thrift shopping

Secondhand shopping is having its moment right now since it’s environmentally friendly and good for the earth. So, let’s explore some of the myths and tricks to make it a successful venture.

Insider tip: If you still don’t think this kind of shopping is for you, but you love the idea of saving money, why not try a “clothes swap party” with your friends!

Each person brings a certain number of pieces (and these can be jewelry or accessories too) and takes home the same number of different items. It’s like sharing closets with your closest friends. And it’s free!

Myths about Secondhand Shopping

Let’s take a look at three myths that have many women avoiding the thrift shops.

“All Secondhand Stores Are Dirty”

While many of the bigger thrift stores do have an odor, the smaller consignment stores usually do not. The look and feel of each store vary depending on its location and size. That’s why it’s good to explore different ones. And if you’re still not comfortable going into the brick and mortar stores, there are many online versions available.

Insider tip: Online thrift stores, including thredUp and Poshmark, can be a great way to find a piece you’ve had and loved, but it’s now worn out. Search for the brand and category, and you might be pleasantly surprised to find it. I’ve also written about many tips for online thrift shopping.

“The Clothes Aren’t in Style”

Since all styles cycle back in fashion time and time again, you CAN find stylish pieces at the secondhand stores. Then again, some of the basics are always good to find, like your black pants or a denim jacket.

“It’s So Time Consuming”

The bigger stores can be overwhelming. That’s why I always recommend taking a friend with you who enjoys the process. Many times, your friend can find things you didn’t see.

“My Size Is Hard to Find”

Sizes are one reason I suggest looking in all the departments at the bigger thrift stores. If you are petite, you might actually find pieces in the kid’s section. Or if you’re plus size, some of the men’s shirts could be perfect for you.

Insider tip: If you have the time, you should look through all the sizes. Sometimes sizes are misplaced or the tags are removed. Or some brands’ sizing is different. Like Chico’s sizing is 0-3, and it can get categorized in the Smalls.

Why You Might Want to Consider Thrifting

Myths can really hinder the fun, gratifying experience that is thrift shopping. That’s why I’m offering you some ideas on why secondhand shopping might be right for you.

Is Your Body Changing Shape?

If your body is constantly switching size/shape, this is the best time to take advantage of the better prices on thrift clothes.

Many women say they aren’t going to spend money on clothes until they reach a certain weight. However, the fact is, the better you look, the better you feel. So, slumping around in ill-fitting clothes is not good for your self-confidence.

Insider tip: Try all different styles since the costs are so low. Even if these are “temporary” clothes, you might find some piece that you didn’t realize would look good on your changing body.

Finding Your Best Colors

If you’re trying to mainly wear the colors that look the best with your complexion, you can find it challenging at the retail shops depending on the season. That’s why thrifting can be a great option. Usually, all colors are available.

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Big stores are limited with the number of collections they can have displayed and stocked. So, if the styles aren’t what you appreciate, then you can find so many different styles at the secondhand places.

Trying a New Style

Maybe you’ve heard that the wide leg cropped pants are a huge trend for 2020, but you can’t imagine wearing them. Why not buy a pair of wider leg pants at the thrift store for under $5? You can cut them off to be the cropped length and try them out and about.

Lesley did that with her brown pants. The best part is, if you don’t like the look on you, you haven’t wasted much money.

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Insider tip: Don’t believe every article about what looks good on “your shape.” Your shape is still VERY unique, and you’ll never know until you try it. Make sure not to rule out a style by only trying on one version. There are so many different silhouettes and details that could make it work for you.

Tricks That Make Your Shopping More Successful

If you’ve ever been to a consignment store, you probably know that it can get overwhelming going through all the offerings. Here are some tricks that can help you out on your hunt!

Scout Out the Store

Walk around the entire shop first and get a lay of the land. Some stores have jewelry up by the register. Some consignment stores even have a sale rack in the back. Each store is so different, so it’s nice to know where things are before you start shopping.

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Want to Save Even More Money?

Even thrift stores have sales, so check and see if there is a discount. Some offer discounts for seniors and teachers. Some have bag sales where you can fill an entire bag for $10. And some give a percentage off depending on the color of the tags.

Think Outside the Box

Many items can be changed or purchased for different uses. I have purchased sweaters that aren’t in good shape just for the buttons. Many scarves can be used as table runners. Or if you sew, you could buy a sheet to use as a piece of fabric.

Inspect the Pieces Before You Buy

You are smart to check the piece over before you buy it. At the bigger stores, the employees don’t have the time to look thoroughly at every item before they put it out to sell. Make sure to check inside, all the seams and especially the hems.

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Insider tip: Don’t reject an item just because it’s flawed. I have purchased a maxi skirt that the bottom hem was very stained. Yet, I knew I needed to shorten it to make it fit, which made it “clean” again.

What myths do you know about consignment stores? Do you show secondhand? What’s the last item you purchased? Which thrift stores do you visit most frequently and why? Please tell us about your secondhand treasures in the comments below!