Let’s be real here: I have a deep love for Urban Outfitters, J Crew, and Free People. However, as a (soon to be) college student; my pockets are unfortunately not quiteee deep enough to fund my obession. (I’m gonna pop some tags, I only got $20 in ma pockettt) ((Macklemore gets me on this one.))
As I’m refueling my wardrobe for the upcoming school year, I have rediscovered the gold mine that is thrift stores. Some of my favorite staples have come from the sales racks of dives in NYC or from bins at neighborhood yard sales. I’m sharing my favorite finds and tips for finding the perfect balance between high-end and closet pieces that won’t break the bank- enjoy! :))
Go in with a positive attitude
If you walk into a store thinking you won’t find anything, chances are you won’t. Thrifting is a state of mind, people.
Check your local stores to see if they have any sales
I live for ‘bring your own bag’ deals & ‘everything must go’ signs. It’s like the cherry on top of the already delectable sale Sunday.
Destroyed denim is almost never worth a large price tag
I usually splurge on a pair or two of classic, well fitting jeans. When it comes to styles like boyfriend or destroyed denim, it’s easy to find good, inexpensive pieces that you can make your own.
Get the inside scoop
The staff know what’s up. Don’t be afraid to ask them what days are best for shopping- oftentimes once a week stores will rearrange & set out new clothes. Asking employees to dish on their store’s schedule will help you have the best selection.
Never pay full price for a flannel
Let’s say it louder for the people in the back- do not splurge on flannels!! Trust me when I say that you can find every plaid print ever created after spending 10 minutes thrifting. There’s oversized pieces donated by the farmer down the road, and preppy colors from the girl who cleaned out her closet. Trust me on this.
DIY denim is your friend
If you can’t find the perfect ripped look you’ve been searching for, it can be easily achieved using sandpaper, scissors, and an Xacto knife.
Keep an open mind!
Do a quick sweep of that rack in the corner, and don’t be put off by overflowing bins. Sometimes the best gems are the hidden ones.
Who said you actually have to GO somewhere to go thrifting??
Don’t be afraid of repurposing
I’ve made the coolest accent jean pockets with fabric from a ugly Hawaiian shirt. DIY thrift projects are the most fun, because what is there to lose? Take some risks- look at things not just for immediate gratification, but rather for their potential.
Staple pieces are never a bad idea
Sometimes when I thrift I get so caught up in looking for unique things that I forget that hey- I could use a new black tee. Classic pieces aren’t hard to find – many thrift stores are color organized.
The best vintage pieces are the real ones
Expensive ‘vintage’ band tees from UO will never compare to the racks of authentically aged tees found in dives. I’ve found some of the coolest worn-in tees that I would have paid a much higher price for just because of the brand name on the label.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Make sure your item is in decent condition- but don’t write things off too quick. If I love the pattern of a dress but there’s a small stain, it’s worth a shot at getting it out yourself. These types of situations are also great for finding fabric for repurposing! But if something is pilly or unfixable, don’t sink your wallet trying to salvage too many damaged goods.
“It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” -Dr. Seuss