After a while, I've managed to find a few go-to spots that I frequent monthly or even weekly. However if you're new to thrifting, I suggest you find some stores in your vicinity; why make a long trip to a specific store when there are probably some gems right near you?
Try using a thrift store finder like The Thrift Shopper or by simply Google Mapping thrift stores in your zip code.
What to Expect/Know:
- Thrifting can be time consuming since you have to search through racks of clothes, so make sure you have at least an hour or two to spare.
- Not all thrift stores clean donated clothes.
- Not all stores sort by size or color; but do sort by garment type (i.e.: shorts, tanks, blouses, etc.)
- Not all stores have fitting rooms.
- Don't walk into a store expecting to find loads of cool finds. In fact, don't expect to find anything; it's ok to walk out empty handed.
- Even thrift stores have sales!
- Not all stores accept ATM/Credit Cards. Carry cash. Personally, I walk in with a certain amount so as to not go over my budget.
- Get inspiration from fashion blogs, magazines or mall retail stores.
- Make a list of things that you need or want. This includes type of clothing, color and fabric.
- Wear fitted clothes, like a tank and leggings or skinnies. This makes it easier to check/try on stuff for fit.
- Ask if there is a special of the day. Most stores have colored price tags and have 50% off sales on certain colors depending on the day. Other stores have sales on specific items, such as sleeveless shirts or sell sale items by the pound.
- Grab a basket or cart, if available.
- Start from one end of the store and make your way through the aisles.You don't have to look at everything. Personally, I must be drawn to print/color. Then I pull the piece out to get a better look. If I'm in an area with the same color scheme, I touch the fabric to make sure it's something wearable (i.e. not itchy)
- Make sure to check for stains, holes or any other deal breaking imperfections.
- You like, you take! If something catches your eye, stash it in your basket. It might not be there 5 minutes later. Better you change your mind with the item in hand.
- If clothes are too big, they can always be fitted or refashioned. Don't buy something too small and hope you'll fit into it one day. Enjoy your finds now!
Lastly, going often is probably the key to finding cool pieces. Remember, people donate clothes every day so there's always something new AND don't forget to donate your unwanted stuff. It's tax deductible and possibly a treasure to someone else.
I hope I've helped. If I've missed something, let me know. And if you've scored a great find, let me know!
Have fun and good luck!