You know, for a long time, thrift stores have had this stigma of being these dark and musty places that were merely a graveyard for all the bad polyester and moth-eaten garments of yesteryear. But today, legions of people are seeing them for their true potential and revamping their closets on a budget. Need a little help navigating this world of fashion treasures? Here are 12 thrift store shopping tips from a shopping pro.
1. THINK OF WAYS TO REPURPOSE: I’d like to think that when you thrift shop, you are able to get some really cool and unique things if you put on your “creative goggles.” If you have the foresight to envision those printed bell-legged slacks as a tailored pair of matchstick pants, or how that plain jacket would look with a set of military buttons, you’ll surprise yourself with the possibilities out there.
2. KNOW THE TRENDS BEFORE YOU GO: You don’t have to plunk out tons of cash to stay up on the latest trends. To find out what’s current, browse magazines and window shop to see what’s popular before you go. That way, you can see what’s missing from your wardrobe and shop accordingly. Whether it’s an accessory or a color that’s hot, you’re sure to find ways to implement the latest fashion into your closet at a fraction of the cost.
3. ASK IF THEY HAVE ANY SALES OR SPECIALS: In my area, a lot of times the thrift stores have a day designated for certain items to be on sale. So if you’re willing to wait it out for that particular day, you may be able to get an item for an even lower price.
4. BRING CASH: Sometimes you’ll find that thrift stores don’t have credit or debit card machines, so it would be in your best interest to take cash. Also, with our recovering economy, I’ve found that you may get a better deal if you offer to pay for your purchase in cash, and save the store from incurring that fee for paying with plastic.
5. IF THERE’S NO DRESSING ROOM, IMPROVISE: In some thrift stores, there isn’t the luxury of a dressing room, so you have to get a little inventive with checking the fit. For things like pants and skirts, try the age-old neck-to-waist trick. Fasten the closure and wrap the waist around your neck, if you can just pinch the fabric together at the end with your fingers, then you know it works!