So, Thrift stores are apparently the new fad. The whole retro vintage look is making a comeback and thrift stores are the best place to get that look. Personally, I love thrift stores, but that is because I am the average thrift store size, and because I am a broke college student who loves vintage.
A majority of what you will find in thrift stores is clothes in the "larger" sizes, the 10-16 bottoms and L-XL tops or the itty bitty stuff, like those 90's midriff tops you wore when you were in Jr. High. I have pretty good luck with thrift stores with pretty much everything. Furniture, Purses, Clothes, and especially Shoes. Boy do I luck out with shoes. However, my roommate (who is new to thrift store shopping) doesn't always find what she is looking for, so she gets a little pissy and gives up, but she is learning, thanks to these tips I have been using to teach her.
1. You need to go out with an open mind. You aren't always going to find what you want. That cute pair of shoes might be too small or that top may be way too big. Don't set out to find one specific thing, because chances are, if you're looking for it, you wont find it.
2. Be patient. Thrift stores are usually a huge jumble of everything. Sometimes they're sorted by size, some by brand, and some by color and clothing type. You really do have to look through the racks. If its a small store, that wont be too much of an issue, but if it's a large store, you need to really look, because you can find some real gems hidden in that mess.
3. Picture your current wardrobe. Most of my wardrobe is thrifted or altered in some way, and I really stick to blues, browns and blacks, so finding pieces to match is easy for me. My roommate however, has a huge jumble of patterns and clothing styles. She will buy something then find out she has absolutely nothing to wear with it. If you like it, and it can easily be incorporated into your wardrobe, then go for it. But if its just a random item you want cause it looks pretty, and you know you'll never wear it, don't go for it.
4. Be cost conscious. Its easy to think that all these cheap items don't add up, but they do, quickly. You may think you're only going to buy this item for this much, and that item for that much, but if you're not paying attention, it can get pretty bad. Those $10 boots might be cute and look awesome, but how much of a discount is it really from the original price? Is it worth it? Or should you put them back and walk away?
5. Don't be afraid to alter items after buying them. I have changed up quite a few of my purchases after hitting up some thrift stores. Altered a pair of white flared jeans, which I bought for a dollar, into skinny jeans and they look as if they were made that way. Maybe that shirt that is a little too big can be taken in? That dress or skirt can be shortened? You have to see the potential in things, maybe something you alter can become a staple in your wardrobe, or even the inspiration for a wardrobe make-over.
6. Visit the stores often. Most cities have more than one thrift store, so why not make a day out of it. And if you don't find anything just return another day. People are constantly donating items to thrift stores and their stock is constantly changing. So if you return every week or so, you'll see that there is an entire new selection to choose from.
Everyone has different thrifting stories, some good, some bad. But I guarantee you, if you take the time to look through the racks and don't write off a thrift store after one visit, you'll be able to find some magnificent things. Happy thrifting!!