Hello sweet angels and welcome to my Ted Talk about thrifting!!
I have been thrifting for almost 10 years so it's about time I share my tips and tricks. There truly is nothing better than a good thrift store find and I seriously think everything is cooler when it's secondhand. It's unique, it's sustainable, sometimes one of kind, and there's always so much history behind each piece! I'll spare you my spiel on how & why I got into shopping secondhand (some of the story is in the "About Me" section of this site) but it's one of my favorite things to do. If you are curious how I go about thrifting, how I find pieces that suit me, etc-- keep reading:
Also keep in mind as I share what works for me- there isn't just one way to do it! Everyone has their own method to the madness BUT I think there are some good rule's of thumb to start with:
1) Put together a mood board with the looks you're going for! I don't necessarily do this anymore because I know what I like, what my style is, what I look good in, etc. But if you're new to thrifting & figuring out your personal style, this is sooo so important. I am on Pinterest all the time gathering inspiration (you can check out my Pinterest here) so I typically have an "mood board" in my head, but this is what I mean:
Get an idea of what you will be looking for when you walk into the Salvation Army or scroll through your Depop feed(which we'll also get into). Are you looking for a sweater vest? Oversized crew necks? A button down blouse or just cool graphic tees? *Know what to look for*
2) Know which colors and patterns you like to wear. I love bright colors, I love the color green, I'm huge on stripes and floral prints, etc. So when I walk into a secondhand store I usually skip the black and white items on the rack. If I see striped pieces on a rack, I'll definitely check them out more closely. Sometimes you have the time and you'll be in the mood to literally look at every item in the store and thats great. But sometimes you don't so if you know a general idea of what colors and prints you like, you'll be so much better off.
I know I should take my own advice, but at this point I don't always know what I am looking for because browsing the racks is fun for me whether I plan on buying something or not. Howeverrr regardless of if I am shopping shopping or just browsing, I still only look at the stuff that I know I might like. So in a huge, sometimes overwhelming thrift store, I go directly to anything I see that's a bright color or a print that I'm drawn to.
Okay now that you've thought through what pieces you're looking for and what colors/prints you like, you're ready to start shopping.
The next important thing to consider: Am I going to go out thrifting or do I want to online thrift shop? I love both experiences so let's break it down.
Online Thrift Shopping
Guys this has become a skill (maybe addiction) of mine and I have found so many good things online thrift shopping from apparel to accessories to home goods to furniture. Depop is by far my favorite app for shopping secondhand clothing and if you're looking for furniture/home goods, Facebook Marketplace is a GOLD MIND people.
Let's stick to the clothing aspect of second hand shopping for now. I open Depop and am looking for a new sweater vest for fall. Like I said earlier, I love bright colors, stripes, floral prints, etc. So let's see what I can find.
A quick search: "Sweater Vest"
Hundreds pop up. I scroll and scroll until one catches my eye: It's bright blue with a subtle argyle print and only $12...yessss
Sold! A no brainer for me, I purchase it almost immediately and move on with my shopping. I am also looking for a few new blouses for fall, they're great layering pieces and you know I loooove my open blouse/crop top outfits..
So my second search: "vintage blouse" (you could also try button down blouse, silk blouse etc depending on what you're looking for.) Narrow your searches!
Ok I am obsessed with what's coming up on this search, soo many goodies! I scroll and scroll and come across these:
YEP I need. In love, added both to cart.
But I wanted to see if I could get them for a better deal, so I messaged both sellers to negotiate:
Woo! Saved some money, found a few amazing unique pieces and didn't get off the couch- a pretty sweet deal.
Want to see how I've styled these items ever since getting them in the mail? They're incredible lol and I'm so glad they're mine now! I love getting a few new vintage pieces when the seasons change, I'm very excited to wear these all fall :)
Blue Sweater Vest
Floral Short Sleeve Blouse
Ocean/Beach Inspired Long Sleeve Blouse
(if you can't tell I'm in love with my new purple JW PEI bag, I'll link for you here)
Online thrift shopping, pros and cons:
Pros: So convenient, you can negotiate prices, listings from all across the US show up, you can search for exactly what you're looking for
Cons: typically more expensive than a Goodwill, shipping costs, can't try anything on or feel the fabric before you buy it
Let's talk about in person thrift shopping!
You walk into a large Goodwill or Salvation Army..
Specifically this thrift trip was up to Main St. in Ventura! So so many thrift stores & great prices-- definitely worth the trip if you're in LA and looking for a good haul.
Same rules apply people! Know what you're looking for and gravitate towards the prints/patterns that are calling your name!
I don't wear dresses much so I didn't even look at that section. You can't try anything on right now because of COVID so I didn't even look at the bottoms section- no jeans, shorts, etc because it's hard to tell sizing a lot of the time.
What I did look through were racks that looked like this:
You know I love oversized mens camp shirts so I definitely checked those out and then with any brightly colored rack, I looked through everything!
My purchases from the day:
(I did a reel on Instagram where I tried these pieces on, check it out here)
I am so excited about these new bright tops and these will be so fun to layer this fall. And peep the left side of the pic, some home goods too :)
How I've been wearing these pieces:
In person thrift shopping, pros and cons:
Pros: Typically (pre covid) you can try stuff on or at least hold things up to gauge sizing, I think it's therapeutic (just me?), there's some amazing deals & true hidden gems
Cons: It can be time consuming & sometimes overwhelming
My biggest tips if you are new to thrifting:
1. Gather some inspo on the style you're going for- create a saved folder on Instagram or a Pinterest board, whatever it may be to get inspired!
2. Know what you are looking for. This will save you so much time and give you direction.
3. Focus on colors/patterns. Even if you hate color and live in neutrals, that's perfect too! Spend your time looking in the racks that are your vibe.
4. Be patient! Sifting through the racks takes time, but you're bound to find some treasures if you're patient.