The Daily Aztec

How to score on your next thrift store trip

by Melissa Artobello

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 Before you go pop some tags with $20 in your pocket, read these helpful tips to achieving a successful thrift-shopping experience.

1) What can I wear with this?

Do you ever have random articles of clothing that you just don’t know what to wear with? While thrift shopping, look for clothes that could go with that piece of clothing so you can finally create a perfect outfit. Shop for a blouse to go with that skirt that’s been sitting in your closet for months. You might even find some accessories to top it all off.

2) What’s trending?

Pay attention to the latest trends and what’s in style. Look in magazines, what’s being sold in retail stores and your peers for inspiration. Current styles include prints, skirts, collared blouses, lace, oversized sweaters and boots.

3) What do I need?

Determine what it is you want to shop for. Making a list keeps you on track so you don’t get distracted by everything else that catches your eye. You don’t want to go out with the intention of buying shoes and come home with everything but shoes.

4) I’m just browsing

You don’t necessarily need a purpose to go thrift shopping. Sometimes you need a therapeutic shopping spree and that’s just fine. Browse stores and pick up anything that catches your eye. It’s a great way to spend the day and you never know what you’ll find.

5) Do I really need this?

While shopping, don’t feel inclined to buy everything you like. Make two piles, one for things you absolutely want and another for things you could go without. From there, you can decide what to buy and put back. Thrift shopping is for the strong willed. Discipline yourself and only buy what you’ll truly wear.

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6) How do I look?

Always try on the clothing you find. Often, the clothes look better on the hanger. Sometimes the lighting in the dressing rooms can be deceiving, so beware. Make sure you like how it looks on you before buying it to avoid regret at the end of the day.

7) What do you think?

Getting second opinions is never a bad idea. Send a picture to a friend or loved one or ask someone in the store. You don’t want to buy something that you think looks good on you only to find out that it isn’t flattering. Save yourself the embarrassment and get a second opinion before purchasing.

8) Get out your magnifying glass

Before buying something, make sure to examine it carefully. There’s nothing worse than going home after a day of thrift shopping, only to realize that there’s a hole in the blouse you just bought. Check the clothing for rips, tears, holes or missing embellishments.

9) Be money smart

Always bring cash with you to the thrift store. Some places only accept cash so be prepared. Also, set a spending limit for yourself before going out. Only bring a certain amount of money so you’re less tempted to buy everything you like.

10) Keep an open mind

You’re going to find a lot of different types and styles of clothes while thrift shopping. Don’t be afraid to buy something you wouldn’t usually wear. Try out new styles and change it up a bit. Diversity in your closet is a good thing.

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