Everything You Need to Know About Thrifting
You keep asking and I am here to spill it all.
Here are all of my tips and tricks for thrifting success.
Admittedly I have not always been in love with thrifting. Back in middle school when my mom would drag me to the thrift store I would complain and pout because I just wanted to be shopping exclusively at Abercrombie and Hollister. How unique, right?
A lot has changed since then. I started to realize that thrifting allowed me to build a fun and exciting wardrobe at an affordable price. I can experiment with trends without shopping at fast? fashion stores like Forever 21 or H&M. I can find quality vintage pieces that are unique and well made.
At this point in my life thrift clothes, accessories, jewelry, and shoes make up a large part (50% or more) of my wardrobe. I'm here to share all of my tips and tricks with you so you can be successful in your own thrifting journeys.
I asked on Instagram what you wanted to know and I am here to answer all of your questions and throw in a few extra tips!
Q: I would love to hear your tips on how to not feel overwhelmed at the thrift store! Whenever I go thrifting I feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start!
A: To be honest I still get overwhelmed sometimes when I go into a store, especially a large one like Savers or Goodwill. It is important to know the layout of the store so you can make the most of your time there. I suggest grabbing a cart and doing a lap around the store.
Remember you don't need to look through the entire store! If you are feeling overwhelmed just pick a section or two and focus your attention there. If after going through a couple racks you feel like you can handle more skip around to a couple more sections that look interesting to you!
Q: Do you go in with a plan or just search things out as you go?
A: To say I go in with a plan is a stretch, my plan usually consists of going through my most recent Pins on Pinterest and some of my favorite bloggers on Instagram to find inspiration. I look through the trending pieces that are showing up online and the pieces that are missing in my wardrobe and mentally compile a list of things I would like to find.
On a very rare occasion, I do go looking for a specific item, and I honestly find this harder because thrifting is a hit or miss kind of game. If you are looking for a specific item or items it would be smart to hit a couple of thrift stores clustered in one area in case you strike out at one.
Q: How frequently are you thrifting, and how often do you go to the same stores?
A: Frequency is key when thrifting, I don't think that you can go once a season to one or two stores and feel like you are going to be successful in finding show-stopping and unique pieces. I don't have a set number of times I go thrifting per month but I do try and hit the stores when I have free time.
How often do I go to the same store? That really depends on the store! The larger stores that tend to have a higher volume of visitors (Like Savers, GoodWill & Salvation Army) blow through product quickly and put out new pieces all the time. Your smaller local thrift stores, consignment shops, and places like Plato's closet that purchase and resell clothes tend to have a smaller amount of inventory and might move product slower. It might be a trial and error process to find out how often you can go to each store and not have the same product still sitting there.
Q: How do you have the patience to thrift?
A: Patience is the most important thing to have when you are going on a thrifting adventure. Honestly, I have to be in the shopping mood, in general, to make a thrifting trip successful. If you are not in the mood to go to Target then you are definitely not in the mood to thrift. Here are a couple tips to make sure you have patience throughout your entire time:
Bring headphones & download a playlist or podcast. There is nothing worse then being stuck listing to a terrible playlist blasting over the speakers or hearing a crying kid while you are trying to concentrate.
Don't forget a water bottle and a light snack. We all get hangry right?
Make sure you don't have to rush. Feeling rushed will definitely make your patience run out quickly and won't set you up for success.
Q: I never find anything good. How do you find good pieces?
A: To be honest, thrifting is not for everyone. I know a lot of people who don't have the time or patience for thrifting. They would rather purchase new clothes and are fine paying full price. That's fine with me!
If you are looking to be more successful and find good pieces you will need to commit. Take the time to go to the stores, to start at one end of the rack and go through all the clothes one by one looking for the golden egg. There will be times where you walk out with 20 things you never thought you would find at the thrift store. There will also be times where you maybe only find one thing. You have to be prepared for both.
Things that have made me a better thrifter:
Start in the sections that tend to have "statement" pieces: for me, this is the jacket, dress, and purse sections. I tend to find the clothes in these sections are in better shape because they have generally been worn less. They are also usually more on trend and a lot tend to be funky and statement pieces that stand out.
Start at the end of the rack and go through every single thing. I think this is where I lose a lot of people. VERY rarely will you be able to quickly walk down an aisle and tell if something is great by the sliver of fabric that you can see on the hanger. You will need to commit to sifting through a lot of shirts to find the one name brand top with the tags still on. Quick tip: push all of the clothes to one side and start moving them to the other as you sort.
Don't just look in your size! This is more geared towards looking in your regular size and one size larger. A lot of the clothes you will find while thrifting will be vintage, and vintage clothes tend to run a lot smaller! You also can do some awesome things with over-sized clothes. Tie those over-sized t-shirts with a knot in the front. belt an over-sized dress to cinch the waist and add some "boho" flair.
Try things on. Yeah... you are going to need to try things on to be successful at the thrift store. You will be running into brands from all over, some you have heard of and some you have not. Trying things on will ensure things fit you properly and give you some insight into how you can style them.
Think outside of the box. Thrifting should be FUN! It allows you to encounter clothing and accessories that are unique and experiment with trends you may be interested in! Don't be afraid to try new things, the thrift store is usually super affordable, allowing you to experiment.
Q: What are your favorite thrifting spots in Kansas City?
A: Now the part all my local Kansas City girls have been waiting for, where do I like to thrift in KC? Here I go, spilling all of my beans:
Savers Thrift: 95th and Nall location is my personal favorite. The Shawnee Mission Parkway location is also good. Savers has an extremely large selection of clothing and accessories all sectioned by size and style as well as home decor and furniture.
Mission Hope Thrift: 91st and Metcalf. This is my little secret spot that I am sharing with YOU! Mission Hope does something that I just love. They have a blanket price for all of their clothing, like all jeans $4, all shirts for $2. Not as organized as Savers but if you are in the mood to dig, this is your spot.
Arizona Trading Company: I fell in love with ATC in college (they have a location in Lawrence, KS) and they buy, sell and trade used and vintage clothing and accessories. I usually always bring a bag of clothes in and get some store credit that I shop with. ATC has a wonderful selection of vintage and newer clothing. If you are in Kansas City, check out the location in Westport!
Blessings Abound: If you are in search of anything for your home, look no further then Blessings Abound on 103rd and Metcalf! I think they have a better selection of furniture and home decor then they do clothes but they do have clothing. I think they are somewhat proud of their prices so bring your credit card!
Plato's Closet: This is another buy, sell and trade situation that I have gone to for years! Out of everything this place probably feels least like a thrift store, so maybe you should start dipping your toes in the thrifting world at a Plato's Closet. One thing to note: their clothing tends to feel on the young side.
Alright, babes! I hope you feel empowered to take yourself on a thrifting date and hunt for some unique pieces! Remember to have fun and enjoy the experience! Oh and if you were wondering, I thrifted almost all of the pieces in these photos! The jacket, belt, purse and my turtle neck are ALL thrifted. Shoutout to my mother Jean, the original queen of thrifting, who taught me everything I know!