March 22, 2013

Thrift Tips: Preparation

I am excited to share a new series here on the blog about how to weed your way through thrift shops! If you have never been before, it can be quite intimidating. 

The dust.
The sweat stains.
The smells.

You're right. It's gross. 

the moment you find that vintage Bill Blass little black lace dress in mint condition, you will be hooked. Guaranteed. 

You will gently rip the garment off the rack, look around with beady eyes as if to say, "Does no one else see this? Am I crazy? No one else sees this... OMG." Then, with a new pep in your step, you will prance up to the register trying to hold in your excitement, planning your victory dance as soon as you exit the store. Finally, if you have a free hand, and hopefully you don't, you will throw your fist in the air in a Superstar stance as an imaginary flash mob begins to the tune of "Thrift Shop." [Please excuse the language, but this video is too funny not to share.]

Fortunately, I have come up with some tips to help you prepare for thrifting to lessen the initial shock of the experience!

Set a budget. I have found that setting a budget for myself keeps me from buying yet another set of stainless steel mixing bowls "to go with the 3 sets I already have at home." Four stainless bowl sets would be ridiculous. A budget will help keep you on track and not buy things you would not actually use.

This is one that I cannot emphasize enough. Wear comfortable clothing. 
You're touching other people's old clothes, it's dusty and gross, and dressing rooms are scarce. Wear full coverage undergarments and maybe bring or wear a slip for dresses. Skip complicated jewelry, and for sure wear a cross-body purse. Reaching up on high racks is much easier when you're hands free!

Pack Germ-X! Self explanatory.

Research locations beforehand. Search all thrift store locations, and even consignment shops in the area. Hit the locations close to good neighborhoods first and prioritize your stops. Make a list and stick to it!

Be optimistic! You may hit the jackpot on your first try, or it may take going to a few different stores to figure out where the rich old ladies dump their old junk. Once you find a good spot, make a mental note to revisit the location often, since these places get new merchandise daily.

I hope these tips help you prepare to go thrifting! If you have any success (or horror) stories, or just a random question, I would love to hear them! Stay tuned for the next installment!

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I have been a avid thrifter for years now. I have it down to a science, I swear! I agree with everything that you say on here. One of my tips becaue it can be overwelming is to scan the racks by slowing walking past them and if you see a fabric or print you like take a look at it! When you shift between all the racks you can lose time quickly and become fustrated and overwhelmed!
    Thanks for the TIPS!