Fashion

Thrifting Like a Second Hand, Gem Discovering, Deal Finding Queen

Hannah Parrish
Have a strategy and stay hydrated out there.

Very few souls made it through their middle school days without an Abercrombie & Fitch, Holister, ripped-jeans-that-make-your-mom-cringe-at-the-price-and-cut phase. Only the lucky ones went without this stage, which though transformational and a building block in developing personal style and preference, it more than likely drained a few wallets.

I cannot remember exactly when I began to tire of mall clothes and my personal style began to develop into something which could not be bought from a single store. I think it was around the same time that I had to begin paying for my own gas and movie tickets, and my high school minimum wage became a petite dollop of butter spread over an entire french baguette. Poetic, but sad.

This was the time when I discovered second hand, isn’t always second best.

Sure, I had visited a few thrift shops here and there as a kid, but in high school I soon became a second hand, gem discovering, deal finding queen. This skill has brought me many benefits now as a college student. On a more global scale, you are truly helping the environment by stepping out of the Fast Fashion cycle. It’s a much bigger issue than many realize.

second hand vintage dresses
Here are my insider pro-tips on how to get the best deals and the best clothes.

Get ready to search, and do not be discouraged if you cannot find what you want. Looking through a second hand shop will take time, and there may not be anything that really sparks your interest that day. Shops are continually getting new items, however, and you can always check a few different ones in one day.

Prepare yourself for your shopping day. Bring water, eat well beforehand, and wear something easy to change out of for trying on items. Remember, preparation is key. This is a lot like you are the star quarterback preparing for your high school rivalry game, so do not take this lightly.

Even if you are unsure of an item, try it on! You might be surprised by what fits or looks good.

Look at labels, or don’t. My favorite brand, possibly ever, is Ann Taylor. Most of my Ann Taylor items have been found at Goodwill, so I often go with the idea of searching for it specifically. However, don’t get too hung up on labels. You may discover new favorite designers you never knew existed! This is one of the joys of so many randomly collected items in one place.

Pick the sale days. Half off Saturday’s, $1 denim days, buy-one-get-one sales. Find out which days your local shops go on sale and walk out of that joint carrying an entire bag of gems that you only paid $10 for.

That being said, do not just buy it because it is inexpensive. Pick the pieces you love and you will love your entire wardrobe.

Thrifting is the perfect opportunity to develop your personal look, to try new things you would have never even previously considered, and to feel good about how you look for very little money. For more thrifting ideas, checkout Elizabeth’s suggestions too. Now get out there, your dream closet is waiting for you!