Thrifting Tips for Success
Instead of a shop update this week, I want to provide you with some tips to shopping secondhand and hunting for gems. Some people love thrifting (me), and others truly do not and would rather buy pieces from a vintage store or curated shop. Both choices are more sustainable long-term than purchasing newly produced fast-fashion items.
Personally, I love doing the finding and the styling, but I understand that not everyone is in a space where they have the luxury of purchasing curated pieces. I’m aware that shopping used clothing is a necessity to many and to thrift as a hobby is an incredibly privileged space to be in. I also believe that buying secondhand pieces is an affordable and sustainable choice that should be opened up for everyone to consider.
BlissBranch is first and foremost a resource that encourages giving a second life to garments that could end up in landfills — this includes arming you with awesome tools and tricks for thrifting.
These are some of my tried-and-true methods for thrifting and finding vintage for myself and the shop. If you have tips you want to share with everyone, leave them in the comments below!
THRIFTING TIPS FOR SUCCESS
There are lots of resources out there for how to build a capsule wardrobe, but I would like to offer a few tips before you embark on searching for pieces. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you’ll be less likely to just go for deals because you can, and you’ll hopefully come out with pieces that 100% suit you.
Take a look in your closet. Chances are, you have a few staples that make you feel good in your body. Take note of your preferred shapes, styles, and fabric types. Sizes will range when you’re shopping vintage, so having an idea of what size you are is enough — you really won’t be focused on the numbers!
Make a mood board. I highly recommend this step, and I feel like it goes hand-in-hand with step #1. I like using both Instagram bookmarks and Pinterest boards to take note of colors, shapes, influencers and styles that inspire me. For example, if you’re thinking you want new pants, mood boards can help you realize that maybe what you’re really interested in are rust wide-legged pants with a high waist, or maybe a light wash mid-rise boyfriend jean.
Look up thrift stores in your area. Chances are, you already have an idea of what thrift stores and secondhand shops are in your area, but you may find some obscure listings you were unaware of. Personally, I like to hit up stores across the county, and I’m willing to drive up to an hour away to hunt for the good stuff.
Learn the discount days. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about shopping secondhand and I’m happy to report most thrift stores run weekly or daily specials.
Goodwill, for example, labels their clothes in a series of colors. Two colors qualify for different discounts each week; one color will be 50% off the listed price and one color will be $0.99. These colors rotate, and the following week, the previous week’s 50% off color will become the $0.99 color, so on and so forth.
The first Saturday of every month is 50% everything in the store. That means if you’re reading this article the day I’m publishing it, you're local Goodwill is 50% everything! (It’s the first weekend in March)
In some larger cities, there are Goodwill Discount Stores and Goodwill Boutiques. Goodwill Discount stores vary but I’ve visited some that charge $0.99/piece and I’ve been to some that charge per pound of clothes. The clothing in these cases is usually in giant boxes or bins, not hung on racks, so be prepared to dig. Goodwill Boutiques are quite the opposite; everything is curated and typically higher priced than normal Family Stores.
Salvation Army always has one color each week that is 50% off. Their prices tend to be higher and their pieces and stores more organized
Random local shops may have days that prices are cut. If you’re here in Nashville, Music City Thrift has rotating specials, so make sure to check in with them on that.
Check online for estate and garage sales. This is honestly not something I do, but I’ve done it before and had a lot of fun! Typically, this is something that needs to be planned for early weekend mornings and that’s not really my thing. But if you have luck with this, that’s awesome!
You can buy vintage in bulk online. Whether it’s eBay, Shop Goodwill, or an online wholesale retailer, there are huge ways to save if you buy things in lots.
Try everything on. I REPEAT: TRY EVERYTHING ON. I’ve made many-a-personal whoopsies with eyeballing clothes or solely relying on sizes to determine whether or not something will fit me, bringing it home and it not even being close to buttoning. An easy way to avoid this bummer is to try things on! If you’re headed to a shop or estate sale that doesn’t have a space to try anything on, you can bring a clothing measuring tape and take quick measurements of your bust, waist, and hips to compare to the clothes before you buy.
Consider shopping other’s closets. There are lots of closet-shopping sites out there like Poshmark, Depop, Thred Up, and so many more. If you’re looking for more contemporary styles and not particularly vintage, these are great spaces to connect (and possibly even trade) with people that are your size and have similar fashion taste.
Do a clothing swap! This is something I’ve never personally done but I’ve watched many of my friends do this online. Again, this is an awesome way to trade instead of actually spending money on clothes, and connect with other people!
Check out local or online vintage shops. The digging and hunting has been done for you, and usually stores will run discounts and sales.
Thank you for checking out this post and I hope that if shopping secondhand was intimidating to you, you’re feeling a bit more comfortable giving it a try! Feel free to leave any more tips in the comments below!