Thrifting Tips

This is a response to this weeks Poll of the Week: Do you thrift? There’s still time, so don’t forget to take part! Just look to the right side of the page, at the top of the sidebar. I look forward to hearing your opinions. :3

Thrifting is just one of the many names of second-hand shopping, charity shopping and the like. Generally it’s going to a store of primarily second-hand and/or vintage clothes and looking through to find something great!

Tips for thrifting:

  • Don’t forget to look at everything. I have a habit of directly moving towards anything black and ignoring everything else. Remember that you can dye fabric and white/red/etc accents look lovely!
  • Try things on. This is another bad habit of mine. I see something I like and end up buying it before I even check the size. It may be cheap but you wouldn’t want to end up loving something that doesn’t fit. Altering things is really useful!
  • Vintage clothing can be priced up and miss-labled, so be careful and look at all tags.
  • Don’t go expecting anything in particular, you never know what you’ll find.
  • Some stores may not wash clothes before they sell it and a smell could be attached. Remember to wash before you wear. Juliet’s Lace as a great article on tips for removing a stubborn odour here.
  • Check the item inside and out for any flaws. This has happened to me a number of times, such as a ridiculously low cut neckline and the arms being horribly tiny compared to the chest.
  • Only buy things you know you will wear. It tempting to buy everything you like because it’s really cheap but don’t. You’ll end up with a bunch of miss-mashed bits and pieces that you’ll never wear.
  • Dedicate yourself to finding something you love. Look through boxes and underneath racks. I have a habit that Coen really hates. When I see a crate of old records I have to look through every single one – no matter how many.
  • Saying that, take your time – at least on the things you know you want. Looking for a coat? Go straight to that section, take your time and then have a little look around the rest of the store.
  • Don’t go just by size. I’m a size ten and fell in love with a sheer blouse that was.. a size ten! When I finally tried it on after buying it it turned out to be at least four sizes too large for me and unable to be altered.

If you have any tips you want to add, why not post them below?

Have a lovely day,



  1. April 29, 2012 / 1:21 am

    I do the same thing with records and tapes! I would definitely support the finding flaws bit — there can always be some weird stain or inconvenient rip (a little something fabric dye or extra fabric can fix, but still .. and not always ..). Also, I recommend shopping at charity shops (thrift stores dedicated to a cause — we have one in my town dedicated to a homeless shelter). And also, I know some thrift stores in my town have a Facebook page or a physical paper calendar they can give you to detail on the upcoming sales. SEIZE THEM. You also forgot one of the golden rules: if you see something you like, don't expect it to be there the next time you come! Too many times .. this has happened to me 🙁

  2. April 29, 2012 / 1:31 am

    I find that bringing a friend along for a second opinion can help a lot! I'm not saying you have to take their advice all the time (I most certainly don't XD) but its all too easy to be overwhelmed and want to buy EVERYTHING at once. Having someone with you could help you choose only the pieces you really want or need 🙂

  3. Theeverydaygoth
    April 29, 2012 / 1:43 am

    Great tips! My big tip is to imagine what the garment could be used for, instead of seeing what it is right now. I bought an old, ugly shirt for $3 just to harvest the buttons because they were /that/ pretty.

  4. April 29, 2012 / 1:56 am

    I definitely do the record thing 😛 You can find so many gems hidden in shop corners! Great tips.

  5. April 29, 2012 / 3:03 am

    I think thrifting is really about patience(like you mentioned)… and luck. Sometimes though finding the right thrift store is key— I've found things over and over again in some stores, and others I've found little to nothing.

  6. Al Black
    April 29, 2012 / 11:59 am

    That's really good advices! I go to some second-hand/thrift shops to find clothes, books and I think it's important to take time and don't expect anything because if there is something you really want to find, you might be disappointed :/

  7. dani-archer
    April 29, 2012 / 1:08 pm

    I love thrifting.
    I found a necklace on etsy that says "Thriftstore Junkie" and I almost bought it on impulse.

    Because I am an impulse shopper – I have a lot of thrifty clothing :3 I have a problem.

  8. April 29, 2012 / 9:45 pm

    I always goes to a thrift shop with an open mind. And always come home with something completely strange and unusual, until I have it altered. I love your description of looking in the record, boxes. It's usually the boys place while the girls are looking through every single clothing stand.

  9. April 30, 2012 / 4:36 am

    The "Only buy things you know you will wear" thing is something I really need to remember. I thrift ALL THE TIME and I find myself bringing things home that I love but I know I'll never wear. But it's hard to pass up a $1 dress or something! LOL

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