The Ten Thrifting Commandments

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It’s amazing to see how many people are interested in thrifting nowadays. I remember thrifting with my grandmother when I was a child and seeing the negative reactions people would have if you told them you shopped at thrift stores. Now, it’s almost as if society has done a 180 and has completely embraced thrifting. There’s only one thing-many people don’t know how to “properly thrift” (their words, not mine). To assist you in having a productive and enjoyable thrifting experience, I present to you The Ten Thrift Commandments.

1. Keep It Tight
They don’t call it “second hand” for no reason. With that in mind, it is wise to wear fitted clothing such as leggings and tank tops so that you can easily try on clothes without having to get undressed. This tip will definitely be handy if you’re shopping at a thrift store that doesn’t have a dressing room.

2. Don’t Set Expectations
Although I have an occasional hope when I go thrifting (I’m still waiting to find an OPP jacket), I don’t go in with a shopping list. This is not Macy’s. There are not guaranteed items at thrift stores. I’ve seen so many thrifters leave a store disappointed because they didn’t find a “black pencil skirt that hits right above the knee with a zipper in the back.” A huge reward of thrifting is the pleasant surprises that lie within the racks.

3. Shop Around
You are not bound by gender or age at a thrift store. Don’t be shy about shopping every section that you can fit. I have found some of my best jeans in the men’s section and some the cutest sweatshirts in the kids section. Also, be sure to check out the jewelry and accessories. Some people donate some very valuable things. My grandmother bought a real diamond necklace from a thrift store that was priced like a cubic zirconia.

4. Clear Your Schedule
Whether you’re a rookie or a veteran thrifter, you always want to make sure you have enough time to take your time at a thrift store. There’s so much to explore that you never want to feel rushed. Before you release it, hours will have passed. Trust me, I know.

5. Choose Your Friends Wisely
With time in mind, be sure to shop with like minded people who aren’t going to rush you. Thrifting can be really fun when you have your friends there to get excited over the vintage, silk suit you found. There’s nothing worse than thrifting with someone who is constantly checking the clock. If you must shop with people who aren’t interested in thrifting, be sure you’re the driver.

6. Check It Twice
As you find items check them for stains, rips or any other flaw that would be a deal breaker. Keep in mind that some of these stains may have been set in for years, so be realistic when you consider cleaning them. I typically check more than once to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

7. Have An Open Mind
In case you don’t hit thrift gold, you’re not totally out of luck. If you don’t find the perfect fitting item you can get it altered. In many cases, the price of a thrifted item and professional alterations is still cheaper than a typical retail item. Additionally, if you find a pieces of clothing that has a great fabric you can get a little crafty and make it into something else.

8. Learn the Special Days
Most thrift stores have special discount days. If you really want to become a smart thrifter, it would be wise to learn them. Along with discount days, majority of thrift stores have special colors that represent savings. Although these days aren’t predictable, shopping only the special tags can help rack up some savings.

9. Ask For Deals
Yes, you read that right. Don’t be shy, ask for deals. You really want that cashmere sweater, but don’t want to pay the asking price because it has a snag? Politely ask for a lower price to compensate for the flawed item. In many cases employees are very nice about bringing prices down. It definitely works when you make friends with the employees during your shopping adventures.

10. Know Your Limits
Even though you’re at a thrift store, the items can add up. Unfortunately, I know this first hand. Having a budget to shop with it not only keeps you from overspending, but it keeps you from getting items you don’t need just because they’re cool. If you need a little more help with staying within a budget, take a set amount of cash with you.

Love Yourself. Live Your Life. Love The Life You Live

Kirby Dione

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