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Erin's Style File: 5 Thrifting Tips

Updated: May 5, 2021


If you read my most recent post, you'll know that buying secondhand is a sustainable alternative to buying your clothing and home decor items brand spankin' new. However, there's some things you should know about switching to this type of lifestyle.

Donating can be great if you donate your gently-used items. You wouldn't want to have to stifle through damaged or soiled items, so don't donate yours that fit this description. Items that are unwanted or unsold typically end up in the landfill. Maybe I'll dive into this more another time. Selling items on Facebook Marketplace, VarageSale or even Poshmark decreases the amount of junk that ends up in the landfill if you have unwanted items. Plus you can make a few extra dollars!

This leads me to today's discussion: 5 Thrifting Tips

  1. Go in with a list. Know what you're looking for; this will save you money buying unnecessary items and help to practice mindful consumption.

For example, on my list right now is an oversized brown/beige plaid. Usually this is something that I tend to want often while getting dressed to complete a look. The most recently fulfilled items on my list have included black mules, a brown/beige 2 piece suit and a brown/beige sweater vest. Brown is a neutral, ok?

2. Look in every section. Even the ones you wouldn't normally gravitate to.

This includes men's clothing (my favourites are the pants, dress shirts and sweaters), bedding, shoes, home, books, women's clothing (my favourites are vests, jackets and skirts), etc. There are often misplaced items from other shoppers or hidden gems that you stumble across in those uncommon sections. This is a great example from my own thrifting experience, a pair of navy men's trousers that I wear as flowy, high waisted dress pants. Who knew that they would fit better, are more comfortable, AND have better front pockets than women's pants.

This leads me to the next tip.

3. Don't rush your thrifting experience! At least not if you want to get the most out of it.

Conscious consumption (re: Versatility vs. Sustainability) requires time to think, and if you're rushed you may opt to buy now, think later, which isn't the goal here. As well, time allows you to look in every section, and to do so thoroughly.

4. Examine the item for rips, stains, cracks, loose threads, etc.

This goes for any and all types of items that you're drawn to while thrifting. If you come across something that you love, but there is a flaw, consider if you will actually mend a garment or repaint something for your home. If you find joy in that and have time then go for it. But if not, leave it on the shelf.

5. Be open minded but proceed with caution.

Be willing to try new things and get creative, but remember how much you actually need vs want and how it aligns with tip #1. Don't be scared to venture out of your comfort zone when thrifting because there are so many cool and unique finds!

Please comment any other tips that you have for thrifting, or show me some of your favourited thrifted finds!

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