Monday, September 24, 2012

{Thrifting -101}

One of my favorite things to do is go thrifting. I decided to dedicate this week to sharing my thrifting tips, new finds and how I wear/mix my one-of-a-kind thrift finds with the rest of my wardrobe.

Any person willing to take on the challenge of thrifting must definitely possess the power of patience with lots of time. I would say most of all PATIENCE.  The most distinctive difference to thrift shopping vs. regular shopping {in my opinion} is the treasure hunt. Below are my tips/rules for thrifting aka treasure hunting with ease!

  1. The Stores:  You MUST have the time and the patience to go thrifting.  Create a list of thrift shops you wish to visit. Learn store schedules. Go EARLY. Dedicate at least a full day {for first time stores}.  Going through racks of clothing can be time consuming and frustrating if you are unprepared.
  2. Make it a SOLO Trip: When going thrifting the last thing you want is someone stopping you every minute to show you what they have found or asking your opinion.  I know it sounds selfish but thrifting takes concentration.  If you NEED someone to go with - I suggest starting in different parts of the store to eliminate the need to chit chat and waste valuable, precious time!
  3. Getting Prepared: Make a List, Set a Budget, Dress accordingly.  Making a list of what you need/want helps you to stay focused on what's important.  {Maybe you need a new blazer or pencil skirt.}  Setting a budget keeps you from overspending and allows you to stick to your LIST. Wearing a tank and leggings allows for easy fittings without having to take layers of clothing off and comes closest to a natural fit.  Fitting rooms are not always accessible or present.
  4. Shopping: Shop the store, Think Outside the Box, Try Everything On, Exam Clothing.  Shop the ENTIRE store {look through EVERY piece of clothing on EVERY rack} - this includes Mens, Childrens and any other section.  You never know what goodies you’ll find - like boyfriend jeans - while perusing through the aisles.  Thinking outside the box allows you to create/ try new trends without spending loads of cash. {I paid $5 bucks for men’s levi jeans that I turned into cutoff denim shorts!!  See them here} Making sure clothes fit is a MUST - you don’t want to walk out LOVING something, only to get home and find out that size 8 is really a size 6 fit.  TRY IT ON!  Examining  clothing for stains, snags, broken zippers, holes, etc. is important.  You want to make sure it's worth the purchase. Alterations can come with a hefty price tag - make sure its worth it!
  5. Purchasing: Process of Elimination, Membership Cards/Discounts.  No matter what I’m shopping for I ALWAYS practice the Process of Elimination.  Everything you have in your hands doesn’t have to come home with you.  Be realistic. Take the LOVE’S and leave the LIKE’S.  Check with your favorite Thrift stores and see if they have membership or discount programs.  Some thrift stores have 50% off on Mondays... You’ll never know the “inside” scoop unless you ask!
  6. Most important of all - Walk in and out with a smile! You’d be surprised how many discounts I’ve received because I was simply pleasant and nice to the sales associates.

You can find some awesome treasures while thrifting if you just take your time and stick to your game plan.

xx, EJ


  1. Hey Emijaa, love the info you give to the newbys. I to am an addict of the crackhouse(thrift store). Yes I called it the crackhouse because once you start it is an addiction. I am to the point that I review the seasons must haves and head to the thrift store instead of the malls and all that. I have built a great wardrobe and shreek at prices that are above $7...LOL...I too did a post on my blog called "Champagane Taste on a Champipple Budget" sort of and ode too thrifting. So again thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Shantile, thanks for checking out my post. I can definitely relate when it comes down to having a thrifting addiction. I don't go as often here in NYC but moreso when I visit my mom in VA - out of town has much more of a selection to me. You can definitely build a great wardrobe of staple pieces by thrifting... THANKS FOR READING!!

  2. Great tips. I practice all of these on my outings to the thrift store and I definitely prefer to do this type of shopping alone for the exact reasons that you shared. i've been craving a thrifting session lately, it's been a while.

    1. Thanks for reading!!! I definitely think those tips are important and i thrifted recently and I'm already beasting to go back out!!! lol

  3. Hey Mish, these tips are awesome! do you recommend any thrift stores here in the city?

    1. Hola!!! Honestly - I don't really thrift in the city - I would say try thrifting outside of the boroughs... from what I hear - Housing Works is pretty good (haven't experienced it yet) but try Goodwill, Salvation Army - just try to go to locations that aren't in your neighborhood... Beacon's Closet and Unique are both awesome spots as well!


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Emijaa Jaaemil