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30 Insider Tips for Thrifting Like a Pro

Want to hit up the thrift store but have no idea where to start? Never seem to find anything stylish? Unlike going to your normal clothes shops, thift shopping is a kind of art. Get it right and you can update your whole wardrobe for half the price! Plus, you can find unique clothes that nobody else will have. So to help you become the thifting queen you want to be, here's our top tips for thifting like a pro!

Striking gold at the thrift store

Here's how to find those hidden gems! 

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Every Thrift Store Tip You'll Ever Need

Set a budget

Stick to a certain amount of money and don’t stray from it. If you’re spending more than $100, you may be thrifting wrong...

Think vintage

Thrift stores are gold mines for unusual patterns and fabrics. Now is the time to find a bright red jumper or crazy tasseled jacket that you'd never normally go for

Shop out of season

If it’s summer, go ahead and buy for winter. The good finds won’t be there when the season turns.

Stay in the clearance section

If you tend to overpay, commit yourself only to the clearance section. You’d be surprised at how many hidden gems are on those racks.

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Inspect the clothes

Hold the clothes up to the light and pull on them a little. You’re looking for sweat stains, holes, and other reasons to not pay for it!

Stick to the basics

Thrift stores are ideal for finding white and black staples like t-shirts and tanks. Don’t forget to keep #5 in mind when inspecting the clothes.

Avoid undergarments

You can skip over underwear, bras, and socks. Unless they’re still in the package, move on.

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Arrive wearing loose fitting clothes

Face it, you’re going to be in the dressing room for some time, so come to the thrift store wearing an outfit that’s easy to take on and off.

And flip-flops

The same rule applies for your footwear. Make it easy on yourself!

Don’t second guess yourself

If you’re having doubts about it, put it back on the rack. Nothing is worse than hoarding loads of thrift store finds at home.

Try everything on

Don’t assume that it’ll look the same on you as it does on the hanger. It's best to try on now than find out when you get home that it doesn't fit! 

Remember what you have at home

Do not buy repeat clothes that you already have at home. Remember, the idea is to accentuate pieces already in your closet, not clutter it up.

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Set a time limit

Thrift stores can be mazes. To avoid getting overwhelmed, give yourself 45-minutes, then move on to the next.

Wash the clothes

This might be a no-brainer, but throw your purchases in the washer before wearing them. Despite how excited you are, hidden bacteria or bugs might still be hanging on.

Come with a plan

Know exactly what you're looking for. Stalk the latest fashion trends if need be. But don’t go in blind-sighted.

Be open-minded, but practical

You never know what treasures are waiting to be discovered. That being said, remember the occasions you’re shopping for.

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Look at labels

You can snag designer brands for a fraction of the regular price.

Haggle the price down

Some thrift shops aren’t corporately owned, so if you're a natural negotiator, put your skills to the test.

Mismatch patterns

Thrift stores are the best places to come up with creatively styled outfits on your own!

Take pictures of yourself

When you’re in the dressing room, snap a picture of the outfit if you don’t have someone to ask. The camera shows a different perspective.

Don’t shower

Don’t go thrifting after having fabulously styled your hair and makeup. You can shower after!

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Thrifting buddies

Go with friends who can give you their honest opinions!

Don’t leave items in the dressing room

For the sake of the sales clerks, make their job a little easier and clean up after yourself.

Be patient

Thrifting requires a good eye, but above all patience. The clothes should speak to you naturally.

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Invest in big accessories

Think giant earrings and chunky necklaces that will stand out.

Eat lunch before

No one wants to walk around a small, crowded store on a hungry stomach.

Do not force outfits

If you feel like you’re experimenting but also forcing garments together, people will be able to tell you’ve bought your outfit at the thrift store. The whole point is to deceive everyone into thinking you spent loads on an outfit that cost nothing.

Don’t buy skimpy clothes

Be careful when buying fragile fabrics like mesh. No one wants to look cheap.

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Avoid shopping carts

Using a cart will encourage you to throw in unnecessary items. Pick up only as much as your arms can carry. 

Never overpay

Finally, do not spend more than the garment is worth. Thrifting is supposed to save you money, not put a dent in your bank account.

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