Sunday, September 26, 2021

10 Tips When You Go Shopping for Clothes at a Thrift Shop

Keeping up with the latest fashion trends can be a difficult and expensive chore. Also, the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter in the world as styles change and people discard old clothes. Shopping for clothes at a charity, second-hand, or thrift shop is one of the best ways to reduce your clothing budget and your environmental footprint.

The need to produce mass trending items often causes air, water, and land pollution on a major scale and we continuously discard our clothes in landfills or incinerators adding to the environmental impact.

Many clothes are a blend of polyester that doesn’t decompose. These polymer-based fast fashions are expensive to produce and buy and are often worn just a handful of times before being thrown out without a second thought.

You can find unique pieces and often find something really special at a thrift shop if you know how to buy. (Image: © Calvin L. Leake)

Thrift shops collect donated clothes from various sources and after some TLC, those clothes are put on sale. You can find unique pieces and often find something really special if you know how to buy.

Here are some easy shopping tips that will help you understand the nuances of shopping for clothes at a thrift shop.

Top 10 tips for shopping for clothes at a thrift shop

1. Have a plan ready

When you go to a brick-and-mortar branded store or your favorite online store website, you can find all your fashion needs in one place. But when it comes to thrift stores, you need to keep in mind that you will not always find your type of clothing in the very first store that you visit.

2. Be prepared to spend a day out

Since you need to have exceptional luck to find all your favorite designs in one store, you need to be prepared to spend a good part of your day hunting. Take a friend along and this shopping experience will definitely become a more enjoyable one.

3. Have a budget in mind

While the low prices of the clothes will seem appealing, you may end up spending more than you would at a branded store. Hence, have a budget in mind. Better yet, withdraw the required amount from your account and leave the card at home.

4. Know the type of clothes you want

While the whole point of opting for charity shopping is to discover forgotten or hidden gems, it helps to know the pattern, color, or cut you want to purchase.

5. Do homework about the areas you will cover

Even with thrift shops, you have high-end areas and low-end areas. The place the store is located will also impact the pricing of the goods provided by them.

6. Choose clothes that do not have a label

Often, damaged clothes are given to thrift shops directly from the retailers. These clothes, while damaged, have the brand name label and will be on the expensive side. Choose clothes that have no labels as this will drastically reduce the price.

7. Be on the staff’s good side

When you are out shopping at thrift shops, you need to be in the loop about the latest “trends” that the store has in stock and the best way is to become friends with the store owner and staff. They can also keep certain pieces aside for your eyes only!

8. Be imaginative, especially when you do not find the right size

Often, you will find a dress that you love, but it is the wrong size. Look at the stitches and if there is space to open or close the seams, then definitely buy it! Also, you can convert a dress into a shirt for a better fit.

9. Check the pieces you want to buy for any damage

While most of the clothes are mended for damage, you can still have a wrong stitch here or a small hole there. Since you will be paying, be sure of your purchase and negotiate the price to account for any defects.

10. Donate to the shops too

Remember the point about being on the good side of the owner and staff? Donating your unwanted clothes to the store is one way to fast-forward the process!

When you are out shopping at thrift shops, you need to be in the loop about the latest ‘trends’ and the best way is to be friends with the store owner and staff. (Image: © Ian Allenden)

Being fashionable and a savvy buyer are not mutually exclusive. If you are willing to put in some effort, you can go thrift shopping to create some stunning boutique outfits!

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Raven Montmorency
Raven Montmorency is a pen name used for a writer based in India. She has been writing with her main focus on Lifestyle and human rights issues around the world.

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