A Thrifty Way to Shop

Greetings people of Earth! I have been told by many people that I manage to find lots of things at thrift stores that they can't seem to come across. I can't say I have a talent for it, but I have so much fun looking for clothes that I thought I would share my 8 Ways To Thrift Shop (better..)

1. Take Your Time
I have had too many times where there simply hasn't been enough space in my schedule to adequately find the gems that I want. You will need a long time if you are going to a store with a big selection, or if you are looking for something specific. Being frantic and hurried is no way to spend your afternoon in a second-hand store! Have fun and relax, like a casual treasure hunt where the prize is cheap clothing

2. Look Through Everything
Yes you are looking for a size medium white tee-shirt, but go ahead and peruse the whole tee-shirt aisle. Look hard! Flip through everything! Don't just go straight to the white things you see, because often I find the best items when I'm not even looking for them. Be thorough and consider things you wouldn't normally consider in a store with higher prices. Pull out weird things, pull out ugly things, pull out old things, be adventurous! You will be amazed at what you find.

3. Try on Items
You can only go so far by holding things up to your body, still on the hanger. I find that trying on the clothes I find gives me a better idea of how I could fit the piece into my wardrobe at home. I also think it works for giving clothes shape and life, such as a drab vintage dress that hangs limp on the hanger. Trying it on might give you a glimpse at how valuable it could be to you. Trying on different sizes can help you find what fits comfortably for future shopping, but you can also surprise yourself by squeezing into that 6 or 10 you were hoping for. Which leads me to my next point...

4. Look in the Wrong Places
It is a common fact that thrift stores have terrible sizing ranges and I often find something in a section that should have been categorized very differently. You can counteract this by looking for the things you need in other sections. Going a size up or down often yields more results. I do this when I start to get discouraged, when the entire section in my size has nothing I want. Stretchy material and moving something from your hips to your waist can be the game changer sometimes. (P.S. The men's section might not be too bad if you are really coming up empty.)

5. Be Watching for Brand Names 
There's nothing like the excitement of finding your favourite store's label in a thrift store with a severe markdown. Sometimes the tags are still attached, like at Winners or Ross Dress for Less (My Dream Store) and it makes everything a bit better when you can smugly purchase an $8 shirt that was originally much more. There are so many clothes in stores like this that have been looked over by others, but maybe you can find the pieces that are right for you by looking closely at the labels.

6. Try to Imagine the Finished Product 
Pulling something off the rack is only the beginning. When trying it on, or considering your wallet's depth, take a moment to think about ways you could pair it with the things you already have. You could also try finding things in the store that match, but that always gets tricky and sometimes expensive, so it's better to try and use items you already own. Try to mentally add things like belts and jewellery, or think of the shoes and sweaters you could use. If you imagine it on yourself instead of on the hanger, it becomes easier to think about the places you could wear it as well.
P.S. Don't forget about DIY! If a piece can be redone or up-cycled, make sure you consider how much you can change an outfit before wearing it. There's no end to what you can do! Be creative!

7. Try Other Stores
If you come up empty in your search, never fear! Some of my favorite days have been spent thrift-store-hopping around town. Smaller stores sometimes group together and you can hit them all at once. Each store has it's own flavour, and some are charity-based so you can shop and support others at the same time. To save time, march up to an employee and ask directly if they have what you are looking for. If they shake their head, you don't need to stay unless something on a rack catches your eye. In that case, investigate immediately!

8. Look at Quality
Stains, rips, runs, loose threads, pilling, wearing, fading, but mostly stains can be the breaking point for some shoppers. Make sure you thoroughly inspect clothes before you buy them because there is always the danger of thrifting something that turns out to be unwearable. If you can't live without an article you find, then try to consider how much you can sew it or try to remove the stain.

That's it, I hope this was helpful to you! I will be back soon with another post. Have a great day :)

Love, Natasha


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