yourself time. It’s easy to spend at least a couple hours in one thrift store between looking through everything and trying on. Thrifting in a rush can turn out to be more of a frustrating experience, and it’s meant to be fun! So, bring a water bottle and a snack, and give yourself time to look through everything. 

3. Look in the men’s section. Often times the men’s section of thrift stores have the best vintage tees, and if it’s big you can crop it and roll the sleeves! They can also have cool sweatshirts and button downs, so don’t pass this section up. 

4. Try a lot of things on. There are so many things that look not so great on the hanger but come to life once you try it on. Also, when you try something on and it doesn’t fit just right think about if altering it would make it work better for you. Things like skirts and pants can be taken in at the waist, dresses can be cropped to become a shirt, and I’ve taken a lot of shoulder pads out of dresses and jackets too. But ultimately, be creative with it! 

5. Wear comfortable clothing and something that you can easily try on clothes with. A light dress, skirt, leggings, and tank top or thin tee are the best things to wear while thrifting. Some thrift stores don’t have dressing rooms, or it can get too packed and it’s easier and quicker to just try everything on in front of a mirror in the store. 

6. One of the most important tips is to check everything for stains, holes, or imperfections. There have been so many times that I’ve gotten home from the thrift store and then realized something I bought had a stain on it. Most thrift stores don’t allow returns so make sure you check before you buy! 

7. The last tip I have is about deciding what to buy once you’ve tried everything on. Something I like to do when I’m on the fence about a piece is to imagine myself walking out of the store without it and assessing how I feel. If I feel like I’ll regret it immediately then I know I should get it, but if I feel like I can walk out of the store and not miss it, then I pass. You also have to be honest with yourself about what you’ll actually wear. Think about your day-to-day life, is it practical for you to wear, and will it go with something that’s already in your closet? 

Alex PiersonComment