With the rise of sustainable fashion, thrifting has become the most desirable option for various fashion industry stakeholders globally. Although it has been practised for ages, the discourse around environmentally conscious consumerism has propelled its recent popularity – countering fashion’s reputation as a mega polluter. Thrifting has become the best way to indulge in the glitz and glam of fashion, while simultaneously protecting the planet. Moreover, it is a great option for when you’re strapped for cash and want to save money, or you just like the idea of finding unique and vintage items to add to your closet.

However, despite its futuristic appeal, thrifting as a beginner can be daunting since it takes a fair amount of know-how to ensure success. Additionally, it takes a lot more time and patience, even though the payoff of finding a gem for an affordable price is unbeatable.

With that said, we’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to thrifting like a pro, with tips on how to search for pieces, as well as how to prepare for the big day.


Browse through Pinterest for some inspo


This is a good starting point if you’re unsure about which items or aesthetic you would like to go for. You can personalise your search according to your personal style. Moreover, you can curate mood boards that will help you identify the colour palettes, and staple items you’re drawn to.


What’s in my closet


Going through your closet before embarking on your thrifting journey might just be the important step for your debut in sustainable fashion. A closet tour will give you ideas of what you might need in your wardrobe or items that’ll work with what you already have. It is also recommended to take pictures of pieces you’re aiming to match so you find suitable items when you head to the thrift store.


Find nearby thrift stores ahead of time


If you’re intending to hit a few thrift stores, make a list and map out your route to avoid being confused about where to go next. This will help you ensure that you don’t miss any thrift stores that you intended to visit initially. It will also help you gauge how much time you’ll need. Once you’ve compiled a list, keep tabs on the thrift stores that won your heart for future reference.


Know which items you’re keen on picking up while leaving room for spontaneity


Knowing what you’d like to find while thrifting will give you a sense of direction. However, leaving some room for spontaneity is important. Thrifting clothes can feel a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Therefore, it will be helpful to know that it’s a needle you’re looking for in the first place.


Set a budget


This is especially applicable to curated vintage stores that tend to charge more than charity shops. It is essential to set a limit for yourself to avoid getting carried away. The items being relatively affordable should not be an excuse to go overboard by spending an exorbitant amount of money.


When you reach the thrift store, start with what you’re looking for


To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the selection process, start by picking up items that you had planned to get initially. That will help kick start your experience with some direction instead of aimlessly walking around the store.


Don’t rush through it

Taking it easy will help you enjoy the experience and increase your chances of finding unique pieces. Therefore, make sure that you make enough time for your planned thrift store. Additionally, bear in mind that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.


When thrifting clothes, it is advisable to stick to items that are made from good quality materials. Since you won’t know how old something is or where it came from, it’s a good idea to steer clear of things that are made from synthetic materials. Therefore, It is best to opt for fabrics such as cotton, linen, and wool.


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