5 Tips For Navigating Thrift and Antique Stores

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As an affordable style blogger, I’ve learned to be resourceful when it comes to my fashion choices. In addition to this little corner of the web, one of my favorite hobbies is thrift and antique shopping. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the feeling of plucking a 99-cent coat off the rack. A coat that just so happens to be your size.

If you’re new to the thrifting, and get overwhelmed by the thought of embarking into used anything territory — I’ve got you covered.

Here are five helpful tips I’ve picked up over the years:

COMFORT IS KEY

Call me crazy, but when thrifting in the winter, I will leave my coat, scarf and other unnecessary layers in the car. I’m all for braving the cold from the parking lot to the store if it means I can leave all of those heavy, annoying layers behind. Seriously, taking your coat on and off to try on things? The worst. When it comes to footwear, I’d recommend wearing flats or another pair that are easy to slip on and off when you’re trying on shoes.

GET THERE EARLY

If you want access to the good stuff, plan to get there when the store opens so you have first pick. Also, getting there early makes rummaging through everything easier as it tends to be a bit more organized. And then there’s the time part. Thrifting, as you probably know, can take some serious time. There have been a few times where I got lucky and spotted something great right away, but the reality is most of the time you have to dig.

KEEP AN EYE ON SALES AND SPECIALS

Most thrift stores have certain days of the week where they offer a percentage off of particular items. For instance, the Goodwill near my apartment offers 50% off all clothing on Tuesdays. And another thrift store I frequent gives customers 25% off all purchases on Mondays. Keep an eye out for those days and plan your trip accordingly.

LOOK AT THE POTENTIAL

If you find a skirt you love but it’s just a little too big, look at the potential — can it be altered? If the answer is yes, get it. But if an item has stains or holes, it’s best to put it back on the rack and move on to the next thing.

IF YOU DON’T LOVE IT, MOVE ON

And this brings me to the final tip. I can’t even tell you how many times I’d buy something at the thrift store because it was less than $5. It didn’t matter if I didn’t love it, it was cheap! No…don’t do this. This rule applies to shopping in general, and it applies to thrifting, too — if you don’t love it when you try it on in the store, don’t buy it. You won’t love it anymore at home and it will sit in your closet doing nothing for you but taking up space.

Are you a thrifter? What are some of your favorite tips and tricks for getting great deals?

HomeNatalie Folchi