Thrifting For Beginners

Thrifting has become huge these last couple of years. Of course, it has. It is a sustainable and cheap option in a world where most retailers sell either steeply expensive clothing or straight-up fast fashion.

My cupboard filled with thrifted items

Thrift is a great way not only to buy clothes but also to buy other household goods. Why would you buy something new and send old things to the landfill when these old things are perfectly usable.

I went thrifting as a child out of financial necessity but now as a financially independent adult, I have rekindled my love of spending time wandering through the isles of thrift stores finding the coolest things that would never be sold in mainstream stores today.

I have decided to compile a list of tips and tricks for thrifting so that you can become a thrifting lover such as myself.

Before you even start thrifting you need to know where to go in Victoria. Different places have different options. Value Village and Salvation Army are chock-full of different things, both good and bad. These stores are cheap and give you lots of options but it may take much longer to find the good stuff.

Some of my favourite thrifted clothing

Stores like Pandora Thrift, Society of St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, James Bay United Church Thrift Shop, Community Closet Thrift Store, and WIN (women in need) retail shop are great places to go to make sure that the dollars you are spending go back into the community. The proceeds of these stores are donated.

Vintage After Death and Flavour Upstairs are small, for-profit thrift stores. They are much more pricey but their selections are very curated and everything is of the best quality. With the steeper price, you spend less time looking for things you’ll love. They also usually have some great true vintage options.

Once you chose where to go, here are some tips to use once you get there. Firstly, go often. These shops usually have a bit turnaround very frequently. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find anything you like on the first try. A part of thrifting is going often until you find the best of the best stuff. To help with this, ask the staff when they restock. Go on these days to get first picks. You can also ask them when they have their sales and do the same thing.

Some thrifted books

Next, make a plan and take your time. Figure out what you want to get beforehand so you’re not aimlessly walking around. It also helps you to not overshop and get things you won’t really use just because they’re cheap.

Take your time to look around the store. Block out a couple of hours and carefully go through everything so that you don’t miss anything you might like.

Wear clothing that you can either take off and on very easily or you can put things over to make clothing shopping much easier. I like wearing leggings and a t-shirt so that I can try pants and coats overtop without having to go to the dressing room.

Try shopping in all gender sections. Gender is arbitrary so why not look for things in all of the sections. Also, shop off-season as off-season clothes tends to be cheaper and more available in thrift stores. 

My thrifted $4.99 alarm clock

Thrifting is not just buying clothes. Many of my kitchen supplies and furniture were thrifted. Even my alarm clock! (check to make sure that electronics work before buying.) Don’t limit yourself to just one category of things. Just because they’re used doesn’t mean that they’re gross, check for stains before buying and disinfect them once you buy them.

Last, but not least, donate your own things. The reason you can thrift is because other people donated their stuff rather than throwing them out. Do the same thing for others by donating your own clothes.

Happy thrifting!

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