5 Reasons Thrift Shopping Isn't Working for You | Thriftanista in the City

3.13.2014

5 Reasons Thrift Shopping Isn't Working for You

I never find anything good at the thrift store. I hear it all the time. If you're the lone thriftanista among your friends you've probably heard it too. While I don't doubt it can be a bit of a struggle finding the good stuff, I fully believe that everyone can be successful in the hunt for cheap (price not quality) fashionable finds.

thrift shopping tips


Here are 5 reasons why thrift shopping may not be working for you:

1. You're expecting order.

The nice orderly thrift store does exist and the experience is lovely but there are lots of goodies in the chaotic, grimy stores. There are thousands of items in store so it can become a disorganized mess throughout the day. Eat a good meal. Bring some water and your patience.

5 reasons thrift shopping

2. You looked for your size.

A general size is good to have but your "size" changes depending on decade or brand. Give that size smaller jacket a try. Maybe you can wear it open if it's not your size. Explore the men's and children's racks too. You may find your fit and things are sometimes misplaced. 

thriftanista in the city

3. You didn't try it on.

This is how you end up with a closet full of blahs. This one is too big. This one needs to be mended. This one is just awkward. The best thing to do when hitting up thrift stores is to dress comfortably and appropriately for trying on clothes.  Get in the mirror and assess whether this is the right garment for you. You can also check for damaged goods. Easier to spot when you have it on your body.

thrift shopping

4. You didn't explore options. 

Thrifting can happen in a number of ways. You can shop thrift, consignment and vintage stores. Go to garage and estate sales. You can explore online thrift stores like ThredUp, eBay, and *shameless plug alert* The Thriftanista Closet. You can even throw a swap party.

thrift fashion and style

5. You didn't bring a friend.

Shopping with a friend or 2 means at least double the eyes looking for great finds! Split up and spread out to different racks. Grab what you like and what you think your friends may like. Everything goes in your cart. When you meet up again then you can make edits. 

thrift store clothes
THRIFT vintage earrings - bracelets - plaid tunic - Gap silver mini skirt - Christopher Kon convertible bag RETAIL Falke tights - Apeppaza silver ankle boots

Do you always find or never find at the thrift store?

***in other news***

I was interviewed by radio personality, author, and the generally awesome LaCheryl Cillie for Thrift Style Living. I'm sharing details about some of my favorite thrift finds. Check it out!

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19 comments

Natasha Bernard said...

Great post hun. Totally agree.

Ashleigh said...

I AM on your list! My local Goodwill has just completely changed. I can honestly buy brand new items at Target on clearance for cheaper these days. They have an entire "designer" section. I don't want Goodwill to find it FOR me. I want to find it! I've been trying to explore the thrift stores in bigger metro areas when I get the chance these days. I agree with all of your tips though!
-Ash
www.stylizedwannabe.blogspot.com

Elizabeth M. said...

Totally agree!! I recently made a post on my blog about thrift tips because people swear they can't find anything lol
www.dopechixx.blogspot.com

Antionette Blake said...

Agree with all tips and you have to go with plenty of time to spare, not on a timetable otherwise, you will leave disappointed and upset.

K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy said...

Trying it on really helps. I know some people don't want because of germs, but I always wear tights and under shirt in addition to bringing along a mini an of Lysol spray. Fits vary with brand to brand and I have almost missed on some goods because I was looking at the size instead of trying it on.

Also, if a piece is too big but I really like, I'll still get and get it taken in. Great tips!

Anonymous said...

Great post! You outfit is adorable, too btw ; )

I can't wait until we get our thrift on!!

xx April

Rebecca said...

Wow this is a very helpful post.....thanks for sharing your tips!

Rebecca
www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

Caitlin Fox said...

This is such a great post, Troy! I can't even count the number of times I've said "I don't find anything thrifting..." - probs a ba-zillion! Thanks for these tips :)

Caitlin
www.acheekyfox.com

Sarah @ Seriously, Sarah? said...

It does seem like a lot of people have success with thrift shopping, but they're also dedicated! Those are good tips, though, to inspire those of us who have been unsuccessful.

Jessica Jannenga said...

I do more thrift shopping on line per say, pinterest and ebay, but love the idea of finding great pieces and great deals

Tonia Bozeman said...

Great tips for the freshman thriftier. I always tend to find things hidden or misplaced. Always, always try on. I tend to wear leggings w/ a pull on skirt in the event there is NOT a dressing room.

Stacie Branson said...

Um, yeah. I am totally thrifting all wrong! I guess I have a few hangups like, trying it on before I wash it. I guess I should be more open minded.

LeTroy Cooke said...

Wear a thin layer like a fitted tee and leggings underneath. Same rules apply for retail stores too. :)

Tricia Hersey said...

Great tips. I find better stuff when I go with someone. The buddy system works. "Throw it in the cart."

Terri Dailey said...

Great tips! I was featured on Thrifstyle Living too! I can't wait to read your interview!!

Vanessa Leigh Lewis said...

Awesome list! Perfect title. :D

Emily said...

Great tips! Thrifting definitely has its own set of rules and I think there is a learning curve, too. People need to just keep trying and not get discouraged, and your tips are great ones. I break the "try it on" rule all the time for tops and knit dresses because I have a better sense now of how to judge sizes, but I ALWAYS try on pants.

Emily | http://blog.breadandrosesvintage.com

Hannelore Cossins said...

I always find stunning stuff for my skinny daughters...not so much for me :/

Kathryn said...

I think you also need to not just see what is in front of you, but see the possibilities even if you don't own a sewing machine or are a skilled seamstress. Sometime just changing the buttons on a blouse or jacket can have a huge impact. If you find a cotton or cotton blend light colored item and don't like the color, you can try dying it. You can also cut off the sleeves, shorten the length. If something is too short, you can add lace fabric to the bottom. If something is to large, you can take it in or too small you might be able to make it wider by adding panel. Just use your imagination and keep your mind open not just what something is now, but what it could be.

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