How To Do Thrifting The Right Way

Most people think "fashion" and "style" go hand-in-hand. But when it comes down to it, the two are much more different than you think.

Anyone can be fashionable. Anyone can walk into an Urban Outfitters or Forever 21 and buy what's on the mannequin. If you have money, it's quite easy to experiment with fashion and look decent. 

Style, however, is timeless. A person with style shines regardless of their circumstances. While they love experimenting with trends, their general essence and aura always stays the same. No matter the state of their finances, their age or location, they find a way to let their unique light shine through. Whether they're in sweatpants, formal wear or their birthday suit, their style is still clear as day.

Fashionable people tend to lean towards brand names, trends, and whatever's on the mannequin. Stylish people, on the other hand, are always on the hunt for hidden treasures that'll compliment their distinctive look. And the best way to do that is thrifting. 

While thrifting can be overwhelming for both amateurs and pros, it can be a piece of vegan cake when you keep these 7 tips in mind!
1. Think of outfits instead of individual items. (Going on Pinterest beforehand is always a good idea!)
Instead of mindlessly searching through the racks, looking for the shirt of your dreams, open up your mind a bit! As much as I love vintage Disney shirts, old lady sweaters, peter pan collars and plaid skirts, I always broaden my horizons while thrifting. Think about it this way: "Would this shirt match that skirt I have? Maybe these pants would be perfect paired with a basic white tee. I could totally wear this cardigan with my denim dress!" Once you think of it from that standpoint, almost everything will look amazing. 
I recommend going into the store with a specific mindset. Do you have a certain outfit or aesthetic in mind? Personally, I always browse Pinterest for inspo. The last time I went thrifting, I knew I needed a vintage, school girl-esque top to pair with my plaid skirt. I ended up getting not one, but two tops I probably would've passed on if I didn't have that pairing in mind. When thrifting, you can't be a customer anymore. You have to be a stylist! 
2. Remember: you can DIY anything.
Those pants could easily be cutoff shorts. That jacket could be transformed into a vest. You could embellish that cardigan with sequins or lace. At the end of the day, if you really like an item but there's just one thing off about it, get it anyways. You could always fix it yourself. Especially if it's super cheap, it's not worth passing on! I just bought a chiffon shirt for $2 the other day even though it had a stain. I knew I'd get a few wears out of it regardless! 
3. Inspection, inspection, inspection.
Before you buy, inspect the item inside and out to make sure it's what you're looking for. Because it isn't new, you can't expect it to be in perfect condition. If it has too many stains, rips, and tears, it might not be worth it. But at the same time, if it can be easily fix / 
hidden, you might be able to get away with it. 

4. Make sure to try everything on.
This isn't your everyday department store. The sizes are from different places, brands and time periods, so "small" could mean "large" and "large" could mean "small!" In addition, some of the pieces could be tailored. Even if it looks like it fits you, always try before you buy!
5. Wear something basic and simple.
Because you're going to be trying on everything, wear something easy to take on / off or something you could easily layer with. A simple black dress or black shirt / leggings always works. I've made the mistake of wearing complicated ensembles while thrifting, which turns the entire experience into a hassle. In the words of Dwight Schrute, Keep It Simple Stupid.
6. Look in every section.
Many women just look in the "womens" section, thinking everything they would ever want would be there. But hidden treasures lie within the mens and childrens section, too! Sometimes the employees and fellow shoppers put things in the wrong section. And even if is in the right section, you might find stuff you love there! After all, clothing has no gender. You never know unless you try! I love looking in the children's section because there's usually a plethora of vintage Disney / Pokemon shirts. Surprisingly, a lot of them run big. The smaller ones you can always turn into a crop top!
7. Don't let brands define your experience.
Seriously. Stop looking at where the clothes come from. None of that matters in a thrift store! Sure, no one's going to pass up a Chanel jacket for $10 dollars, but try to focus on your personal style and aesthetic when browsing instead of the brand names. 

What are your go-to thrifting tips? Let me know! xoxo

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