It’s a jungle out there for thrift shoppers across the world. From finding it to wearing it, vintage is no easy task. But the pay off is worth it all when you find a look that takes your personality up a notch and that you just can’t find in stores.
If you’re just getting into thrifting, it can be a daunting world. Where are you supposed to go to find great scores? Why can’t you seem to find anything that works at your local Goodwill? How come all the good stuff at hip vintage shops is so expensive?
Those cute boutiques with vintage clothes put a lot of time and expertise into curating their collections. They cost so much because they do the work for you, but with some effort and ingenuity, you don’t have to go into debt buying one-of-a-kind vintage looks.
The next time you need a new look on a dime, hit the vintage store with these tips in mind.
#1 Small Towns Are Gifts
Living in a small college town has its ups and downs, but don’t lose sight of the gifts right under your nose. You might think the vintage shops in big cities are where all the hidden gems are waiting, but it’s also where you can expect to pay a lot. Plus, thrift shops in big cities are thoroughly picked over. In small towns, there are tons of people donating clothes, you just have to know how to dig.
#2 Learn the Store’s Schedule
Find out when the store puts new items on the racks and go often. If you’re a stress shopper, this won’t be any trouble at all. There’s usually one day in the week when stores do a big overhaul of what’s on the racks.
Your third thrift shop survival tip is the most important: dig. Don’t be afraid to get in there, sifting through the bins or moving around the clutter. Leave no stone unturned and you’re going to walk away with that perfect piece.
#4 Shop Online
Thrift store purists may cry foul, but finding used women’s clothes for sale online is no easy feat either. There are tons of places to look and you can connect with sellers nearby, and it’s a great way to shop if you don’t have time to be at the thrift store every week digging through bins.
Just because you know your way around the online classifieds for used clothes doesn’t mean your job is done. There are a few things to keep in mind knowing that it’s probably final sale. Do your research into fabric: old clothes used to be a lot more uncomfortable, and you might not be used to it. Silk is also your best friend when it comes to quality; a lot of blouses and dresses from the ’90s and earlier were made with an awful polyester.
Last but not least, know your size inside and out, and do some research into sizes from different era. Ask the seller for more details if you’re not sure how it will fit.
Keep these tips tucked in your pocket the next time you’re vintage shopping and walk away with great looks without breaking your budget.