A Guide To Thrifting

For me, thrift shopping is the best retail therapy out there. There’s nothing like finding something great and cute for an even better price. I created this guide in hopes of helping you find some awesome things the next time you hit up your local GoodWill, Salvation Army, Red/White/Blue Thrift, and so on.

When it comes to thrifting I feel like 50% of it is luck, 25% is motivation, and the other 25% is skill.

Luck: You don’t know what to expect. You can’t look up their inventory or what’s for sale online. It’s always a gamble.

Motivation: However, with the right attitude, your chances of finding good things are in your favor.

Skill: How you approach the store and manage your time as well as energy changes the game.


First, put on some comfortable/old/easy clothes. Thrift stores are filled with clothes that have been in there for a long time and are probably older than you are. GoodWill’s aren’t always well-kept and they can be very dirty. You’re also going to be trying on a lot of clothes. I recommend a dress and some sandals. Bring hand sanitizer and some water.

When arriving at the store, grab a cart and pick a section to start. Most GoodWill’s have the following sections: Juniors, Kids, Women’s, Jeans, Men’s, Designer, Home, and Shoes.

If you don’t want to dive into clothes right away, start off in the Shoes or Home department because that’s where you’ll find all sorts of things like purses, belts, mugs, fancy china, and cute unique decorations for your home/dorm/room.

When looking for clothes, I usually just pick a spot/aisle and start going through every article of clothing on the rack. In department stores, you know what you’re going to see if you look through the rack because there’s usually a model in front of it and multiple sizes of the same item. That’s not the case at GoodWill– You may love a shirt, but it might not fit.

When something finally catches your eye, look for the following things:

Stains, holes, tears, and wear. On a shirt, check the armpits, collar, and belly area. For pants, look out for any stains near the thighs & check how worn it looks in the crotch area. Make sure the ends of the sleeves are clean on a jacket. Check if the zipper on a dress works and isn’t broken off. Count all the buttons on the shirt and see that it has all of them. For shoes, don’t be intimidated but also try to bring some socks so you can try on the shoes on comfortably and in a more sanitary way.

If it’s something that’s way out of your style but still interests you, put it in the cart anyway. The goal isn’t to just find what you’re looking for and get out. You want to find something unexpected that you end up loving because it’s so different.

Depending on how much time I have, I’ll (literally) go through every relevant aisle at Goodwill and throw anything I like into my cart. By the time I’m ready to try on clothes, my cart will be full. Out of the 30 items I have, I’ll probably leave with 2-5 things I genuinely like. It’s a struggle sometimes but it’s a great feeling knowing that I’m paying no more than $20 for a new outfit.

If you haven’t found anything, do not fret. They put out new clothes on a weekly basis and you can go back and forth between the different thrift stores in your area because they’ll always be changing things up.

BONUS: Most thrift stores offer student discounts so don’t forget to take your I.D. Goodwill offers a 15% discount on Wednesdays for students and a senior citizen discount on Tuesdays. They also have a “color of the week” promotion where any article of clothing with the tag that matches the color of the week is 50% off.

Goodwill

Next up: A thrifting haul. In my next post, I’m going to share all the amazing outfits I’ve created that were 99% thrifted. Do you have any thrifting hacks? Let me know 🙂

Advertisements

2016 Resolution: Read More

With the start of the new year, I decided that I would create a set of resolutions that would help me better myself while exploring different things that would allow me to grow. Throughout this month (and perhaps year), I plan on sharing my resolutions and how I am slowly accomplishing them.

For starters, I took a trip to Goodwill & believe to have made the best decision in doing so. I bought five books. Before that, I was reading other books for my AP Literature class as well as some for pleasure. Since the school year started (August 2015), I have read about 5 novels.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

These are all the books I’ve read so far. (Except “The Hours” – I bought this book at Goodwill especially because it won a Pulitzer. I started reading it but I couldn’t get to it so I just didn’t.)

I’d like to say that my favorite has been The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. At first, I enjoyed the character (Tony Webster) and the way he spoke about time and life and just how he analyzed things. But as I keep reading, I felt as though the plot wasn’t moving forward. I finished the book confused. I go online to look up an analysis and the very first line of it leads to an automatic drop of my jaw. Everything made sense from that single sentence and now I can say that I am fully satisfied with the book after reading it.

