10 Easy Steps To Becoming A Thrift Shopping Pro Because We’re All Broke AF

6. Always try on the clothing.

Some people find it a little nerve-racking to try clothes on at a thrift store. You can’t really be too sure about whether or not the items were washed regularly by the previous owner. If you are nervous about trying used clothes on, wear a thin tank top and leggings to wear under the clothes you’ll be trying on.

You should ALWAYS try clothes on at a thrift store because it’s important to see if their shape is still in good condition. It might be a great silk skirt, but if it doesn’t fit you properly it’ll just take up space in your closet and become a useless purchase.

7. Review your cart before you pay.

Always review your cart before making your final purchases. Ask yourself if you already own similar pieces. Can you wear any of these items immediately? Ask yourself if that shirt or dress is something you would actually wear or is it something you wish you could wear.

For example, if you’ve got a blouse in your cart, try to imagine three different ways you would wear it with items already in your closet. If you are able to come up with three or more looks then it’s likely a great purchase.

8. Pass on certain items.

It’s easy to stuff your cart full of items that caught your eye initially, but before you waste any time trying them on be sure to properly examine all your items. While you can tailor or fix up items, there are some pieces that are far beyond saving or worthwhile.

Pass on:

  • If you aren’t a seamstress or know/have a seamstress, avoid items with holes that can’t be resewn.
  • Clothes with a funky smell – the chances are it’s going to be pretty difficult to get rid of the strange odor even after a few washes.
  • Stains, especially when it comes to white clothing, can be especially difficult to get rid of, and it’s a sign that the previous owner didn’t really take care of the clothes (always check armpits and neckline for stains).
  • Embellished items, again, if you aren’t confident in your seamstress abilities or have someone who can repair items for you, it’s best to stay away from items with sequins or glitter. They might be cute, but it’s not likely they are in impeccable condition if they aren’t a great label or brand.

9. Get yourself a good tailor.

Your perfect outfit might consist of those comfortable worn out blue jeans and a simple t-shirt or a classy little black dress. While these two outfits are entirely different, the one thing they have in common is they make you feel good. Can you pinpoint why you like wearing your perfect outfit? I bet it’s because you love the way it fits.

One key element to dressing well is to find items that fit you well. If you are looking for a new hobby, learning to sew and tailor items might be a great skill to pick up. If you’d rather have someone else do it, then ask around and find a great tailor in your area. This is how you find a $10 oversized dress and turn it into a priceless hands-down favorite dress. A tailor can turn a pair of old boot cut jeans into some slim, flattering skinny jeans. The possibilities are endless when you have a great tailor. Don’t be afraid to ask for pricing and compare with others in the area. This small investment can make the world of a difference for your wardrobe.

10. Check the store’s return policy.

If you don’t shop at thrift stores often or you’ve found yourself at a new thrift store, always be aware of the store’s return policies. More often than not, sales are all final. If a store does accept returns it will likely be for store credit. Stores like Goodwill allow returns within two weeks (14 days) as long as tags or price stickers are still attached.