Thrifting is a practice which takes time and patience.
Thrifting is an affordable, sustainable, and adventurous alternative to fast fashion.
It involves shopping at thrift stores, vintage stores, charity shops and flea markets usually with the intent to buy items at low prices but also as a sustainable practice.
The shopping practice has been around for decades, but it is now getting major recognition as a sustainable way to shop for fashion and furniture.
However, individuals might not be sure as to how to go about thrifting as a beginner.
DESIblitz offers a solution to this dilemma and brings you 10 tips for first-time thrifters, to ensure your thrifting journey is off to an enjoyable start.
Make A Plan
Preparation is key when it comes to thrifting; as exciting as thrifting may be, it’s important not to rush in headfirst without knowing where to go and what you’re looking for.
Lack of preparation can be very time-consuming, therefore creating a plan that includes where to shop and what style of clothes or even pieces of clothes you want can reduce your shopping time massively.
Researching where and which shops you would like to go to can make your thrifting experience less stressful, especially since you can plan your route based on where each shop is located.
Thrifting is not just an activity but an experience, therefore having a plan of action to map out this experience can be essential.
Don’t Underestimate Charity Shops
Charity shops like the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Age UK and LOROS all sell affordable clothing in a variety of different styles.
British Red Cross has even got a partnership with Zara meaning there’s often donated clothing in their shops from the popular brand.
Certain thrift shops that are labelled as vintage clothing stores or curated vintage shops may have quite overpriced clothing in comparison to charity shops as clothes are marketed as one-of-a-kind and hand-picked.
However, charity shops like the ones mentioned above are often overlooked in this area as many of them have unique vintage clothing hidden amongst their clothes that are worth searching and being patient for.
Always Check The Label
Checking the label and tags on vintage items is always an important aspect of thrifting.
Tags and labels can provide many details about the specific piece of clothing you’re looking for and be a deciding factor for your purchase.
When it comes to specifically made vintage pieces, labels can also relay important information about the material of your clothing, specifically the maintenance of the fabric.
Before buying clothes when thrifting, always check the label to avoid disappointment and to ensure you can correctly care for the item or items in which you are buying.
If you’re into repurposing and DIY projects, then keep an eye out for thrifting items which you can turn into something new.
Repurposing essentially means items that can be remade into another piece of clothing or product and therefore re-worn and repurposed differently.
Buying clothes specifically to be repurposed is also a great way of maximising clothing items you have in your wardrobe and ensuring they are worn for long periods.
So, don’t be afraid to DIY when it comes to buying thrifted items as it can be a fun project and lead to one-of-a-kind fashion and furniture pieces being made.
Check Restock Dates
Persistence is key when it comes to thrifting as it can determine whether you are the first to get the best on-trend clothing pieces and vintage items.
Thrift stores might not have what you’re looking for the first time around, but new items cycle through them all the time so checking when stores restock is important.
Checking restocks dates for specific thrift shops can also be an excellent way of getting to know your local charity, thrift and vintage shops and building a rapport with them.
Once you’ve built this rapport you may even be able to find out when items get marked down as well as restocked, meaning you can be first in line when new items arrive and when old items are reduced.
If travelling to multiple thrift shops isn’t for you, then why not try your hand at online thrifting with the various online stores the internet has to offer?
Some excellent UK-based online thrift and second-hand stores include Thriftify, ThredUp, Rokit Vintage and Beyond Retro.
Thrifting online means you can also tailor your shopping search to find the items that you are specifically looking for as many online retailers will have filters that can narrow your search down to size, brand, and colour.
So if in-store shopping is sometimes a hassle or a daunting experience, then try thrift shopping from the comfort of your home with online thrift stores.
Time Limit Per Store
Thrifting is a practice which can take time and patience; however, you don’t want to spend all your time in just one shop aimlessly looking for a particular item.
This is why setting yourself a time limit per thrift shop can be incredibly useful and time effective.
Whilst it may seem like a time limit puts a strain on your shopping experience, it can maximise it by allowing you to go to more thrift stores instead of spending the majority of the day in just one.
Therefore, if you’re someone who tends to lose track of all time when shopping, then set a timer on your phone for yourself or specific time limits for each shop you go to when thrifting.
Shop Off-Season Styles
Although you might be eager to shop for your summer wardrobe in the warmer months, consider thinking ahead of the season when it comes to thrifting.
Clothing stores in general tend to sell seasonal clothing cheaper when they are out of season, meaning summer clothes are generally cheaper during the winter and vice-versa.
It’s important to note that buying off-season clothing doesn’t generally mean you are behind in style, it can simply mean you are prepared for the season ahead without having to fork out for clothing when it arrives.
Similarly, you may find the best deals for clothing right after the holiday season has passed, so keep a look out for off-season prices when thrifting so your wardrobe is prepared for the stylish season ahead.
It’s important to have an idea in mind of what you’re looking for when thrifting, and what better way to cultivate these ideas than an inspiration board?
You can curate your inspiration board with apps like Pinterest or PicsArt or even find pre-created boards on Pinterest by typing in the style or clothing piece you’re looking for in the search bar.
Having inspiration and knowing what vibe, style, or specific clothing pieces you are looking for can give you direction when thrifting instead of aimlessly looking for pieces that you later may not like.
Therefore, creating or finding an inspiration board can be an immensely useful tip to help navigate your thrifting journey.
Keeping An Open Mind
Receptive thinking when shopping in new or unfamiliar shopping settings is key as an open mind can lead to exciting possibilities.
This is especially true when it comes to thrifting as thrift, vintage and charity often sell second-hand clothing and items meaning they have been worn or used previously.
However, this is what makes thrifting so sustainable since clothes are not being clothing and other items aren’t being thrown away, they are being used again and re-loved.
Therefore, keeping an open mind that they may not be in perfect condition is essential when thrifting, but it should not deter your experience as an eco-conscious shopper.
Whilst these tips may seem extensive, they will certainly enhance your thrifting experience.
The most important tip to bear in mind is to have fun and enjoy the experience as it is shopping after all.
It doesn’t have to be a daunting or time-consuming experience; it can be the perfect activity for a fun-packed day with friends or by yourself.
So, take note of these 10 tips and ensure that your first-time thrifting is a stress-free, productive, and fun-filled day!