Yep, time to talk about thrifting. AGAIN. But this time, I’m hoping to bend the ears (er, eyes?) of you readers who still aren’t sure about the whole deal. The germs, the disorganization, the lack of size selection/diversity, the sheer amount of time it takes to wade through the racks at a used clothing store … something is holding you back. But you’re open to the idea of easing into thrifting. If you’ve been reluctant thus far but have just a smidgen of curiosity, this one’s for you.
Hit the accessories
Thrifting for clothes isn’t exactly easy. Unless you’ve become adept at eyeballing fit, you’ve got to try everything on. The racks are crowded, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find anything in your size, and it can all get a bit overwhelming. But thrift store accessories are easier to locate, examine for quality and flaws, and assess for usefulness. Belts can be slipped on over whatever you’re wearing. Scarves can be handled and experimented with in the aisles. Handbags can be tested out, filled with your own belongings, assessed for comfort. If I ever have a very short, defined period of time in which to visit a thrift store, I stick to accessories only. I can be in and out in 15 minutes. And I never feel harried or like I’ve overloaded my senses.
I consider most used accessories to be relatively low on the ookey-germy scale – with the possible exception of scarves – but jewelry is even less likely to carry cooties. And friends, thrift stores are just lousy with funky, cheap, unique costume jewelry. This is another great option if you’re pressed for time since a quick peek in an obliging mirror will tell you immediately if a necklace or pair of earrings will work. Other fabulous places to shop for used jewelry? Flea markets, antique fairs/shops, and garage sales.
Try on a few coats
OK, coats you might want to dry clean before wearing. But they’re making this list for a few important reasons: They can be assessed without hitting the fitting rooms, they are among the goods most likely to have aged well despite years of use, they are an incredible value when purchased used, and they are typically confined to a small section of the thrift store. Late summer is a GREAT time to thrift for coats. Most stores have fall stock on the floor, so saunter on by and slip on a trench or a bomber.
Image via modhuman.