A Beginner’s Guide to Thrifting

Nicolette Noce, The Carroll News

The culture of thrift shopping has been on the rise since the mid-2000s. Some might even thank Macklemore’s 2012 hit song “Thrift Shop” for that. 

In the fashion industry, which is constantly changing and redefining, it is often difficult to keep up with contemporary fashions. And more often than not, these fashions are hard to afford, especially for fashion-forward college students. Some might wonder how to maintain a trendy image while not breaking the bank! Well, the answer is thrift shopping.

Uniqueness is another advantage. Pat Walsh, a sophomore at John Carrroll, says he likes thrift shopping because “it allows you to be an individual and not conform to anyone or any brand.” 

For those who have never bought anything on thrift or haven’t even been into a thrift store, this whole idea may seem a little intimidating. So, one of the first and most important rules of thrift shopping is to keep an open mind; you never know what you might find. Who knows, you’re next favorite sweatshirt or pair of vintage jeans might be jammed between 50 other items on a rack. However, after sorting through dozens of articles of clothing and discovering that special item, it’s a triumphant feeling. And, the best part: it’s only $2.99. 

Thrift shopping also requires a great deal of patience and determination. Thrift stores can often become overwhelming because of the amount of merchandise in the store. It takes time to look through the dozens of racks of clothing, so try not to be overwhelmed. Just have fun with it. 

Occasionally, you may walk out empty-handed and that’s okay. 

Never go into a thrift store with extremely high hopes. Try your best to keep your expectations at bay. Maybe you’re searching for a certain vintage trend and after 20 minutes of looking, it just isn’t there. Don’t get so caught up on one thing. There may be something there that you didn’t even know you were looking for. 

Shopping with friends is always fun, but thrift shopping with friends is a must! It’s exhilarating to run around the store, showing your friends the goods you found or helping them find their own treasures. There’s a lot of laughs to be had and usually, everyone leaves happy. 

Finally, always wash your findings before wearing! This might go without saying, but you don’t know where that stuff has been. Keep in mind, these are used clothes and there’s no way to know how long they’ve been living at the store. 

If you’re someone who likes to experiment with trends, thrift shopping can be a huge resource for you. Besides the fact that these stores are filled with dozens of vintage and trendy pieces, mostly things are priced below $5 (depending on where you go). It’s much easier to buy something “a little out there” when it’s so underpriced. 

So, the next time you feel the urge to update your closet, keep thrift shopping in mind. You never know what you might find.