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In a poll done by philly.com, 58% of the people voted that they go thrift store shopping on occasion. In a recession, the only way a fashionista can keep up with fashion is to checkout thrift stores. Some high-end thrift stores will have name brand labels such as Michael Kors or Balenciaga for cheap, while others might not necessarily have any name-brand, but have really cool band t-shirts. Thrifing is an inexpensive way to not just update your wardrobe, but to experiment with different styles. Every thrifting experience is unique in itself. I’ve found everything from an old Chanel shirt, to a pair of really cool tri-color oxfords from the eighties. However, at first, thrift stores can be a little intimidating because there are so many different items, and things might be disorganized and confusing, so in short, it takes a bit of practice. Here are a few tips for those new to thrifting:
Have an Open-Mind
Think vaguely about what you might want. If you need new bottoms for the upcoming winter season, check out the jeans, and skirts. On the other hand, if you have no idea what you are looking for, start at the beginning of the store. Sometimes just browsing through the store without a specific item in mind, you come across some of the most amazing finds you would have never thought of. Always think outside the box, and don’t skip the things that may not be trendy. It sounds cliché but trends are temporary, if you find something that is classic, it will always be in style.
Check for Quality
Absolutely do not waste your money on clothes that are stained or torn, these are conditions that are non-repairable. A t-shirt may seem cool, until you see the perspiration stains peeking out from underneath. It may seem obvious, but don’t buy junk just because it’s cheap. Stay away from items that don’t look like they will make it after the gentle cycle of the washing machine.
Wash the Clothes
Even though some thrift stores do wash the clothes before they put them on the racks, you can never be sure they are really clean until you wash them yourself. If the items happen to be delicate, then you should probably get them dry cleaned. In personal experience, I have destroyed some amazing vintage sweaters by simply throwing them in the washing machine. For sweaters, blazers, and tailored pants, definitely get them dry cleaned, it will keep them in great condition.
Over 75% of the earrings I own came from a thrift store. The last stop before I make my way to the register is usually the jewelry section. Most times you can find the coolest vintage pieces, because most times people only donate the old jewelry they don’t want anymore. If a watch is worn, you can get the battery and band replaced. For earrings, clean them with alcohol before wearing them to avoid any infections. My greatest jewelry find was a vintage Guess watch that I only paid $1 for.