September 25, 2015

5 Thrifting Tips: Finding the Best Treasures

Finding the best treasures in a thrift or vintage shop is not always easy because, in all honesty, a lot of what you find secondhand has been given away/gotten rid of for a reason. Not to mention you have to really work to find things your size or things without stains and rips or missing buttons. But there is a way, and it's not that hard!

Here are my 5 tips and tricks to help you find the very best items when you go thrifting!

1. Know what you want and what you like. Are you in need of t-shirts, sweaters, or pants? Thrift shops can be overwhelming since every single piece is unique and there is so much to sift through. Knowing what you're looking for narrows the search and helps you focus. This holds true for colour, pattern, style, etc. If I'm looking for all-black-everything, I will let my eyes tell me what items to pull out and look at first, given that they are black. Same goes for wanting to spice things up and try on patterns or bright colour!  

2. But don't be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone. Knowing what you want and like is a helpful starting point - but if you're hoping to find some gems, sometimes they'll be outside of what you want. If something on another rack catches your eye (maybe because it's that yellow colour you've been loving lately, or it has a pattern you've never seen before), take a peek! Even if it's something you never thought you'd wear! You may just stumble upon a new favourite.

3. Try things on. Sometimes garments seem a little sub par and unexciting on the hanger, but make you feel like you've hit the jackpot when you try it on and it fits you just so and makes you feel like 5 million bucks! (This tip is recurring, it's also on my  5 Tips for Avoiding being Duped and Disappointed when thrifting list!)

4. Take the time to do it. Thrifting isn't like walking into H&M and knowing exactly which section caters to you (Basics? Business apparel? Or the section that appeals to your inner teeny bopper?). Some thrift stores will have categorization, usually based on what they have in stock at that moment. But it takes time and patience to go through the varied clothing items. So if you want to find the good stuff, you have to take the time and energy to do it, and it is most definitely one of those "it's worth it" activities.

5. Don't get discouraged. As a frequent, somewhat obsessive thrifter, I've experienced almost as many off days as I have had fabulous days. There are times where a store simply does not have anything that suits me. It's all contingent on so many factors; who has donated or sold their clothes to the store that week, who has already come in and scooped up all the good stuff, how I'm feeling that day, what my tastes are that week, what I want that week.... etc. But that's just the nature of the thrift-game, and for every day you find nothing, you will have a day or two where you basically want to buy the whole store.

Are you interested in thrifting? Check out these other posts for more tips to help you maximize your thrifting potential!
- 5 Thrifting Tips: Avoid being Duped and Disappointed
- 4 Thrifting Tips: Finding Workplace Clothes

What is YOUR very best thrifted or vintage find? 
Fun fact: one of my best finds is the sweater in the picture for this post. The part with the pattern, anyway. I bought it years ago and my parents even joke that it's my "signature sweater"!


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