Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thrifty Shopping Tips

It's been a while! Life has been busy but I want to get back to blogging.
I wanted to post some tips for buying clothes second hand. I realize that the majority of my clothing is second hand, usually from the Salvation Army or other similar stores. Many people tell me that they have difficulty finding anything nice or wearable at thrift shops, so here are some hints to help you out! (This is a great way to pump up your wardrobe with some fun pieces without spending too much money.)

1. Try to find a second hand store outside of a large metropolitan area. You will often find that thrift stores in cities like New York are well picked through in addition to more expensive. If you have the money to spend they often have nicer things, but there are certainly great finds for less out of town.
2. I love that these stores are generally organized by color. Walk through quickly to see if anything catches your eye and then go back and sift through more carefully. Look for interesting fabrics and colors and don't only stick to the women's' section! Sometimes you can find over/undersized gems in the children's or men's sections. More on that later.
3. Go in with an idea of some things you would like to look for but don't have your heart set on anything in particular. It's best to keep an open mind.
4. Unless you can easily fix something which is ripped or missing a button, don't bother picking it up. It's not a bargain if you never wear it. Check for tears, broken zippers, and especially stains. Most of these places wash their garments first and if it didn't come out then, it probably won't come out later.
5. Many thrift stores have a half off day or days when certain things are on sale. If you're really wanting a deal, look into that ahead of time!

Good Deals in Thrift Stores
1. Look for bulky sweaters, cool belts, and hats in the men's section.
2. Look for small vests and blazers in the boy's section.
3. Check out the shoes. Often you can find shoes that someone decided didn't fit after they got home and are never worn.
4. Belts and hats in general. Also jewelry and scarves and any other accessories.
5. Sometimes you can find a heavy women's blazer that would make a good winter coat.

Keep in mind that some shopping trips will yield many purchases while others will be less successful. Shopping after spring cleaning or at the end of seasons is a good time. Don't go shopping if you don't have a lot of time to peruse. Keep in mind that they have good turnover and you can go back fairly regularly to find new things.

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