In class, I read The Stranger by Albert Camus and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Both of the books were amazing and I genuinely enjoyed analyzing them in class with my friends and teacher. One of the main things that stuck with me from reading and learning about The Stranger was existentialism. I wrote about it not too long ago and I’m still letting it marinate. It’s crazy to think that at the end of the day (and by day, I mean life–which can end on any day) none of it matters. It almost frightens me to say it because I don’t want people thinking that it’s a depressing matter or that it’s affecting me negatively because it’s not. It’s a simple thing to say but a complex idea for me to grasp so I guess I’m just taking things one day at a time. And it’s because of all this– the thinking, the analysis, the contemplating about life and it’s meaning– that inspired me to indulge in more literature. It has something– some sort of affect– that I don’t think anyone can get from scrolling through their Twitter feed or watching hours of BuzzFeed videos… (Which I am guilty of.) It’s something that I’ve just recently come to appreciate.

I have a shelf full of books I am excited to get to and up next is The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
I saw this book at Goodwill and just had to have it. The cover art is so cool and I love the colors; They are so vibrant. In this case, I did judge a book by its cover, so let’s hope it’s as good on the inside as it is on the outside.

Here’s to the New Year! I hope you are able to fulfill all your resolutions and that you grow happier with each passing day in 2016.

New Goodwill! #Thrifting

Not too long ago, I was driving home & I spotted a Goodwill Super Store I had not seen before. Turns out it is new & opened this past Saturday. My mom & I decided to check it out.

I feel like there is much more room for improvement at this Goodwill. The “juniors” section was full of clothes I’d typically see at the mall. There is nothing wrong with that but I tend to go to Goodwill for the difference in the types of clothes you can find there, not only the difference in price. I found a lot of nice dresses but most of them were from common stores– Forever 21, Agaci, Charlotte Russe, etc. It’s as though Goodwill is just trying to be a cheaper & used mall. I appreciate their efforts but stay unique Goodwill! It’s what I enjoy about you the most.

Finding Comfort in Thrift

Here I stand in between two clothing racks of my favorite GoodWills.
Here I stand in between two clothing racks of my favorite GoodWills.

I’ve been going to thrift shops ever since I was a little girl. My mother would take me everywhere from GoodWill and the Salvation Army to garage sales and church rummages. It’s not that the clothes are cheaper (which is a plus) but a lot of times you find treasures in another person’s closet.

Throughout the years, I’ve learned to define my style without focusing on what was trending in the mainstream media. I’m not exactly sure HOW to describe my style but, a lot of times, I find myself wrapped in the simplest of clothes yet filled with confidence.

Yet, people discredit thrifting.

“You’re buying dead peoples clothes.”

“You don’t know who’s worn these before.”

“All these clothes are outdated.”

Despite all the negative remarks, little do people know that thrift stores have a psychic ability to determine what the next trend will be. Remember: history repeats itself & what comes around goes around. Not in the sense of karma, of course but fashion is never something NEW. It’s a remake, a different version, a similar style. That, in essence, is what makes it NEW but something always precedes it.

My point? I find comfort in between the clothing racks of a thrift store. I find comfort in knowing that the chances of someone having the same pair of jeans or blouse as me are slim to none. I find comfort in sharing these thrifting adventures with my mom and other people I care about. I find comfort in knowing that the shirt or shorts I just bought are going to be taken care of well, as long as they’re with me. I find comfort knowing I don’t feel the need to go with whatever is trending.

I hope you find your comfortable place too.

Fun Day w/ Two Awesome People!

Today I went out with my awesome friends, Jesus & Stephanie!

I picked them up & then headed to GoodWill where we checked out some weird vinyls & dead people’s clothing. (Stephanie wouldn’t stop bringing up the probability that the clothes we were touching were from people who were dead.)

Then we went to Pembroke Lakes Mall where we just walked around & enjoyed beautiful jewelry from Forever 21 and hid from Stephanie at Gap. Along the way, Jesus & Steph showed me some awesome tunes & I shared all my faces and screams that happen as I drive.

Enjoy the pics of my day 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Stereo

I love going to goodwill because that’s where everyone donates their unwanted and out of style belongings.

The other day I went and I saw this stereo. It was a radio and a record, cd, and tape cassette player. It looked brand new.

It’s funny how times change, and everyone uses Spotify or Pandora Radio or iTunes Radio to listen to music. Nobody takes the time to buy a tape cassette (mainly because they probably don’t even make them anymore) or a CD. They just download the album from the internet. Now, record players and vinyls are coming back into style but mainly because it’s cool. 

Anyways, take the time to go out to your local goodwill or neighbors yard sale and look at all the things they’re selling. It may be something pretty cool. It may be something that will come back into style. It may be something lame. It may be something that shouldn’t even be put out on a table and be sold and if that’s the case feel free to give your neighbor or goodwill employee a dirty look.

Just kidding, don’t.

Happy spring break everyone!

🙂