I went thrift shopping for clothes with an expert the other day and learned some tips on how to successfully thrift shop for clothes.

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Don’t be choosy:
Get a cart, basket, or a friend so you can carry your findings. If you see an item you think you might like grab it. This does not mean you are going to buy it, it’s a placeholder for the next steps, but if you leave it behind two things happen:

  1. You have to go find the item again if you decide you like it later.
  2. You can’t check off that rack or part of the store as having been searched. How many times do you go back to the same rack after searching it? Grabbing is key to efficiency.
Photo by Nikola Đuza on Unsplash
Photo by Nikola Đuza on Unsplash
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Try It On:
Not all thrift stores have a fitting room. If they do discipline yourself to try on the article of clothing. You know when you see it on if you have a win or not. If your selection is for the legs put on shoes to make sure the article works with shoewear. If you have the shoes you want for the outfit that is an extra bonus.

If there is not a fitting room you can hold it up to you to check lengths, fabric, and color against your skin. Make it come to you and see if the you likes it.

Be Choosy:
Now you can open up your critical side. If you are not excited about this addition or see problems you will have to fix put it back. More than wasting money you don't need the burden of an article of clothing that is ill fitting on you or in your wardrobe. Ask yourself when or where you will wear it. Think critically and don't be afraid to give up a 95% fit in search for your 100% win.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash
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Add It Up:
It’s surprising how fast even bargains add up, so do a tally to make sure you are spending what you are hoping to spend. It might help you be more choosy.

That's it. Thrifting is an art and a sport, when you find a piece that you love you will feel like you have hit the ball, painted a genius stroke, or whatever makes you happy to have stepped up to life.

Abandoned Thrift Shop, Somewhere in Michigan

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Gallery Credit: Mike Brant