Q: When is thrifting the answer?
A: Thrifting is always the answer.
Hi nice to meet you, I’m Maia, but you can just consider me your online thrifting expert. I was raised in thrift stores, for real, my mom dressed me in thrifted baby clothes before I could even talk. And from there, thrift stores were always a part of my life, and I’ve been shopping in them ever since I can remember.
Thrift stores might be kind of intimidating for someone unfamiliar with them, though. There are thousands of random items, loosely organized (if organized at all), and there so SO many weird things (like, super weird). But believe me when I say that you actually can find some cute clothes from thrift stores, you just have to know how to look for them! I’d estimate that around 70% of all my clothing is thrifted:
Every clothing piece (except the shoes in the color photos) of these is thrifted! My most recent YouTube video was even on a big thrift haul where I picked out some new work clothes along with some geeky casual shirts!
So, needless to say, you can find some awesome things at thrift stores. But like I said, there are ways to effectively comb through all the wreckage to find the treasure. And here are my hacks on how to do it!
1. Give Yourself a Plan
This is just a good idea to do when shopping in general. But with thrifting, it’s pretty essential for someone walking into the chaos of a thrift store for the first time to have a plan of action. Even veteran thrifters like myself benefit from knowing the goal of what to buy.
Recently, I decided to make a Pinterest board for what spring clothes I wanted to get this year and I was amazed at how handy this was when I went thrift store shopping later. I simply downloaded the app on my phone, and when I found a piece I liked, I’d pull up my board to see if the piece went with what I wanted. I was surprised at how many times I used my board as reference for what I wanted, and in the end I was incredibly happy I took the time to make it!
Giving yourself a game plan will help you to stay on track amidst the disarray and will hopefully keep you from impulse buys (which can be very easy when everything is so inexpensive)!
2. Don’t Settle
A mistake I made in my early years of thrifting was settling for clothes that almost fit, that may have had just a little stain or two, or might have had just a bit of torn lace on the side. My advice to you on this is DON’T SETTLE! Thrift stores have literally thousands of articles of clothing, shoes, and handbags, and there’s no reason for you to settle for something that isn’t nice, even if that price tag is ever so tempting. Let me tell you why.
You’re standing in front of your closet looking at that shirt with that little hole on the side that you bought at the thrift store the other day because it was cheap. “No big deal,” you had told yourself at the time, “I can just cover that up by layering a jacket over it or something. And I can just, like, sew it up later.” But now, that jacket is in the wash. And you don’t have time for a repair job (you didn’t yesterday or the day before that, either). And why pick the shirt with that hole in the side when the one right next to it is hole-less?
Your article of clothing should not depend on her partner for support. She is a strong, independent woman.
I promise you that you’ll find a piece that is in perfectly good condition that you’ll like far better who doesn’t need fixing. Save that fixing time for your hair, honey.
3. You’ve Gotta LOVE It
This sort of goes along with the last point, but honestly, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s free. And why spend money on something you don’t love? When you open your closet, it should be full of things you’re EXCITED to wear – ideally, your closet should be full of “favorites.”
Even if that sweater is in perfect condition, fits nicely, and the color is fine, but you don’t feel amazing in it, it’s not the one for you, boo. Back to the scenario from earlier, why would you pick something out of your closet that’s just “meh” when a way cuter piece is right next to it? And even if all your cuter things are in the wash, why would you want to leave yourself with a piece you’re just not that into? It’s just not worth it, not even if it’s just $2.00.
4. Look Outside Your “Zone”
As I’ve mentioned, thrift stores contain a vast amalgamation of clothes from all different brands. You might already know that a size 4 in one brand could be a size 6 in another and a size 2 in another. So when in a thrift store, if you’re a size 12, go ahead and look outside your size because odds are you’ll find a lot more options for yourself than you think.
Also, don’t be afraid to search outside your gendered section either. Every single geeky shirt I got (save the pizza one) in my thrift haul video I found via scouring the men’s T-shirt section (and there were plenty of anime shirts there that I didn’t get, specifically there were some Yuri On Ice ones that I spotted!). Employees aren’t perfect, and it can be hard to categorize so many random things, so you might find something out of place or even in its right place that just isn’t where you’d normally think to look!
Hopefully you can use these tips as a map to point you towards the treasure buried in your local thrift store! No need to be afraid anymore, adventure awaits!
Do you have any tips/hacks that you use when you go thrifting? Are you new to thrifting, or a seasoned veteran? What are some of your favorite items you’ve found? Be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below or tag me in a photo (@itsmaiaeden) on instagram or twitter!
Also, be sure to check out my thrift store video on my YouTube channel! See you next time! ❤