Happy Humpday everyone! I have a special treat for you this week on ModaChristia. My friend and guest blogger Rae Johnson has broken down the do’s and don’ts of thrifting. She’s a savvy shopper with great style who fell in love with thrifting. Check out her tips and you can see more of her on Raegan’s Rare Finds.
For Me, Thrifting Wasn’t an Easy Sell
By Rae C. Johnson of Raegan’s Rare Finds
It’s hard for me to pass a thrift store without stopping. Yet, there was a time when I wouldn’t set foot inside a thrift store.
I’m a bit frugal by nature. I love a bargain and practically grew up in Marshalls. But there was something about thrift stores. I donated to them, but never shopped.
I had painted a picture of outdated clothing (because I thought people didn’t donate the really good stuff); pieces strewn everywhere (who knew thrift stores were organized by style, and some even by color and size?); and a cocktail of dust and body odor (now depending on where you go…well…never mind).
Then one day, someone shared her thrift finds on Facebook. She had purchased two gorgeous sweaters for $4. I couldn’t believe it. I WANTED those sweaters or at least something similar. So maybe thrifting was worth a try.
I popped into a Value Village Thrift Store and stopped at the dress racks. That’s when I saw her. This pink, silk Liz Claiborne wrap dress that seemed to be illuminated, set aside just for me. The price? Only $6!
I grabbed the dress and hurried to the register before someone else realized what a steal it was, LOL.
At that point, I was converted.
Now, I have to force myself to stay out of thrift stores. In fact, a significant amount of my wardrobe is thrifted.
For those still on the fence about thrifting, maybe my tips will encourage you to give it a try and discover why I love it so much.
- TAKE A PARTNER – preferably someone who already thrifts. Your first thrift experience could be overwhelming; particularly because you’re trying to figure out how to navigate the store. A patient partner, who already knows the ropes, will make your experience much easier.
- BE PATIENT – depending on the thrift store, you may have to sift through clothing or even dig through bins (especially at outlets). Set aside enough time and patience to carefully look through items. You will be surprised by what jewels you could find.
- BE PREPARED – I have bad allergies, and dust in some thrift stores can trigger them. Feel free to take a mask or gloves and/or hand sanitizer (items aren’t pre-cleaned). Also, set a BUDGET for your thrift trip. At the store, you could find a zillion things for unbelievable prices, but remember that adds up. Set a budget, and bring the amount in cash so you know when you have reached your limit. You can also make a WISH LIST. This allows you to stay focused and avoid impulse buys.
- CHECK FOR DEALS – Before you go to the thrift store, call ahead to see if there are any sales. Many thrift stores have 50% off days (especially around/on holidays), or clothing with certain color discount tags. Liking your favorite thrift store on Facebook also keeps you in the loop regarding promotions.
- TRY IT ON – Thrift stores have different return/exchange policies (if you’re unsure, ask); so it’s important to be confident in your purchases. The best way to know is to try items on. Since thrifted clothing isn’t pre-cleaned, I typically wear leggings and a tank top under my clothing so I can comfortably try on pieces. This is also a great opportunity to examine the item for any stains or damage. If you find damage, determine if it’s repairable or worth repairing. Also, don’t get discouraged by label sizes. Depending on the brand and the cut, fits vary. If it looks like it might work, try it on. I have sizes in my closet ranging from 6 to 16, and they all fit!
Below, are a few of my favorite thrift finds:
- Black, Jones New York Dress, $3 at Value Village (I almost passed on this because it wasn’t cute on the hanger). Remember, try it on.
- I find more than clothing! I scored this beautiful dresser at the Goodwill for $40. I could finally cross it off my wish list.
- You can thrift cool jewelry too (typically in glass cases at the stores). This pearl choker was only $4 at Value Village.
You can check out more of my finds, deal alerts, and participate in great giveaways by liking Raegans_Rare_Finds on Facebook and following on Instagram.