Thrift Shopping With Lou
Whether you are looking for a way to change up your wardrobe without having to spend your entire wallet, or just trying to find a cute but inexpensive dress for a party, thrift stores are the best place to look. Thrift shopping is when you buy slightly used clothes for cheaper prices. I love thrift shopping with friends or otherwise. I always leave with something I would never buy anywhere else, and I find some really unique and cool pieces. Thrift shopping, though, can be a pretty tedious task, so here are seven tips to make your thrifting experience more fun, easy, and successful.
1. Go In With An Open Mind
This is definitively the most important thing to keep in mind when you go thrifting. If you’re expecting to find an exact replica of that shirt you saw in a trending store’s window, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Instead, think about the style and color of said shirt, and aim for those specifics. Sometimes thrift stores have color coordinated sections so make sure to look out for those neat perks. It’s also important to dive outside of your comfort zone. Try on a new color or pattern, and you may just surprise yourself.
2. Have Some Time On Your Hands
Thrifting is a really fun experience…. if you’re not in a rush. It takes patience and time to find the perfect shirt or jeans amidst the many racks of unnecessary items. Give yourself at least four hours when you decide to go shopping.
3. Go To Any Store You Can Find
You would be surprised as to how many hidden gems I’ve found at a local Goodwill. Thrift shopping isn’t all about finding those Gucci slides for half off; it’s about opening up your mind beyond name brands in order to get astoundingly high results. This does not mean ignoring your higher quality thrift or vintage stores though. Simply go to any store you can possibly fit into the time frame you have.
4. Switch Up The Genders
Be creative when it comes to gender qualified clothing. Instead of staying only in the women’s section, take a quick peek at the men’s clothing, too. There could be a stunning cowboy button-down waiting for you.
5. Try To Bargain
What is the worst that could happen? They could say no, and you keep on shopping like before, or they could say yes, and you end up saving $5 extra. Although most larger thrift stores don’t allow discounts, there is no harm in asking. One of their goals is to get rid of old clothes, so they can fit in new ones. Just remember to stay sincere and kind, yet confident when asking for discounts.
6. Check All The Racks
This may sound like a tedious task, but it is so worth it. You could be missing that Beatles t-shirt you were looking for in one rack simply because you decided not to look through it. Often times put things back on the wrong size rack. You will find way more items if you search more racks than you think you should. And remember, thrift stores aren’t like big name brand stores where they put all of their best season clothing up front: some of the best pieces may be hidden in the back.
7. Dress Appropriately
When you go thrifting, make sure to wear clothes that are easy to take on and off, so I wouldn’t recommend wearing a blouse with 30 buttons in the back and high top shoes. You should be constantly trying things on, and if you wear something easy to change out of, it will make your shopping experience a lot easier and quicker.
My personal favorite thing to buy at thrift stores are jeans and vintage tees. Good jeans are so hard to find, and when you do find them, they end up costing $100. In thrift stores, there can be racks and racks of jeans ranging from Levi’s to Rag-n-Bone, and instead of being priced in the triple digits, they can cost around $40 merely because they’ve been worn a few times before. But that’s a plus! Jeans look way more chic when they’ve been worn out, so why not let someone else do that hard work for you ;) Pure vintage tees are also really hard to find these days, and thrift stores are crawling with them. Here are some pictures I took with my friends modeling our latest thrift store finds.
Outfit 1 - I’m wearing a maxi red floral dress - which I found at the thrift store SLOW - and I matched it with an 80’s vintage Wrangler jean jacket purchased in Ibiza. I actually ended up wearing this to the lunch of a bat mitzvah, and it received tons of compliments!
Outfit 2 - My friend Charlie is wearing the ‘Central High School’ vintage tee I wrote about before and vintage Levi’s jean shorts. She is also wearing a racer jacket, which I found at a flea market. The jacket is signed by Jeff Gordon, a former professional stock car racing driver.
Outfit 3 - My friend Darcey is rocking an all black outfit. She is wearing a Thrasher shirt bought at Wasteland and a black jean skirt from the thrift store Crossroads.
Outfit 5 - Here Darcey is modeling a cropped and laced white shirt with my vintage BDG jeans. The top is from the sweetest vendor at the Melrose Trading Post; her stand is called Elizabeth and Grace.