You don’t have to be well-versed in the language of bargain shopping to find your way around a thrift store. Thrifting gives all walks of life a chance to score unique, boutique and chic pieces you may otherwise not be able to find or afford.
Colorado, as well as most other cities, has a plethora of thrift stores full of gems or the best-worst onesies you can imagine. Back in the day thrift stores were the primary source for all your Halloween costumes or date party accessories but has over time become a go-to shop for everyday wear.
Some of the best pieces can be found right at your neighborhood consignment shop for less than you’d pay for a six pack of beer. However, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed in any thrift or resale shop, especially if you’re a beginner. Here are a few things to keep in mind when entering the used clothing world.
5 ways thrift shop like a pro
1. When To Go
The weekends are always the busiest so if you can, go during the week. There are half the amount of people and normally twice the inventory. Goodwill restocks frequently but after a busy weekend and serious donating, the likeliness of finding the buried treasure is on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
Also, make sure to keep an eye out for 50% off Saturdays. Goodwill may be every other weekend but other shops like Arc have a 50% sale every Saturday. It’s most likely going to be packed so try to get there as early as your morning allows. Don’t forget your coffee either as you need to hyper aware of oncoming carts.
2. Investigate A Piece
It’s important to know what you’re spending your money on and the same rule applies here. Always look at the material, any sign of stains, holes or questionable smells as well as the overall look of the piece. A dry cleaning is an easy fix for jackets and skirts but sometimes you can’t save even the most well made item. Just remember, they’ve most likely had a good life with their previous owner and will not be offended if you pass them by.
3. Narrow It Down
There are a plethora of racks to look through so try and scope out the sections with the most opportunity. The outerwear, skirt and sweater aisles should be top priority as they offer the most well rounded pieces for every style and occasion. If you’re still ready for more, you can often find luck in the shoe and blouse section. It can be a little harder to sift through so make sure you have enough time to go through it all.
Note: Goodwill sometimes only leaves one shoe out so if you find one and not the partner, make sure to check with an employee as hope may not be lost just yet.
4. Shop In Segments
Part of the enjoyment of a thrifting adventure is exploring the aisles at your own pace. If you start in the outerwear section and find a few you want to try on, take those over first so you don’t have to worry about lugging around multiple peacoats or puffers for the rest of your visit. The same process works in the shoe section as these are harder to balance while holding onto clothes hangers.
5. Start Small
If you are still getting used to the fun that is thrifting, take it a little at a time. Go in with a few ideas and see what you can score.
You won’t typically find the same organization of a normal department store (forget about the sizes being in order) so beginning with a few colors or fabrics makes the process a little easier at first. You might just happen to strike gold in the process.
Take the opportunity to visit your local thrift store this week. You never know what you might be able to discover.