1. Get out of the city – although some people would say that the wealthier areas have the better clothes, this isn’t entirely true. People in cities know their clothes’ worth (this is bad).
2. Make sure you are going to a thrift store not a vintage store, there is quite a difference as you’ll find.
3. Find an area that has a lot of thrift stores close to each other, so that if the first one’s not for you, you can always leave and move onto the next.
4. As a general rule, thrift stores that are lacking in one area (such a dresses), thrive in other areas (such as handbags). So once you realize you’re looking through Leelee Sobeiski’s blouses, head on over to another section.
5. Go alone or go with someone patient. Thrifting can be a tedious process and if someone is constantly nagging and whining, you won’t be free to find the buried goods.
6. If you find something you like, but it doesn’t fit or something is torn, see if you can tailor it (or have it tailored), if not, let go – you’ll never wear it anyway.
7. Don’t be afraid of bathing suits. Try them on with your undies ON but when you get home, you can replace the lining with fabric from an old t-shirt.
8. You can sometimes tell if the item in question will be a good fit by the quality of fabric. Better fabric means better design.
9. If you see something that intrigues you, but you are a little intimidated by, get it. It’s not like it’s costing you that much anyway.
10. If they have a special section for costumes, DEFINITELY hit that up, I’ve found some of my favorite things in that section. (think glitter and exaggerated cuts)
11. Check the kid’s section, a lot of the adult section is old, shoulder-padded granny jackets, but the kids is fitted blazers and funny t-shirts.
12. If the thrift store in question has no changing room, many people would suggest that you bring a tape measure, but I understand that just because it fits doesn’t mean that the cut looks good, so if you want to try on a pair of pants or a top, find a long, loose skirt and put that on over what you’re wearing, and change under it.
13. In the end, if you’ve been digging for hours and still not come up with anything you like, accept defeat and go home and take a shower.
Other thrifting advice: