This is my closet.
Let’s ignore the fact that this closet is ridiculously small (my toddler can’t even fit in here), and the fact that it really should be next in a possession purge (or at least an organization fest), and instead discuss its contents.
Over half of the clothing you see hanging up was purchased at a thrift store.
I’m actually pretty proud of this fact. Despite coming into the thrift shop craze a bit late in the game (right around the time that the catchy, not-for-childrens’-ears ditty, “Thrift Shop”, by Macklemore came on the scene), I have gotten so many amazing things at rock-bottom prices. Besides being a financially-savvy choice though, buying secondhand clothes also keeps waste down, which definitely falls in line with being a good steward!
I have a few rules regarding thrift-shopping, and they are by no means “official”; they are just what I’m comfortable with.
The first rule is, if I can catch something from an article of clothing, I don’t buy it. I suppose one can catch anything anywhere, but I aim to lower my chances, so I don’t buy secondhand shoes or unmentionables (most thrift stores don’t accept underwear anyway, though, so it’s a moot point).
Secondly, know exactly what I want. If I go in just aiming to browse, invariably I will spend far more than I wanted, and will come out with something destined to go to the thrift shop again. Since thrift stores tend to be luck-of-the-draw though, when it comes to content…
…know when to walk away. And then come back another time when inventory has been rotated. The flip-side of this is that you shouldn’t expect to come back later in the day to pick up a hot-ticket item you wanted to think about before purchasing; chances are, someone else will have already picked it up. Although taking time to think about a major purchase is admirable, it does not typically pay when it comes to thrift-shopping.
Finally, just because your wardrobe is secondhand doesn’t mean you have to deal with poor-quality clothing. Be sure to look the item over, inside and out. Check for holes, loose or missing buttons, a stuck zipper, or broken parts. Try on clothing if you can. Many stores have a strict return policy, so once a tag is removed and the article washed (absolutely wash clothes before wearing, or clean furniture before using!), you cannot return it.
Thrift stores are a treasure trove, and a great way to boost your wardrobe for less, but I’m still learning how to go about thrift shopping effectively. Got any tips for me?