Wednesday, January 8, 2014

thrifty: thrifting 101


My thrifty tips for finding goodies at thrift stores...
  • Go often! To find the best stuff you have to go thrifting on a regular basis so that you don't miss out on any great finds. I go at least once a week to my regular thrift store.
  • There is usually a "best day" to go. For many of my thrift stores it's Mondays. A lot of people make donations on Saturdays and often the new stuff isn't put out until at least Monday.
  • Check out the racks of stuff that hasn't been put out yet. I always find amazing stuff there because no one has looked through it yet.
  • Find out if your thrift store has a customer savings program. For example, Goodwill has a Preferred Customer program. For about $15 per year, you can save 10% every time you shop! It will pay for itself in no time if you shop regularly.
  • Most people say they don't have the patience to go through all of the stuff so here's a trick I use. I look at the fabric. You can tell a lot about the quality of an item by just looking at the fabric. I don't bother even looking at anything that looks worn out, faded, or the fabric doesn't look like it's of good quality. Josh makes fun of me for this one, but I also just go down the aisle and touch the fabric to see if it's good quality. Good brands = good feeling fabric!
  • Speaking of brands, I have a list of brands on my phone that I look for. This list would vary depending on your taste in clothing but some of my favorites are J. Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lucky, Guess, and anything from Anthropologie. These brands generally have great quality clothing so even if it's second hand, it's typically going to be in good condition.
  • Look everywhere! I've found women's clothing in the men's and children's sections of the stores.
  • Sizing is so different from brand to brand so don't be afraid to try on a large if you typically wear a small. I've found some really great items by giving an item that wasn't my size a chance.
  • See if your thrift store runs any sales. I have a favorite thrift store that has daily deals but they also take 50% of all clothing on Mondays. I love a good sale!
  • Shop for the whole family! About 80% of our wardrobe is from a thrift store. I find amazing clothes for the girls at thrift stores!
  • Styling your thrifted items is the fun part- I love mixing my thrifted items with items that I've found at regular retail stores. You can make a thrifted item work with the latest trends!
  • Being patient is essential. You won't find a ton of stuff that works for you every time but don't get discouraged. A piece or 2 at a time is fantastic and sometimes I leave with nothing. Don't buy it if you don't love it because it will just hang in your closet and end up back at the Goodwill in a few months.
  • Look out of season. This especially works well for children because kid's clothes don't ever really go out of style. I buy summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. I've had such great luck with this! I bought so many gorgeous summer dresses for Julianna this past winter.
  • There are certain times of the year to be sure to shop. Always go at the end of December. Everyone is cleaning out their closet for tax deductions. I've found amazing clothes, toys, and more! Also, spring is a great time to shop at thrift stores. Particularly around March when most people are doing their "spring cleaning."
  • Have something in mind that you are looking for to focus your search. It can be really overwhelming to enter a thrift store if you aren't used to digging through stuff to find a bargain. Focus on jeans if that's what you need or a particular pattern that you love.
Feel free to e-mail me at emily.soto@live.com if you have any thrifting questions!

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