Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thrift Tips: Round One

Here it is, folks. The first part of my somewhat-comprehensive list of "Thrift Tips" that I have acquired during my time as a Scavenger of the Savings (yes, I just made that up and yes, it's pretty lame awesome).

 It's all too easy to casually wander into your neighborhood Goodwill and gaze upon the aisles and aisles of random clothing and do one of two things: Get way too excited and weave frantically through the racks, excitedly picking up everything that may fit but probably won't, or shrink back entirely, overwhelmed by the splendor of it all but too timid to dive in. 

I've been there, people. And I'm here to help.
So without further ado, here goes!

1) Consider the Donators
This single tip has been the deciding factor in whether or not I have a good thrift. I always consider the income of the people living in the area surrounding the thrift store in question, because let's face it: Rich people have the best stuff.

I don't have any statistics or evidence to back this up, but at least in my experience, it's the stores in the more "affluent" parts of town that have the best finds. I constantly bring home treasures from J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and more, all in never or lightly worn condition.

This Express sweater and Aldo mocs are a thrift from this week. Yee!

These Tommy Hilfiger loafers are a recent designer find.

2) Look for the Target!
Did you know that according to the EPA Office of Solid Waste, the average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing per year? That is A LOT of clothes, people! When we focus on recycling, many people think of separating their plastic and aluminum and maybe having a separate basket for glass next to their garbage can.

However, Target considers the environment when looking at their last of Clearance items and donates them to their neighborhood Goodwill! New with tags, never been worn items at thrift store prices, what's not to love? There's been so many times that I have drooled over something in-store at Target, only to refrain from buying it at full price and finding it a few days later at Goodwill.

Here's some of my favorite recent new with tags donated Target clearance finds!

Target find: Merona polka dot button down

Target find: Striped Merona dress with pockets
Target find: Printed Merona chino shorts

3) Head for the Return Rack
One of my favorite thrifting practices is to periodically check out the return rack. I mean, think about it... It's full of items that have already been selected to be tried on my someone else but didn't work. Someone's already done the work of searching through racks to find this gem, only for it not to fit. Maybe it'll be your size instead!

4) Make Rules and Stick To Them
Consider your closet and your shopping habits before you thrift. Do you have a penchant for buying clothes that don't fit but could fit with a little sewing and adjusting, only to forget about them and have them rot in your closet?

Well, I do. I have the creativity to refashion some amazing things, but since I know my personality tends to put off projects after starting them, I don't let myself buy things that must be fixed to be worn. (If you love thrifted refashion, check out one of my favorite blogs, ReFashionista)

I also make a point to avoid pleather ("plastic leather") items if I can. Leather is a durable, high quality material that wears wonderfully over time and adds lovely character. As a life-long equestrian, I fully appreciate the quality of leather. I also know that fake leather items are more than likely lacking in quality, made cheaply overseas as disposable clothing. Remember that adorable bag I thrifted that melted in the sun? Yeeeeah, I had that coming from the beginning because I don't buy fake leather bags. However, there are always exceptions... Like this pleather coat I recently thrifted:

5) Keep Your Head on Straight! 
Thrifting is amazing. Really, it is. But it's so, so easy to get overwhelmed with the cheapness of it all that you wind up buying things you don't need or spend too much money. It's important not to put your "thrift goggles" on, that is not to see every find as more than it really is simply because it's inexpensive and you're riding a major thrift-induced adrenaline high. 

Consider how you will use the item before you buy it, and I promise you won't get home with a bag full of clothing you don't really need. (When in doubt, find out if your thrift store offers returns and keep the receipt!)

I keep a running "Thrift List" as a note on my iPhone, so I can refer to it when I'm thrifting and make sure I'm on track. It's super easy to find something amazing only to get home and realize you already have 543,045 printed dresses hanging in your closet (guilty!)

That's all for now! I will be compiling a Round Two in the coming weeks so check back for that.

Have these Thrift Tips helped you find amazing treasures at your local thrift store? Do you have your own Thrift Tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about it, so leave me a comment! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Rachel Degraba said...

such a helpful post, thanks for giving me the push I needed to go out and thrift shop! xx

Rachel @ makeshiftmunch.blogspot.com

Anna Selby said...

I'm so glad to have helped! I hope you are bestowed with many great finds from the Thrifting Gods. Make sure to pop back over soon for Round Two!


Alex said...

These are great tips! Love that blue and white striped dress! Shows you can get fabulous finds anywhere!

Anna Selby said...

Thanks! That dress is one of my favorites. :)


Alex said...

FYI Anna I nominated you for the Liebster Award, the info is on my blog!

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