5 Ways to Simplify Thrifting

Fashionistas are in love with thrift stores. They offer high-quality clothing at uber-affordable prices, and for some of us, they can just be so fun to get lost in. But for others . . . it can be oh so irritable. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your thrift-store shopping time and downplay the weariness of it.
1) Time. You’re going to have to commit to spending at least a couple hours browsing if you really expect to find something satisfactory. This means no blitzing through aisles. Figure out the item(s) you’re planning to find beforehand, then focus on the aisles that carry those items. Comb through each piece of clothing. Believe me—there was a time when I wouldn’t have found my midi denim skirt if not for going through the clothes once . . . and then going through them again. It will be worth it.
2) Dressing room. Do not leave without trying on the item. I’ve done this before at Fred Meyer and it ended in disastrous results. The leggings I’d procured were low-rise, which I absolutely detest; the black tee I’d found was more see-through than the white blouse I owned . . . and I hated the fit. Don’t skip this vital step—remember, most thrift stores don’t have return policies.

3) 100% satisfaction. This doesn’t mean you think, “Oh, it’ll take another three hours to go and find [a black blazer] at Salvation Army . . . so let’s just go with this one.” No! I’ve done this before, with the aforementioned black blazer. It just didn’t fit the way I liked—too loose—and though I lived with it, I tried taking fashion photos of it one day and realized that it was very unflattering on me, as I am already broad-shouldered. If you need more time, either take more time or go shopping another day.
4) CPU. Cost-per-use—arguably the most efficient way to find out if something is affordable for you or not. Take the cost of the item and divide it into the number of times you suppose you’ll wear it in a year (we’re guessing here that you keep the item for a year). If the CPU $.00 to $.50 (and you’re sure you’re satisfied with everything), definitely go for it! $.51 to $2.50, and you’re looking pretty good. $2.51 to $10.00, and you should be really considering if it’s a need or if it’s just a want. $10.01 to $25.00—definitely not. And $25.00 and over is for special occasions only—prom, graduation, dances, really important stuff like that. (All  the information in this fourth point is taken from the School Employees Credit Union.)

5) Flaws? Check over everything from top to bottom, making sure there are no tears, rips, missing buttons, or stains. I’ve done this one before, too. Bought a red blazer, and violated Point 3 and Point 5: I wasn’t satisfied with the style or fit, and it had several stains. This one check-over will ensure that you definitely get the most for your time, and the highest quality of clothes.
:: earrings :: gift ($0) cpu ($0)
:: gray blazer :: thrifted, by george ($8?) cpu ($.50 or less)
:: red blouse :: gift, by jockey ($0) cpu ($0)
:: nail polish :: gift, by wet 'n' wild megalast in bite the bullet ($0) cpu ($0)
:: jeans :: jcpenney, by st. john’s bay ($15) cpu ($.30 or less)
:: nude flats :: thrifted, by curfew ($3) cpu ($.10 or less)
:: wardrobe essentials in this look :: neutral blazer, dark wash jeans, nude ballet flats
What about you? What’s some advice you’ve gleaned from thrifting? Or what are some mistakes you’ve made while doing so?

Comments

  1. wonderful post, dearie!

    When we went to Goodwill earlier this month, I found the cutest maxi skirt, and was extremely thrilled, until I began the "inspection," and realized there was a huge slice in the front. It wasn't extremely noticeable because of the print, but the moment I tried to wear it it would have been disastrous.
    And then that striped shirt I bought... I really really like it, and I feel like it looks good on me... however I realized, the moment I showed it to my mother, that it is a maternity shirt. ooops. at least it is one of those shirts that'll work either way. haha

    I never thought about CPU, but that will be helpful in future!!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, my dear!! :)

      Ugh. My. That definitely sounds like a potentially disastrous situation :) And how funny that that shirt is maternity ... it didn't look like it at all when we saw it! I thought that style was really cute. (Isn't it pretty long, too? I love long shirts.)

      Yeah! I don't use CPU very often anymore ... I need to get back at it ;)

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  2. Beautiful! I love your shoes...they are so pretty! (Your bun is gorgeous as well!) What a wonderful outfit! =D

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    1. Thank you, Ashley! :) Sock buns are the best inventions ever.

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  3. You are SO right on all your tips, Hannah! Patience and carefulness are HUGE in thrift stores. There's no "just skimming" while shopping! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Stefanie! It means a lot :) And I know...it's so hard to be patient when shopping--but it's so worth it!

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  4. ahhh great post! I definitley already follow these rules, but it was a great refresher! I just scored some lucky brand jeans for 5 dollars each at a thrift store! Come check out my blog to see some of the deals I got!
    http://writingwithcrayons.blogspot.com/2014_06_01_archive.html

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    1. Thanks so much for commenting, Elizabeth! I love to hear about other people's thrift-store finds :)

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  5. My tip to share: Where we live the prices at thrift stores went up considerably a few years ago, depending on the type of store. Consider what you're paying and compare prices with on sale and clearance items at regular stores such as Walmart, or online sources. If you could get a similar item new for the same or almost the same price, why buy used? Unless you really love it, it probably is better to pay the same price or a dollar or two more for something new. Or check out other thrift stores to see if they have lower prices.

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    1. M.E. Stephens, that is a great piece of advice, and one I'd never thought of before! Thank you so much for sharing -- and for commenting :)

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