When thrifting, you can discover iconic clothing items and expand your wardrobe. Here are six tips to help you get the most value from your time and find pieces you’ll wear long-term.
Check the label to understand the item’s worth
Clothing labels can reveal a lot about their origins, materials, and potential value. If you’re lucky enough to come across a vintage piece with the original tag, consider using the Label Resource at the Vintage Fashion Guild to determine what brand it is and whether it’s an authentic piece.
Some vintage thrift stores may mark up the price of certain items or brands, so if you plan on reselling the piece for a higher price, check its resell value to determine whether the purchase is worth the investment.
Find out the store’s specialty beforehand
While some thrift stores sell a wide range of secondhand items, certain unique thrift stores specialize in specific niches, like vintage clothes, cameras, sporting goods, or baby clothes.
So, while one thrift shop may offer various high-quality designer-brand furniture, it may not be the best place to thrift for vintage purses.
Know when the store restocks
Shopping when the inventory is low can be frustrating since other thrifting connoisseurs may have already snapped up all the top items.
To avoid empty shelves and ensure you snag the best deals on your next thrifting trip, call your local thrift shop beforehand to confirm what day of the week they restock and shop on that day.
Tackle the store section by section
Thrift stores can be overwhelming. With potentially thousands of items to choose from, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re looking for and end your thrifting trip early.
Instead of walking into the store without a clear mission, prepare a list of your desired items and tackle the store section by section. Combing through the clutter to find hidden gems may require effort. Don’t rush, and take your time.
Choose reliable brands
While popular fast-fashion brands offer affordable pieces that can spice up your wardrobe, they may not hold up in your closet for long. If you’re looking for clothes that can last you years to come, choose reliable brands known for their excellent quality.
For example, clothing items from higher-end traditional brands like Banana Republic®, Madewell®, and Ralph Lauren® typically last much longer than fast-fashion pieces before showing signs of wear and tear. You won’t have to pay full price if you’re thrifting, making it an even better deal.
Learn how to discern quality
Natural materials like silk, wool, and cotton are typically higher quality than synthetic materials like polyester and nylon. Of course, that doesn’t mean synthetic fibers are necessarily bad. They’re typically cheaper, durable, and stain-resistant.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the stitching when thrifting for clothes. Check that the piece is not about to fall apart and scan for signs of wear and tear or stains.