October 28, 2020

Five Tips for Beginner Thrifters


It has been so nice to get back into thrifting lately.  I didn't realize how much I truly missed it until recently.  For me, there's nothing like that thrill of finding something so different, unique and in perfect condition.  I've been finding some gems lately and I've even had the chance to thrift with friends too.  As my online audience continues to grow, I've started to get questions from people who are truly interested in thrifting..  I wanted to create this post answering questions for beginner thrifters and sharing some of my best practices.

Before we get into it, though, let me say this...  Welcome to the world of thrifting!  Once you become a thrifter, it will be hard for you to pay regular retail prices again.  That's OK, though!  When you truly know how to thrift, it allows you save coins for the things you would rather splurge on.

Five Tips for Beginner Thrifters

1.  Go in with an open mind and go often!

Here's the thing with thrift stores...  Although it is a secondhand store, it is still a retail store!  When we go in Target, we go in and don't always see things we want (...ok, this is rare but still) and it's the same at thrift stores.  I can't tell you how many times I've been thrifting and didn't find anything.  It happens!  Don't be discouraged by that or allow it to keep your from going back. 

I have heard so many people say they don't thrift because they went once or twice and didn't find anything.  The key to thrifting is to go often.  I typically go thrifting once a week; however, I have met people who go everyday.  Why?  Thrift stores receive donations daily and they often put them out quickly.  I have gone to a thrift store one day to not find anything and the next day, I found this fabulous shirt.  Keep an open mind and go as often as you like!

2.  Get familiar with your measurements and garment materials.

One thing that will really help you when thrifting for clothing is to know your own measurements.  If you shop online, most retailers have a size guide that shows you how to measure yourself at home.  Knowing this is key because while thrifting you may run into items where the size tag is cut out (...I see this often in plus sizing clothing), items with a more vintage cut or men's clothing you may like to wear.

Also, it's important to know clothing materials.  If you find a piece that says it's too small for you, but it has stretch/give, you likely can wear it.  For example, I typically wear a 2X in tops; however, if I want a more fitted top and I find one that has stretch, I can likely wear as small as a Large.  Knowing things like this will help you find even more pieces while thrifting.

3.  Be sure to keep hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes in your car and wrap up your finds.

Before I make a thrift purchase, I always try to inspect my items.  You want to inspect them for holes, stains and yes, bugs.  When I've made my purchases, I always tie my finds up in a plastic bag and put them in the trunk of my car until I'm ready to clean them.  I then make sure to use hand sanitizer or hand wipes.  You never know where thrifted pieces have been so you want to make sure you sanitize your hands after handling pieces.

4.  Make sure you always clean your finds first!

One question I recently received was how do I clean my thrifted items.  As someone who is a stickler for cleanliness, this is a huge part of thrifting for me.  I always try to ensure I thrift items that can be cleaned and disinfected in some way.  Here's how I clean most items I thrift:


I tend to dry clean 95% of my thrifted finds.  I do this because I go to an amazing $2.25 Dry Cleaners that dry cleans any type of clothing for that price.  If it's a simple tee, I may wash it at home with hot water and dry it on hot as well.

Jewelry & Pins

I soak them in alcohol for about 10 minutes and/or wipe them with a disinfectant wipe/swab.


I wipe the inside and outside with disinfectant wipes.


I soak them in hot water with Dawn for 30 minutes or more then wash/rinse them twice with Dawn.

5.  Enjoy your new pieces!

Start enjoying your new pieces!  One of my favorite things to do is start using my thrift finds or wearing them.  Enjoy and don't be afraid to tell people how much you paid when they compliment you! 

Vintage Top via Triad Goodwill
c/o Madewell Wide Leg Crop Jeans
JustFab Leopard Booties
Rainbow Square Sunglasses
Cato Fashions Hoop Earrings

Are you a thrifting newbie?  Are there any questions you have that I missed?

God bless & stay fab,


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