I’ve been thrifting clothes for as long as I can remember. My mom has always been an avid thrifter–she even owned her own store at one point– and that love rubbed off on me early on. Now that I’m older, I have even more reasons to be passionate about thrifting–it’s eco friendly, it’s cheap, and doing “thrift flips” is one of my favorite ways to get my creative juices flowing.
After all of these years of thrifting I’ve gained some tricks up my sleeve, and I’m not one to hoard knowledge, so now I’m going to pass them on to you, my honorary thrifting apprentice.
Here are my tips for finding awesome stuff while thrifting!
1. The Lingerie Section
I cannot tell you how many hidden gems I’ve found in the lingerie sections of thrift stores. I have discovered most of my favorite thrifted items in the lingerie section and they’re usually dirt cheap. Like usually under $3. Wearing lingerie dresses tucked into jeans as tops is super cute and very on trend right now. And let’s definitely not underestimate how comfy it is to sleep in vintage lingerie nightgowns. They’re my favorite thing ever.
2. Keep an eye out for accessories
I’ve found SO MANY good accessories at thrift stores lately. Things like a really good faux Louis Vuitton, many coach purses, and so many cute vintage purses. I’ve also had super good luck with silk scarves and chain belts lately. The accessories are usually the cheapest, and finding an awesome accessory can make all the difference for styling unique outfits.
3. Shop somewhere other than Goodwill
I’ve found that Goodwills are almost always the most expensive of the thrift stores I’ve been to, and because of this, I’ve been going smaller local thrift stores. You’re supporting small businesses, and odds are they will be a lot cheaper.
Also, Goodwills usually have TONS of stuff, and trying to go through it all usually gives me sensory overload and is very time consuming. So if you’re like me and get overstimulated easily, there’s another good reason to go to a smaller thrift store if you can. It can help you focus on actually finding the hidden gems without being so overwhelmed with all the choices.
4. Have signature aesthetics
Okay, when I say that I’m definitely not saying that you need to have only one aesthetic or know exactly what style you want. Something that’s helped me a lot with finding unique stuff while thrifting, though, is having a few set aesthetics that I tend to lean towards, and I look for stuff that would fit those. For example, I usually look for more like soft girl and cottagecore aesthetics.
If you have trouble figuring out what type of style you have, something that helped me A LOT was making a fashion board on Pinterest that I could go back and look at while I was shopping to see what kind of stuff I liked. Also, fashion tik toks are a godsend.
5. Keep an eye out for refashionable/ flippable items
Sometimes when thrifting the littlest thing can turn you off an item. But so many of the things that we turn down for a tiny flaw have so much potential!!! This is where thrift flipping, or refashioning, comes in handy. It can be as simple as cropping a tshirt and hemming some pants, or you can make completely new items out of things. The world is your oyster when it comes to thrift flipping. I strongly recommend investing a little time into looking at some tutorials on it.
6. Know what you’re looking for
I feel like a problem that a lot of people have when thrifting is not knowing what they’re looking for and spending so much time going through everything and waiting for something to jump out at them (I’ve done this a lot).
Lately though, I’ve been going in with a set of things in my head that I’m hoping to find, that way I don’t dig through everything when I don’t really need to, and it’s helped me find so many hidden gems because I don’t get so overwhelmed.
My list of what I look for as of late has looked a little like this: lockets, vintage nightgowns, chain belts, silk scarves, and floor-length skirts and dresses. Having a little list going in your head makes things so much easier, and makes it a lot faster to find the unique kinds of items that you want.
I hope these tips help you to find some hidden treasure at your local thrift store! Don’t forget to also donate your old clothes you don’t want so that maybe they can become someone else’s hidden treasure. 🙂
*sidenote—If you wanna see some awesome items I’ve thrifted check out my Depop! I’m selling some really cute stuff on there <3
See you next time!