How to thrift shop: from an expert

Shopping is often done at stores like Target and Scheels: places that have high reputations and even higher prices. Clearance racks can be over $100 dollars at 60% off, and simple clothing is overpriced because of a logo on it.
However, there is a solution to this. Thrift shopping. It’s much cheaper, much more fun, and less headache-inducing. Shopping in fluorescent lights with loud noises and crowds makes me despise shopping. Target can be fun for a few minutes, but quickly turns into trying to get out as quickly as possible. But most thrift stores I’ve been to (other than Goodwill) have comfortable lighting and smaller venues, as well as being less busy. Add on the decrease in price and it’s like a gold mine.
There is a way to thrift correctly, or at least to get the best results. The first step is to go to the good thrift stores. In my opinion, the big chain stores are not as good. Local stores will have better prices and better items, as well as better organization. There are more friendly employees and more fun shopping. My personal favorites are St. Francis Thrift Store and St. Vincent De Paul. They have fun gems and even more fun people.
Another step is to know how to find the good stuff. There are a lot of things to sort through that make it difficult to find what you want. Slowly work through the store. This may seem obvious, but take your time. Find a section that appeals to you. I normally go straight to sweaters or skirts, because that’s my style, but if you’re looking for a certain item, go to that section.
However, it gets more organized than that. In those sections, look for the colors you want. Don’t look at blue stuff if you never wear blue. This can cut down the time searching, and can find you great colors. If there is no preference for color, look for certain patterns you like, like floral pieces, solid colors, or stripes. Keeping your eye out for certain things can make thrifting quicker and more fun. With items, do the same thing. Look for colors or patterns that appeal to you, and look in sections you enjoy. I’m a mug heathen myself.
Always imagine the clothing on yourself. Imagine it with your color palette as well. When you find a piece, think about what items you already have, and if you can make an outfit. Often you won’t be able to, and you can put it away. You can also make a list or a Pinterest board of what you want in your closet, which can make looking much easier. Always go into thrifting with an open mind, don’t feel like you have to stick to one certain style. However, it is good to know what your style is, and to go in with a vague idea of what you want. Just because something is cute, doesn’t mean you would wear it.
Another tip is to look at clearance. It might seem cheap to look at clearance in second hand stores, but it’s often where I find the best stuff. I do this at Target similar places too, but thrift stores are even more fun for this. Clearance racks are the best place to get things that others didn’t want, making them the most odd and fun pieces. They are also much cheaper, which never hurts. Even if there is nothing to be found, it’s always a good idea to look there.
Thrifting is also great for the environment. Secondhand items ensure that things are thrown away a lot less. For stores like Target and Shein, the landfill is a common place to put clothes. In fact, according to, “Of the 100 billion garments produced each year, 92 million tonnes end up in landfills. To put things in perspective, this means that the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothes ends up in landfill sites every second.” That’s a lot of clothing. Donating clothes and getting clothes from thrift stores ensures that those items wouldn’t end up in the landfill as commonly.
However, keep in mind the fact that thrifting is a common way for people who need cheap clothing to shop, so don’t go crazy. Don’t clean out the stores and, on principle, don’t buy things like car seats or take any free food or items that some stores have set up. Thrifting can be a great way to shop, but it is also how many people get clothing to live and be warm.
All in all, I’ve found my best clothing at thrift stores. It is honestly addicting to buy such cheap items that are so cute. As you collect clothing, you can continue to donate and revamp your style for cheap. Thrifting is an amazing way to get new clothes and items while being good for the environment.