The Art of Finding Thrift Store Treasures

Thrift stores are the perfect places to find fascinating clothing on a budget. I find most of my favorite pieces in thrift shops and over the years I’ve developed a method for finding the treasures.

1. Shop frequently: The key to finding amazing items hinges on the regularity of your visits, so stop in often. It’s a simple idea but new items arrive every day. The more you look, the higher the likelihood of finding something amazing.

2. Don’t limit yourself by size: I’ve found that thrift store sections are not the best indicator of fit. Items in thrift stores are coming from thousands of different brands with their own fit. Not to mention vintage items, and clothing from other countries, with different sizing. So, if you have time, give the other sections a glance, something might catch your eye.

3. If it catches your interest try it on:

I have two rules for my thrift shopping trips #1 get a cart and #2 if it looks interesting, try it on. The cart is important because on a good trip I end up with 20+ items to take to the dressing room. Once I try them on there are usually only 2 or 3 I actually consider buying and that’s on a good day. I do this because without trying them on I don’t know how they will fit or look. Once you’re wearing the clothing it only takes me a few seconds to figure out if it’s a keeper, which brings me to my next point.

4. Go with your gut decision:

I glean through my 20+ item pile of clothing very quickly. After all, I don’t want to hold up the changing room. In fact, I’m usually finished before my three sisters, who will try on less than 10 items. The key is to be decisive. Once you try on an item go with your gut reaction, it’s usually the right one. Then make two piles: yes, and no.

5. Don’t be afraid to leave empty handed:

Never feel like you need to buy something. There will be days when you can’t find anything. It can be tempting to make a purchase anyway since the prices are so low. However, if you don’t like what you buy chances are you won’t wear it. You won’t lose very much money but why waste it?

Using these methods I’ve been able to save hundreds on clothes and find amazing articles of clothing. Even if you decide that some of these methods are not for you, try to come up with a system of your own to make thrift shopping simple and effortless. There are hundreds of websites with thrift shopping advice, so see what works for you. After all, there’s no point wandering through the sections like a lost child. Have a plan and stick with it, you’ll save time and money.


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