The Art of Thrift Shopping: How To Score Vintage Treasures for Your Wardrobe

The Art of Thrift Shopping: How To Score Vintage Treasures for Your Wardrobe

Thrift shopping is a favorite pastime that can get you some incredible pieces for your wardrobe that you may otherwise never find or also find unaffordable in traditional stores. Plus, thrift shopping is not only good for your wallet, but also great for the environment. Not only are you reviving clothes for a second life, but it also might be that vintage treasure that shows off your unique style and personality.

Sell Your Goods

As long as you're thrift shopping, why not go all the way and maximize your budget by selling your items there beforehand? That way you’ll have store credit or a few bucks in your pocket to get started. You can sell anything from womens jeans and dresses to kids' clothes, depending on the store’s specialties and what they sell.

Plan Around the Seasons

Like clearance sales at department stores, thrift stores often have a seasonal cycle. Folks tend to go through their clothes at the end of a season or the beginning, so do your best to search between seasons. For example, shop for women's winter coats at the beginning of spring, when folks are looking for warm-weather clothing. At this time of the year, there’s a good chance everyone will have gone through their clothes for spring cleaning, so all the winter gear may be on sale.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to thrift shopping, it will be different than shopping at a regular store. Whereas clothing stores sell brand-new items, the items you’re sorting through at a thrift shop have history. Make sure you double-check all your items before purchasing because oftentimes thrift stores don’t offer returns.

Assess all zippers on a women's fleece jacket and buttons on a women's sweater for complete functionality and double-check that there aren’t stains on the clothing item. The clothing is being sold “as is,” so there is a chance they won’t be perfect.

Have a Plan:

If you don’t have the time to peruse multiple stores and walk aimlessly through the aisles, have a plan for what you’re looking for. Know the items on your list, and don’t get sidetracked. If you’re easily distracted, give yourself a time limit for each store so that you don’t get overwhelmed and stay focused on finding the pieces you're looking for.

Plan on Not Having Access to Changing Rooms

Wear something comfortable that you can easily slip clothes over to try on in the store if they don’t have a changing room.

Bring a Friend

Although thrift shopping can be personal, if you shop better with a buddy, invite someone to join you. That way, you can bounce ideas off of them and show them clothing items you’re unsure about.

Bring Reinforcements

Bring snacks and water; thrift shopping isn’t always a fast process, so be prepared to have some endurance. Have a cup of coffee or tea in hand and make your thrift shopping experience that much more enjoyable and fun.

Things To Know

Vintage clothing is a fabulous way to make a fashion statement, as vintage is always in style. However, be aware that sizing can be different for older clothes. Clothing and sizing are constantly changing, so the size number that you try on for vintage clothing will likely differ from the sizes you wear in modern clothing. Expect vintage sizes to be much smaller than those of modern times.

Tailor Items

While you may find the perfect item, it might not always fit. That’s where a tailor can come in to help get your clothes fit perfectly to you. Opt for bigger sizes, as they’re easy to adjust and take in, rather than smaller sizes with less fabric to work with.

Find Out Shipment Schedules

Find out what day your favorite thrift shop processes donations and gets new shipments. You’ll want to shop on the days that have the highest amount of new items that fewer people have gone through.

Thrift shopping is an art. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be much better equipped to find vintage clothing pieces that'll add unique style and flavor to your wardrobe. Finding the pieces you're looking for may take a bit of sorting, but the hunt is well worth the treasures you can bring home.


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