Whether you're a broke college student or a working professional who loves a good find on the cheap, thrift shopping can be so much fun! But a lot of people are intimidated by it or think it's not much fun.
So I'm here to provide you with some tips to get the most of your thrift shopping experience!
1. Before you go, evaluate what you might need.
Are you set on jeans but bored with the shirts you own? Are you set on casual clothes but need more work-appropriate outfits? Of course you should allow room for a spontaneous purchase if you find a perfect leather jacket in your size, but go into your shopping experience with a general idea of what you'll actually wear so you don't spend money and precious closet space on something that looks cool but won't actually be worn.
2. Find the best thrift store in town.
Secondhand stores can range all the way from small boutiques to Goodwills to even grungier places. In my opinion, the grungier the better - the giant places stuffed full of cheap items are usually where you can score the best deal on a treasure. If you live in Chicagoland, check out The Village (there are a bunch of locations).
BONUS TIP: If you're going somewhere intense like The Village, wear layered clothing. There are no dressing rooms in these places so you'll have to try clothes on in front of mirrors on the end caps of aisles, ideally over tight, not bulky, layers.
3. Once in the store, do a quick skim through the whole place.
This will help you get a feel for what's in stock today, and who knows, maybe you'll find your new favorite piece within a few minutes of being there! Then, go through different sections more slowly, focusing on the areas of the clothes you decided you needed.
4. After finding an arm's worth of try-on worthy items, find a mirror or dressing room.
Don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone in what you try on! But do ask yourself "will I realistically wear this?"
5. Wash your new wardrobe items.
Or if you are impatient and like to live on the edge, wear them right away.